Vinod was a customer success manager for AI solutions at a young tech startup in Canada.
After a new job in a new field went badly, Vinod sought a better fit. However, job prospects were limited.
By reworking his resume and LinkedIn profile, and learning interviewing best practices, Vinod learned to better market himself.
Despite increasing competition in the wake of the pandemic, Vinod landed a 6-month contract as director of intellectual property at a higher annualized salary with the potential to go full-time.
After working eleven years as a solutions provider in the intellectual property (IP) and technology space in Ottawa, Vinod felt that growth potential was exhausted at his company, and even in Canada. He decided to explore opportunities in a new field with better long-term prospects and took a position as an artificial intelligence (AI) solutions manager at a young startup outside of Toronto. Soon after starting, Vinod realized the company was a poor fit and he wanted out. Only seven months into his new job, Vinod negotiated his departure and began jobhunting again – but this time he found himself at a big disadvantage.
“I was stuck. Most of my experience is in the intellectual property space. I was successful there, but in Canada there are few opportunities at my level. Meanwhile, I didn’t have enough experience in AI to target senior-level positions, and I wasn’t interested in junior-level jobs,” said Vinod. “In the U.S. there are more opportunities, but in the U.S. I need H-1B sponsorship.”
Although under pressure to land a job before eating up his savings, Vinod struggled to get his resume past applicant tracking systems (ATS). He had some good initial interviews in Detroit, but after he was ruled out of contention for several jobs by his need for an H-1B visa he decided to seek professional help. Vinod hired The Barrett Group (TBG).
“Working with Vivek [Vivek Agarwal, Vinod’s Executive Career Consultant and Program Manager] was fantastic,” said Vinod. “He gave me weekly assignments to work on, such as identifying my strengths and weaknesses in interviewing, improving my social capital, and identifying work experiences that might be valuable to a hiring manager.”
With the help of the TBG team, Vinod also polished up his LinkedIn profile and rewrote his resume to improve its chances of getting over the ATS hurdle. Vinod especially valued the experienced feedback from his interview coaching sessions.
“Vivek explained how to better market myself,” said Vinod. “He gave me great perspective on my mock interview responses and how to strengthen them. With his help, I learned how to discuss a weakness and make it sound like a positive attribute. I now feel more savvy and confident about how to answer interview questions.”
Like so many others, Vinod’s job search was stymied by the Covid-19 pandemic. An offer in March was quickly revoked. Another pending offer was postponed, then revoked. Just when he was on the point of panic in June, his networking efforts from months earlier finally bore fruit and Vinod was offered a 6-month, full-time contract position for a firm based in Seattle, for which Vinod’s skills align very well, with the intent to become permanent when the pandemic’s grip on the economy eases up.
“I am grateful this worked out. This position was very competitive and I feel lucky to have gotten it. I’m back in IP and, so far, it’s great!” said Vinod. “With luck, this job will turn into a full-time position. If it doesn’t, I will sync with Vivek again. Regardless, his coaching was valuable and will continue to be valuable.”