Trends Archives

September 22, 2006

Are your skills hot or cold

If you're in IT, you already know about the skills treadmill—the need for constant learning to keep your skills relevant (not to mention the learning curve associated with new versions). Marianne Kolbasuk McGee has an article for Information Week on the hottest tech skills today (via If your skills are on her cold list, you might want to do an upgrade of your own.

Skills that will be in declining demand over the next two to five years include programming and routine coding, systems testing, application maintenance, technical support, data continuity, and recovery. Those skills are among jobs that are increasingly being offshored.

Hot areas?
Applications developers with customer-facing skills are hot in general right now, but especially hot are rapid application developers and extreme programmers who are among those getting the highest premiums—about an extra 16% added to base pay.


Other hot skills include SAP application development, wireless expertise, storage area networking, and RFID. There's also increased demand for "hybrid talent" such as people who have operations experience as well as technology skills.

If you lean to the creative side, there are opportunities related to Web 2.0 and interactive marketing. Funny how technology touches everything now.


November 16, 2006

Interactive marketing salary survey

During the summer, I wrote about the talent shortage in interactive marketing. A few months don't resolve a shortage of skilled people, and demand is still strong. If you've wondered about whether it's a direction for you, you'll want to look through Talent Zoo's 2006-2007 Interactive Salary Report.

The report contains two major types of information: salary ranges (broken out by title and market size) and general job descriptions.I particularly like the job descriptions, since titles alone can be so uninformative. Here are a couple of examples:

Web Designer
Responsible for designing well-organized, user-centered web sites. Exceptional XHTML, CSS, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe Creative Suite, and Microsoft Word skills are usually expected. Typically 4 to 6 years of experience.

Web Marketing Manager
Creates and implements the online marketing plan for the company. Adjusts plans based on the online marketplace. Usually manages a group of marketing individuals. Reports to top management. Typically 7 years of experience required.

Generic job descriptions can't give you the detail of specific openings, of course, but I think they're useful for getting an overview of the market. They can also suggest skills you might want to develop if this area appeals to you.

The real meat of a salary survey is in the numbers, and this report has 'em. Each job title has four salary ranges to correspond to different market sizes (population 2 million and up, 1-2 million, near 1 million, and under 1 million). It's not quite as helpful as the surveys that slice their samples by region, but it does help to avoid using NY/SF/LA numbers when you're looking for a job in Wichita.

Information is good, especially when it's time to talk money.


April 9, 2007

Networking with bloggers

If you go to a job search support group, networking event or class, you'll hear that networking is your best path to a new job. I've always been a little dubious about the numbers people throw around, but a personal connection clearly opens doors faster than an unaccompanied résumé. Have you considered the possibility of networking with bloggers? I'm seeing more examples where they're helping clients fill positions.

I've developed a specialization in an active area of marketing and technology with healthy growth and not enough people for the open jobs. As a result, I'm starting to see job postings on blogs that don't usually talk about employment issues. Sometimes it's on a blog associated with the company, but they're also showing up on unrelated blogs, like this Marketing Director position on Jeremiah Owyang's blog.

Jeremiah's post tells you two things: First, there's obviously this opening, which you could pursue. I'll assume that you know to follow the instructions explicitly. More importantly, the blog shows that he's a well-connected consultant, and he probably knows about other companies with hiring needs. If you're interested in the things he's interested in, you might want to get on his radar. But do it the right way.

Here are some general guidelines for networking with bloggers:


  • Send a résumé unless the blogger asks for it.
  • Assume bloggers are recruiters, unless they say they are.
  • Email or call out of the blue for career advice.
  • Read interesting blogs in your field and from your target companies. Use a feed reader to manage the volume and avoid missing posts.
  • Read the blog before contacting a blogger. Learn what the blogger is about first.
  • Follow any contact guidelines the blogger has posted.
  • Read the blogger's profile.
  • Leave appropriate comments on the blog before you make direct contact. Demonstrate that you read the blog and are paying attention.
  • Consider starting your own blog for the connection opportunities. Bloggers like helping other bloggers.
  • Establish a connection before asking for help. Networking is based on relationships, not transactions.
  • Remember that networking is a two-way street. How can you help the blogger?
Networking with bloggers is like networking with anyone, because bloggers are—and this is hard for some—people, but blogs make two big differences. The blog gives you tons of information before you meet: about the blogger, his interests, thoughts and contacts; and the blog creates an opportunity to meet people regardless of physical location (especially if you have your own blog). A few blogs even have their own job boards, but that's a separate topic.

Oh, and if you're interested in the things I write about on The Net-Savvy Executive, I'm hearing about job openings, too. Now that I'm not looking for a job, they're starting to find me.


About Trends

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The Net-Savvy Jobseeker in the Trends category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Tools is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.