Help for Finding Good Work over Age 50

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3/10/2019:  Buffett On IBM Purchase:  “I’ve revalued it downward…  their projections ran into big strong competitors… [paid too much]… tech is littered with areas when you can create high growth and make no money.  That’s not us.  ”  IBM Revenues still declining, 20 quarters in a row, growth in Watson, Cloud, other new areas not offsetting shrinkage, IBM’s competitive advantages have deteriorated, Buffett no longer willing to wait,  WSJ Article


12/9/17 Why SharePoint / Microsoft Declining, Salesforce Ascending for No-Code Solutions  See Tom's analysis and career switch


12/4/17 Salesforce Admin Training Jumpstart by DFWJLT holds first training session.  See DFWJLT if interested


12/9/17:  For IT Jobs, Shift Your Career to Application Software, No and Low-Code Solutions If Possible:  The stampede to the Cloud is creating a dramatic reduction in infrastructure jobs.  (These jobs are being automated and consolidated to Amazon, Microsoft Azure, other cloud providers.)   I am seeing a big uptick in business side-driven, cloud based applications with no and low code solutions.  (In cloud applications, we usually do not have access to make server side, heavy code development.  This is creating big growth in no code / low code solutions driven by business units (not IT.)  See link for Salesforce Admin Training Jumpstart by DFWJLT.


12/9/17:  Tom switching to Salesforce after 14 years and 35 projects in SharePoint / Microsoft world:  I believe SharePoint / Microsoft are declining as both good "no-code solutions" options for clients and places to invest my career in.  My last 3-4 projects have been badly hurt because the "infrastructure side of SharePoint sucks up all the oxygen in the room".  See links Why SharePoint Microsoft Declining and Why and How Tom picked Salesforce.


10/3/17  Microsoft just laid off 2000+ sales people.  Is exiting the business of selling package software.  Hurtling toward being a cloud-based software and services provider only.  Per Mike Mainard who recently joined MS's Digital Transformation practice.  WHAT ARE IMPLICATIONS FOR US?


9/11/17  Reality of Working Later In Life, WSJ Article:  38% expect to work to age 70 and beyond but only 4% actually have jobs at age 70.   Causes:  Health, layoffs, care for family member, layoffs, age discrimination, lack of jobs in your field...  I SUSPECT PROBLEMS WITH THE DATA - e.g. does not account for "gig economy", those with contract / consulting / non traditional employment.   But, message is clear, NOT AN EASY ROAD and reason why Help A Buddy, Stay Connected exists.


8/17/17  Recession Causes, NOT LIKELY Anytime Soon, WSJ Article:  by Alan Blinder.  Strong case that the expansion will continue until something derails it.  Recessions have known causes.  Primary causes:  Federal Reserve tightens money and credit supply to fight inflation and inflation is not likely.   (primary cause of Great Depression but mistakes now understood - unlikely to repeat.)  Oil shocks:  Difficult to predict but unlikely for now.  Stock market crash:  Takes very large crash to create recession all by itself.  Lesser crashes recover quickly.  Not likely soon.  Credit Markets (household, business, banks):  Very healthy, less leveraged than have been in a long time.  The Unexpected:  At present, North Korea or a White House investigation are only things on horizon... but unexpected by definition...  e.g.  North Korea war could devastate Asia supply chains... or create opportunities...


8/28/17  Warren Buffett and IBM Struggling with the Landscape We Face:  It makes me feel better to realize that the best and most accomplished - Buffett and IBM - are struggling to understand and profit from the current IT environment.  IBM just had its 20th successive quarter of annual revenue declines...  Buffett had purchased 8.4% of IBM through 2015 and in May of 2017 sold 33% of this stake.  I admire Buffett greatly - but I think he got tired of sitting on the tech sidelines, violated his own rule and invested in something he did not understand.  Six years later he is exiting because "IBM has strong competitors" and "progress in new markets... (cloud)... but not enough to offset declines in other businesses..."  He is famous for admitting mistakes and correcting them - looks like this is one.  TOM'S TAKE:  The march to the cloud is about infrastructure becoming commoditized and the value of applications ascending.  We (the IT industry) have failed to consistently produce 5 to 1 or better paybacks on the money entrusted to us.  Competition and the evolution of our industry are sending money to places producing the best paybacks - APPLICATIONS in the cloud.  Note that the cloud is a politically acceptable way for business unit executives to get out from under in-house IT's monopoly.  CLICK FOR DETAILS


​8/20/17  A way to stand up to executives who put personal interest ahead of the good of the project.  ​Supreme court affirms executives have duty to put profits and shareholder gain first, ahead of politics and self interest.  Click for WSJ article  Article notes landmark case in 1919, Ford vs. Dodge (Michigan Supreme court).  Article discusses CEO activism (e.g. transgender bathrooms resulting in 40% drop in Target's stock price.)  We need to stand up to political, self-serving conduct that damages projects - costing hundreds of millions of dollars.  For years I have kept a "captain's log" on my projects - including documenting self-serving conduct (especially for executives.)  I now include "bringing all conduct into the light... transparency... an open record of conduct" as part of my engagements.  This article points out that shareholders have the option of a class action lawsuit (unlikely) or a shareholder derivative lawsuit where executives are sued on behalf of all shareholders.  In my 35 years of documenting computer horror story projects I have seen numerous situations that I might handle differently now.  In the post Enron, SOX, post 2008/09 recession climate we have now, executive accountability for misconduct is much higher.  It might be possible to have a quiet word with the head of the client's audit committee... "here is the log of this executive's conduct... here is how it is hurting shareholder interests... do you have a duty to remove this person before a shareholder gets wind...?"


8/19/17  Vishal Sikka Resigns as Infosys CEO.  Click for WSJ article  Former SAP heavy hitter TRIED TO MOVE TO COMPETING ON VALUE OVER COST.  QUIT AFTER 3 YEAR STRUGGLE.  STOCK LOWEST IN THREE YEARS.  His public statements were pretty strong - "old guard, management, not willing to change, do what is necessary... resistance to hiring outsiders who know how..."  Reminds me of my efforts to do this.  I have had 3 gigs to help IT staffing / consulting firms grow higher margin, higher value sales.  Two clear failures and a draw...  Stan Feighny, long time colleague said it best.  "The easy revenue from staffing is like heroine.  Getting a staffing company to spend what is necessary to compete on high value is as hard as breaking an addiction.  They mean well, sometimes get off to a good start - but the moment there is a tough quarter they fall back to the easy money of staffing.  The DNA of company built on easy revenues like staffing is almost impossible to change."


7/17/17:  Help A Buddy Network is now refocused on IT opportunities only.


7/13/17  WSJ article on good CEOs that didn't deserve the boot.  (13 of the largest companies have replaced CEOs in first 6 monbths of 2017.  UNPRECEDENTED.)

•Most attributed to quarterly earnings pressure from hedge funds, actvists, minority investors

•Supports Tom's thesis:  "Volatility, Low Growth, Low Returns, Commodity Pressures will continue to make it difficult to find good work.  WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?"


3/27/17 Hard Truths, Some Help, Techniques for Working Into Your 60s and Beyond, WSJ Article

•Hard truth is that getting laid off after 50 is likely to result in long, hard job search, less pay, possibly never returning to work force

•44% of people are still working at 65 (no data on why, nature of work, necessity vs. optional)

•Changing careers / field / job in 50s increases probability of working past 65 by 20% (forcing ourselves to change, learn new skills, be competitive for jobs in other arena helps.)

1.Most common reason, 41%, was to reduce stress

2.Meaningful work, flexibility more important than big paycheck

•Low debt, mortgage paid off really matters.  Need to fight current trend to more debt later in life - or face MUST work situation -  regardless of type of work

•HARD AS IT IS, SWITCHING TO GIG ECONOMY may significantly increase work longevity, enjoyment, quality of life


3/15/17 Update

•GREAT call with Damian Thomas, former head of sales for GE.  We discussed Revenue Side opportunities with Private Equity - CAME TO A SURPRISE CONCLUSION:  PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS ARE NOT A GOOD PROSPECT!  Look somewhere else...  CLICK to listen to the call

•Full Membership Criteria and Benefits Have Changed.  Click for Details  Summary:

1.We have decided there will be no cost associated with the Help A Buddy, Stay Connected group

2.Providing Substantive Job Leads or introductions for other members is the price of ongoing membership.

3.Everyone must contribute an average of three substantive job leads or introductions per quarter to retain full member benefits.

4.First cutoff date for members unable to contribute will June 30, 2017 - so you have plenty of time.

•Keep sending Tom those retained recruiter job leads - this is the easiest way to contribute your "3 good jobs leads".


3/9/17  Recent Wins, Congratulations

•Congratulations to Julie Moran, former GE, Safety-Kleen exec on new role as President of emergency service and transportation company with HQ in Louisville, KY. Serves 5 states, approx 1000 employees.  She is moving from Dallas to Louisville this week.  Stay in touch and congratulate her at

•Mike Mainard received an offer to join a consulting firm - but turned it down - for the right reasons

•Tom closed a PE company recently (thanks to Fabian Mamia).  Project started well but PE firm abruptly changed direction and brought the project in house.  Good news / bad news about working with PE.

•Greg Whitmore closed some IT Outsourcing work in Nov / Dec 2016

•Darren McKnight has picked up additional work from M&A Partners


Tom's Work Search Action Recommendations:


1.Focus your efforts on sectors / industries that are growing.  Hiring is best leading indicator.  Full members have access to Tom's Economic Indicator report at left.


2.Make hay now, while stock market and economy doing well, good time to take risks, make investments, but be ready for hard recession.


3.February hiring may feel down, but this is normal.  Hiring will be strong in March.


4.Mike Mainard reports that activity and good leads are up with "Expert Service Provider" web sites.  These companies pay well for 2-3 hour engagements to provide your expertise by phone.  Tom is aggravated with GLG, one of the leading firms.  Click for our summary of notes

  • These sites may be our best leading indicator for "what consulting services are being bought."  See notes.


5.Become a Full Member of the Help A Buddy network.  Contribute one substantive job lead or introduction for another member per month.  Click for details


12/1/16  DFW Help A Buddy Chapter's Consensus Economic Forecast for Contract, Consulting, PE, Full Time work:  (Tom, Mike Mainard, Dwight Moore, Bill Chase, GENERAL CONSENSUS)

  • Trump has enormous weaknesses
  • Will have 3 to 6 month honeymoon, economy up
  • Something will happen, we will have a hard recession
  • Trump will get little to nothing of substance done
    1. Companies need certainty before committing to substantive investment.  Uncertainty may settle in 6 months and economy will pick up


  • SOME SECTORS ARE BENEFITING, GROWING (from regulation rollback, spending increases)
    1. Defense industry
    2. Auto industry, e.g. CAFÉ standards being rolled back
    3. Midwest, rust belt, all manufacturing up (environmental regs rollback)
    4. Coal industry will come back (environmental regs rollback)
    5. Oil & Gas Mfrs, South Central US, up from Exxon $2 bb US investment
    6. Keystone pipeline will trickle down
    7. Financial Services, Fintech, Wealth Management, Payments Services Exploding (regs being reduced, capital freed up)
    8. Construction will boom on infrastructure projects, will trickle down, help main street



12/28/16  Michael Porter, 1996 Update on Strategy,  BIG implications for keeping pipeline full of new opportunites - Click



- McKinsey Paper / Interview with Don Gogel on How PE is Evolving


- LinkedIn Steps to Take To Protect Your Contacts and Profile



- Bob Alexander talk on Opportunities in Private Equity:  Tuesday, October 11, 7 pm Central Time.  Call in number:  1-712-432-0175 code 1094590#


- Our Dallas group of people has started a weekly networking / lead sharing meeting.  Going well.  We help each other find good work, especially past age 50:  Full Time, Contract, Consulting, Board Positions, Selling Services, Projects and Products.  I'll let you know how it works out - hopefully we can get a group going in each city.




Additional PE Info, Consolidated from Skinny IT for PE News (decommissioned 4/8/17)




Tom's Best Stuff:  What Has Helped Me Most at Finding Good Work Quickly


1.  GET RIGHT WITH GOD to GET PAST THE INSULT, THE GRIEF, THE UNFAIRNESS, THE BAD LUCK:. He is a rewarder of those who seek him.  He will get you through this tough time.  After will be better than before.




- FOCUS ON CREATING VALUE, SOLVING PROBLEMS, PRODUCING RESULTS rather than "I just need a job where I can retire..."  - employers can smell this attitude.    Remember the Harvard Alumni Placement Concept:  EXECUTIVES HIRE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOLVED THE PROBLEM IN HAND BEFORE.




a.  The Problem, Solution, Results Method: During a recession when I was struggling to find work I learned a disciplined approach to going back through my work history and summarizing the problem, solution and results from my best accomplishments ESPECIALLY THE RESULTS.  First Attempt:  see   (ignore formatting and pictures.  Problem/Solution/Results are what matter.  Second Attempt and Breakthrough:  Summary of Results Only in Word Table.  Categorizing best results led to breakthrough to focus on Sales Side Systems.


b.  How to get Market Validation on Your Skills from the Employers:  Narrow your focus to 2-3 specialties and create a resume version for each.  In my case it was "Technical PM, Business / Process Analyst or SharePoint Guy."  You will need a unique email for each resume (gmail is easiest to get and keep.)  Create three accounts on Dice or Career Builder - one for each specialty.  Conduct a two month test.  Re-upload your resume daily during the test (puts you on top of the recruiter's list.)  Track how many emails / inquiries / phone calls you get for each.  I stopped my test in just three weeks.  I was getting 10 times the job leads from SharePoint - changed my life!!!  I have now done 33 SharePoint projects!.  KEY IS THE MARKET IS VALIDATING THE SERVICES YOU THINK EMPLOYERS WILL PAY YOU FOR - keeps us from fooling ourselves - thinking we are great - they will beat a path to our door.




4.  GET GOOD AT NETWORKING INSTEAD OF APPLYING FOR JOBS ONLINE:  I have stopped applying online completely and the best job finders I know limit time applying online to less than 20%.  Even so, 1/2 of all the time I spend networking is wasted!  (and I am good at it.)  Just do it, learn all you can.  Yes, it is hard for introverts but you will quickly stop with the time wasters and focus on the right things.




(a)  TOP 20:  Have a list of 20 target companies with you. This is the best technique I have ever found - it paints a picture in their mind of the company / hiring manager you are looking for.


(b)  Ideal Prospect Profile:  Paint a picture of what a good lead looks like:  Company size, industry, location, Urgent, Compelling Needs that you solve, hiring manager title, etc.


(c)  At Least Three Success Stories showing Urgent, Compelling Needs and results you have delivered.


- BEST WAY TO LEARN NETWORKING:  GO, SEE, RECONNECT, CALL OR EMAIL EVERYONE WHO KNOWS AND TRUSTS YOUR WORK. You are not begging for a job.  SHOW THEM YOUR TOP 20 LIST, IDEAL PROSPECT and SUCCESS STORIES.  Ask for advice, suggestions, a point in the right direction.....  Use this friendly audience to learn what works and what doesn't.  50% OF MY GIGS COME FROM OR THROUGH PEOPLE I HAVE WORKED WITH BEFORE.


- ONE ON ONEs MATTER - SET GOAL OF ONE PER DAY: The best networkers I know focus more on one-on-ones than any other form of networking.  It forces you to help other people - you must provide them some value for them to take the time to see you.  Have coffee - even for 15 minutes.  You don't need to buy them lunch.  Make it easy for them.  Go to their office and bring Starbucks.  Don't fall into the trap of just talking to your job group buddies.  HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE JOBS.  In my case, I must have the human contact - I always shoot for one meeting a day - just for my morale during tough times.




- Stuff happens.  You lose a gig unexpectedly.  Happens to me often.  God will get you through.


- Retool your skills, based on market-validation described above.  I invested in a couple of servers, spend $450/year for a Microsoft Action Pack, retooled myself as a hands-on SharePoint technician - Was hard but PAYBACK HAS BEEN ASTRONOMIC.


- Harvest emails of recruiters that contact you for your specialty (especially when you have work.)  Just create an Outlook folder and drag the emails there.  WHEN YOU NEED WORK just export the emails to Excel or your Contacts list and send recruiters a short note "I'm available."  KEEP TRACK OF GOOD RECRUITERS and ACCOUNT EXECS that sell what you do.  I have one guy / firm that has placed me four times!


6.  ADVANCED:  GET GOOD AT KEEPING WORK PRODUCT TO SHOW HOW YOU HAVE SOLVED KEY PROBLEMS BEFORE:  Learn how to protect or redact confidential client information (easy with Adobe Acrobat Writer).  I take the extra step of posting on a web site to make it easy to show - over the phone, quickly.  See


7.  ADVANCED:  GET GOOD AT QUANTIFYING THE VALUE OF YOUR WORK: Results of our work can almost always be quantified.  Costs down, sales up, cycle times reduced, employee retention and quality of life, quantity produced per hour, reduction in the cost of quality (not doing things right the first time), reduced rework, reduced capital invested, improved levels of service... see Results Resume examples (bottom left) and for examples.





9/11/17 - The Stephen Dunham Method for Increasing Job Leads from Four Per Week to FORTY PER WEEK.  This is an outline of what we will be covering - video to follow - as Stephen explains his methods.  I DID NOT BELIEVE HIM WHEN HE FIRST TOLD ME - BUT IT WORKS.  I HAVE GOTTEN AT LEAST 10 GIGS WITH THIS METHOD.



  • YOUR RESULTS RESUME:  Think through all your assignments and rough up the Problem, Solution and Results for each.  The "activity" based resume works poorly - if at all.  RESULTS are what matter.



•Purpose of profile is to get conversation. Less detail is better


     ◦Higher rate = better jobs

•Like flying a helicopter:  Always ready for a crash landing







•Continue to be viable, competitive, value-add consultant (into 60s and beyond)

•Purpose of profile is to get conversation. Less detail is better


     ◦Higher rate = better jobs

•Like flying a helicopter:  Always ready for a crash landing

•Tactics WILL VARY with seniority, how bad you need the gig, etc.

•Tom's Live Experience - based on Stephen's Coaching

     ◦Initial Profile Decisions

          ◾(What jobs / titles to target, hiring manager profile, how much detail)

          ◾Who are you competing with?

          ◾Profile vs. Full Resume

     ◦Setting Up Monster, Dice, Career Builder Accounts

          ◾Separate gmail account for each

          ◾Profile Settings:  Cover the basics:  High vs. Low Base pay, willing to travel, open to contract and

             full time, etc.

     ◦How to Get the Most Calls and Emails:

          ◾Upload / refresh daily

          ◾Underscore / space / other special character in first position of file name




               ◾Functional Skills:  "Agile

     ◦Responding To Recruiter Emails and Phone Calls:

          ◾Sorting Wheat from Chaff (varies with how bad you need the gig)

               ◾Respond to emails that look good

               ◾Legitimate recruiters will telephone you immediately

               ◾Put aside some preconceptions

               ◾Non-English speaking - being patient pays off + Christ-like

          ◾Ask Questions:

               ◾How long posted?  How many candidates? What is your processor?

          ◾When Get Lead from Numerous Recruiters in Same Day:  Very unlikely.

          ◾When Asked to Revise the Resume:  How much work to put in?

     ◦Technical or HR Screen or First Interview:

          ◾Normal Interview Skills - you can take if from here.


               ◾Linked In picture, professional - Linked In consistent with Profile / Resume

               ◾Social Media Awareness - Facebook - if controversial - even family - can cost you the gig



     •Dealing with Marginal English Speakers

          ◦Put aside some preconceptions

               ◾Non-English speaking - being patient pays off + Christ-like

          ◦Tom:  Finding that "no" gets you escalated sometimes

               ◾"No VMS / Online Submissions"

     •Linked In Vs. Dice, Monster, Career Builder

     •RESUME REWORK FOR JOB LEADS:  How Much Effort?


               ◾Makes dates available on his Linked In

               ◾ONLY EXCEPTIONS:  Somebody inside helping / coaching, know on short list, know emailing

                  directly to hiring manager, know urgent need

          ◦May vary by seniority - rate looking for

          ◦Tom has benefited from keeping a MASTER RESUME (30 pages) in Word.  It is formatted to make it

            easy to cut and paste - create tightly tuned profiles / resumes



          ◦Southwest Airlines




     •"NO VMS SUBMISSIONS" Test by Tom



6/1/17:  Stephen Dunham  "Don't want to brag but I can consistently find work in two weeks as Senior Agile Business Analyst when I really need it."



OVERVIEW:  Below is Tom and Stephen's best advice on this topic.  Some big concepts:



of what is below and the frustration we have finding work is due to employer efforts to



•Tom's results, about 700 email / phone inquiries per contract job offer, show the process of sorting through commodity jobs to specialty, hard to find jobs.  (I NEVER get the commodity gigs…)


•At our level, our goal is to find ways to get the hiring manager when he/she has a specialty, hard to find need.


•MARKET VALIDATION ON WHERE TO FOCUS, WHAT SKILLS ARE BEING HIRED:  The following process has helped Stephen, me and others enormously in understanding what NOT to pursue (commodity or no demand) vs. where our skills fit hard to find, specialty hires.  I call this a market-validated UCN (Urgent Compelling Need.)




PRECONDITION - YOUR RESULTS RESUME: Think through all your assignments and rough up the Problem, Solution and Results for each.  The "activity" based resume works poorly - if at all.  RESULTS are what matter.


•Rapid hires happen when you meet a hiring manager who needs the results you have produced - you have solved his / her UCN problem before.


•Your best focus will emerge from the process below - recruiters contacting you because they believe you have produced results their clients are willing to pay for.  Your Results + Hiring Manager Urgent Compelling Need + Market Validation that you are competitive for the gig = GOOD FOCUS AREA.  (You get hired at an acceptable rate -multiple times.)





None of this is easy but it can be done in one to three months (depending on where you start from.)  Our prayer and trust is that God will get you and your family through to a better way.



Advice for Each Profile You Are Testing:

     1. Define Target Hiring Manager and His/Her UCN:  Industry, company size, location, Urgent

         Compelling Need you can solve


     2. Define Job Title HIRING MANAGER IS LOOKING FOR.  Clear


     3. Profiles / Focus Niches BUZZWORDS, CONSISTENTLY STRUGGLING, FAILING.  Learn from

         other's failures.  We are not sure WHY - just know these focus areas have failed for many


            • Operations improvement, Lean,Six Sigma, Operational Metrics

            • Mentoring, Coaching

            • Workforce Management

            • Costing, Cost Modeling

            • Process Improvement, Reengineering, Workflow (mixed)

            • Back Office, Metrics

            • Project Management (mixed)

            • Agile (mixed)


     4. The Profile / Resume:  Confusion here - easy to waste tons of time.  Do quickly, get your

        market feedback to revise (there is no end to well intended advice that I pay no attention to…)

            a. 4-6 Second Rule, Top Half Only:  Much evidence that commodity (and some specialty

                hires) receive 100+ resumes and are screened in 4-6 seconds

            b. PROFILE or SHORT RESUME:

                 i. Defined as 1-3 pages


                 iii. When in doubt, add a key word or competency.  Tom and Stephen used to wait until

                      strong in the competency before adding.  Now regarding this as a mistake -  a barrier

                      to"getting the conversation".  Plenty of ways to fully explain your skill level truthfully

                      later in the process.

            c. RESUME:  Tom maintains a master resume with full details for all projects.  Results below

                nine to 15 page resume (Tom is reworking and testing shorter profiles)

            d. Rough these up, key stuff only, don't waste too much time - you will get market feedback

                to fine tune


     5. FIND A BUDDY who fits Hiring Manager Profile, show profile, would you call this guy / gal?

         Hire them?


     6. Think through Your Competition:  How many people can fool the hiring manager into

         believing they can solve the UCN? (for less money…)


     7. Think Through Type of Hire, Your Best Channel

            a. COMMODITIZED HIRES:

                i. Think Through the "Junior Recruiter - looking for reasons to screen you out" Problem

                   1. Keyword screen out (some people add the job definition key words for every resume

                       they submit)

                   2. Unconventional Resume Screen Out (generally looking for chronological resume with

                       5 employers, keywords matching search, 15 years or less of history)

                   3. "Too Tenured" screen out

                ii. You get entered into hiring company's Online Submission (VMS) system

                iii. May not be a good channel for senior, experienced, high value people


                i. How can you work through recruiters who have direct access to the hiring manager?

                ii. BEST to network in to them yourself if possible


     8. Revise your profile and post to Career Builder, Linked In, Dice, Monster.  Move ahead, test

         market soon as you can.  It takes some time to get to clarity,focus

            a. Tom, others in IT have "key, current technologies" to anchor their profiles around

                i. REALLY helps if you can get there

            b. Tom's recent experience (after years of practice…)   DICE and Career Builder combined:

                i. About 700 inquires (emails / calls) per month

                ii. About 50 inquires worth responding to per month

                iii. About 1 offer per month (varies with economy up or down)

                iv. I am very picky - and still get burned with short, volatile contract work.

                v. Stephen Dunham, the best I know at this, can consistently get 1 offer in two weeks as a

                    Senior Agile Business Analyst

            c. Career Builder has best key word,searches, resume views feedback.  The following report

                shows on Tom's home page.  Shows results after a 30 day test







2.  Your Know and Trust Network: Reconnect with everyone you can find that knows your work - especially former co-workers.  Call them, connect with them, meet for coffee...  Ask for advice, a point in the right direction (you are not begging for a job.)  Ask what you can do for them.


3.  Spend Your Time with People Who Already Have Jobs: I set the goal of one face to face per day with employed network connections.  DO NOT fall into the trap of spending all your time with the fellow unemployed.  You will notice a BIG improvement in your morale and good things will result.


4.  Results and Contribution Focus vs. "I just want a job." Easy to say - takes a lifetime to master.  Employers seem to read our minds - they know the difference between "I'm looking for a place where I can produce the best results, best contribution..."  vs. "I just need a paycheck..."  First step is create your RESULTS RESUME.  Get better and better at quantifying and communicating results you have accomplished, problems you have solved...




Tom's Tips for Finding Work Fast:

1.  YOUR MORALE MATTERS, ESPECIALLY WHEN FACING A LONG, DIFFICULT SEARCH. Here are some things that keep my morale up through tough times

- Get right with God

- HOPE (Help One Other Person Every Day)

- Get out of the house, meet people face to face, once a day if possible

- A GOOD DAY is when I get up and do my best on job search for 6 to 8 hours

- Arrange finances so you can take a short vacation, a bit of time off, get away from the pressure (especially if you are likely to have to look for new work often


2.  ACTIVITY MATTERS. When in doubt, GO, DO, TRY, meet with people.  You will learn quickly which activities pay off.

- Southlake Focus Group (Dallas' best job leads group) has documented a correlation between volunteering to help and rapidly finding work

- It is a numbers game.  15 quality interviews will lead to five 2nd interviews, three 3rd interviews and one offer.  (Tom's experience over a lifetime.)


3.  FIND PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS HAVE WORK (in your field, similar to your profile.)  Become their best friend!  (You will NOT find them at job networking groups - they are too busy working!)


4.  Get plugged in to the best job seeker network group possible (Southlake Focus Group is best in DFW)


5.  Tom has had excellent results with JOB POSTING BOARDS.  Best ones allow you to post your resume and recruiters call you.  It is easy to waste time so best to find a buddy in your field who can show you the many tips and tricks.





- Build a network by helping other first

- Identify a job they want - get the job if at all possible

- Find a friend through your network that can get your resume to the hiring manager (Many people know the pain of extended job search and are willing to help.  Southlake Focus Group alumni are especially good at it.)


8.  Spend your time with people who know hiring managers - not the fellow unemployed.


9.  Coworkers from former employers are your best source of networking


10.  Go through a career transitions workshop


11.  Create your Results Resume, but don't get hung up on the resume - too many opinions. See examples below for your area


12. Some of us need an accountability partner. Meet weekly to hold each other accountable for doing what you need to do.


13.  Tom has had excellent results with contract work in various niches/specialties while waiting for right gig or clients


14.  Tom's Favorite Networking Technique:  Focus on target companies known to be hiring and healthy.

- Identify your top 20 targets and show the list to everyone you meet with.

- Focus on companies that need the kind of results you have accomplished previously

- DAILY check job postings for your target companies

- Repeat with next 20 companies until you find work!



- Applying On-Line: Limit to no more than 20% of your time. Odds are not good and most of us find it to be a waste of time

- Don't try to transition to other industries / specialties while out of work - can delay getting work for months, even years.    Find a gig with your current strengths and make transition while employed.

-  Being undifferentiated is a bad place to be (especially for IT PMs).  Must find additional specializations that employers need / want / will pay for


16.  SOME LINKED IN COMMENTS, CAUTIONS:  While some Linked In work is necessary and helpful, Tom's results have been mixed.  Ask him for links to vidoes on how to use Linked In effectively



RESULTS RESUME EXAMPLES:  The following are before and after samples on how to transform your resume into "results-focused" resume. (Most people have an activity-focused resume.)


Health, Beauty and Cosmetics Industry:



Merchandising Services Industry:



Software and Technology Industry:


See Tom Ingram's Best Three: Combination of IT and Management Consulting focused on PROCESS + NO-CODE SOLUTIONS




Other General Industry and Executive Examples:





​Job Board Survey, Best


Update April 11, 2017, survey of 30 IT people at CSNIT meeting:


Career Builder: Better for IT management jobs.  (Tom is testing now for advanced business process reengineering.   Carlos Marone - has gotten good traction and is willing to help people learn.  RECRUITERS CONTACT YOU


Dice:  Better if you have a Technical specialty (Tom gets 30+ recruiter inquiries per week as SharePoint Architect, including BA and PM as secondary skills)  RECRUITERS CONTACT YOU


Indeed: Mixed results.  Lots of hype about 1 in 5 jobs filled, but YOU MUST APPLY ONLINE


Linked In: Mixed results.

  • Basic Linked In profile is a must.  Tom gets huge value from Inmail, 70% response rate contacting executives directly.  BIG CAUTION ON TIME WASTE, GROUPS, DISTRACTION.  Tom has also found the leads he gets for consulting / contract work through Linked In are CHEAP, LOW PRICE SEEKERS.
  • Linked In works best when you are actively networking, meeting people, helping other people first.  There is a big learning curve and much effort but it will pay off.  I prefer to post my resume and have recruiters / employers
  • SOME GET GREAT VALUE, Terry Sullivan methods, how to harvest emails of recruiters that check your site and proactively contact them:  See Terry Sullivan's  methods at  Terry usually is doing one or two free training sessions per month - get into one of his classes.




(The following results are from an Informal Survey of Tom Ingram friends and associates.  308 emails sent, approximately  67 substantive responses. 5/20/15)


Best Resume-Posting Job Boards for Senior IT Project Work (Program/Project Mgr, ITIL, BA)


Linked In

Rank:  1

Votes:  21

  • Much less traffic/chaff in the LinkedIn community.
  • … be aggressive: build a good profile that will attract searches; … aggressively search for potential clients/employers.
  •  … work it - participate in discussion groups, post updates, just be active.
  •  …  Make sure everything is current and applicable.  …
  • I would suggest LinkedIn...(premium) / The $55.00/mo version is pretty good.
  • … play with the search terms …
  • BOOK RECOMMENDATION:  Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn, by Neal Schaffer (ISBN: 978-1-4392-4705-1).



Rank: 2

Votes: 12

  • set up "job alerts" by job titles or company …  Then, the filtered jobs go into his e-mail in-box.
  • The search terms are very important and some trial and error is needed. / Make sure you get the right criteria.
  • It consolidates from other boards. / It's an aggregator, so it brings together content from multiple sites.



Rank: 3

Votes: 7

  • In my opinion, most jobs get posted on Monday afternoons. So, I have a job agent that sweeps DICE on Monday night and I have a report in my inbox on Tuesday morning …
  • … posting your resume there does get you noticed and allows you to specify that you want contract work rather than a permanent position.



Rank: 4

Votes: 6

  • It's a compiler of sites ...


Simply Hired

Rank: 5

Votes: 5

  • search terms are important and some trial and error is needed.



Rank: 6

Votes: 4

  • worth the cost / NOT worth the cost
  • lots of senior IT positions there.
  • … 90% of their jobs you can find posted someplace else by googling some portion of the exact text in the posting.



Rank: 7

Votes: 3

  • search terms are very important and some trial and error is needed.



Rank: 8

Votes: 2

  • … create a separate, un-linked email address just for Monster.  It is a spam and scam oasis.


Ivy Exec

Rank: 9

Votes: 1

  • Not worth the cost


Other Job Boards Mentioned:, Beyond, Experteer, GitHub, iCrunchData, Careers 2.0, TechCareers, IT JobPro, RubyNow, CrunchBoard, Mashable,, Glassdoor, eLance, RiteSite (fee),  Grey Hair (Chicago area)


*Contact Us in Dallas, Texas, USA at or 972-394-5721.

**Success stories, client quotes, estimated costs and benefits are derived from actual projects but may have been altered for simplicity, teaching purposes or to protect confidential information.