1 Way To Make An Extra $10,000 As A Contractor

Raise your contractor rate

Hey there Ms./Mr. Contractor/Consultant, 2019 is approaching and you’re likely planning your year. As a part of that you are thinking about projects, how many billable hours you are targeting, rates, taxes, expenses, etc.

Here is one way to make an extra $10K next year…


Step back for a moment and ask yourself this question, “When was the last time I raised my rate?”

If it has been more than 24 months (I’m guessing for many of you it is more than that) let me ask you this question, “Are you the same contractor now, as then?”

If the answer is yes then, well… keep your rate.

If you are smarter, better, more efficient and have 2-3 more tools in your toolbelt since the last time you raised your rates… then do it.

At least try.

It’s that part that seems to be the barrier… you don’t ask. If you don’t ask, how do you know if it is possible?

Do the following right now and make it look as sharp as possible:

  • Update your web site

  • Update your resume

  • Update your LinkedIn profile

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Tech Career Advice: Take Control Of Finding Your Next Job

ctrlI am seeing a trend lately with the conversations I am having with tech pros… and I am not sure if it is because I have been attending more tech events and meetups so these conversations find me, if it is because many tech pros have hit a tipping point with their (dead end) conversations with recruiters or this is a natural progression in a long bull market economy (people are proactively doing a search)…

Tech pros are starting to take control of where they land next.

Conversations generally sound like this, “I usually wait for a search firm or corporate tech recruiter to reach out to me about a job and if the timing is right, I take a look at it. Now I am actively seeking out companies and roles I want and reaching out to them directly.”


YES!!! <= how I usually respond.

I get that your busy writing code, managing a team, architecting the app, listening to end users, keeping the system running and keeping board members informed and happy.

But to leave to chance that a corporate recruiter or search firm recruiter has your next dream job is freaking crazy.

Should you pay attention to the inquiries?


Should you rely on those being the only opportunities that are available to you?


There are some easy ways to stay in touch with what is going on including:

Take control.

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My Minnebar 2018 Presentation: Managing Your IT Career v10 (Why Recruiters Suck So Bad)

Paul DeBettignies at Minnebar 13

Minnestar sent out their email newsletter today and I saw after the Minnedemo 31 save the date for February 7 at Pantages Theater and the Minnebar 14 save the date for April 27th at Best Buy HQ’s… there is a note that Minnebar 13 session were posted in the past days and one of the videos in the image is mine.

And I thought… oh (bleep), did I say anything stupid that was caught on the audio?

So I am listening to it and taking notes for you here so you know ahead of time if this has some value to you. I’m talking about:

  • Why “Why Recruiters Suck So Bad” is in my session title. And no, I don’t think all recruiters suck. And I explain why some tech pros think we do

  • I do a quick intro of me and worked in that the “Badgers Suck”. I look forward to having a picture of Paul Bunyan’s Axe

  • Then clients who I was working with phData (Big Data consulting), Daugherty Business Solutions (IT Consultants) & Livefront (iOS & Android Dev’s and Designers)

  • My love for Prime Digital Academy

  • I mention the MSP on Deck podcast and CoCo now Fueled Collective

  • What the local job market is like and I use terms like funky, churn and weird

  • Why tech salaries seem stagnant

  • Why Midwest employers seem slow to hire Junior Dev’s

  • How to find potential employers that are not well known (and a what is going on in St Paul)

Continue reading "My Minnebar 2018 Presentation: Managing Your IT Career v10 (Why Recruiters Suck So Bad)" »

Minneapolis And St Paul Recruiter Jobs

Recruiter Jobs

The following have been added to the page by Minneapolis and St Paul employers:

How to post a job (it’s free)?

Send the content (preferably in Word) along with a link or email for folks to apply to paul@mnheadhunter.com

And check out Midwest Recruiting Bootcamp for recruiting and hiring manager conferences and conversations about recruiting in and to Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota and the Midwest:

Midwest Recruiting Bootcamp

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Minnesota Recruiter Jobs.

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Poll: Most Promising Minnesota Startup

Minnesota Most Promising Startup

The Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal has their annual poll open for voting => “What's the most promising Minnesota startup of 2018?”

This year’s list:

That’s a sweet list of groups and all of them are doing well. All of them are hiring with the exception of HabitAware… they will be doing it in 2019.

Of course… after spending the past seven weeks with Dispatch I am cheering them on. Click and bookmark Dispatch Careers to see what they have going on.

I’m also a fan of my friends at HabitAware, Foodsby and Sezzle.

As is noted… “This poll is not a scientific sampling. It offers a quick view of what readers are thinking.”

The poll is open until the 14th so if you have a moment cast one more vote this year… this time for the most promising Minnesota Startup.

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10 Minutes With Neal Tovsen, CTO, Consultant And Tech Community Supporter

Neal Tovsen

“10 Minutes With…” is a blog series where I get to promote old friends, friends of friends, new people I have met and those who are doing cool and interesting things in Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota and the Midwest. The title of the series originates from me being well known notorious for asking, “Hey, do you have 10 minutes for a quick call?” It’s never 10 minutes. It’s never a short call.

This edition is with Neal Tovsen… he is a long time coder, advisor, entrepreneur and volunteer. We briefly bumped into each other at Minnedemo during Twin Cities Startup Week but didn’t get a chance to get fully caught up. I start with some background (for you) questions and then to what I was wondering about with what he is doing now, learning more about “Fractional CTO” and where he has been hanging out.

What were your early days in technology like? Were you playing games, writing code?

I’ve always been fascinated by technology. My mother was a software engineer, and she taught me how to program in BASIC on an Apple III when I was about seven years old. But though I played games on computers and consoles, I really wasn’t particularly interested in computers through high school.

I went to Hamline University for physics and engineering, and I’d been using the early tools on the Internet for various things. But when the first Web browsers came out, I was hooked. I worked with the school to develop a new major around how people use technology, weaving elements of traditional computer science with things like mass/interpersonal communications, information technology, and other relevant majors. And the rest is history.

Tell me about your career so far… where have you been and what have you worked on?

The first dozen years or so of my career were in “enterprise” software engineering. I built software for companies like 3M, GE Power, Siemens, and other large corporations, both as an employee and as a consultant. My experience spans many industries, but much of what I did revolved round either industrial machine data networks (i.e. power grids, trucking fleets, etc) or how companies buy things (payments, procurement, supply chain, expense management, etc).

In 2009, I decided I wanted to try building my own product/company, and started what became TelemetryWeb, a cloud platform for industrial machine data and the Internet of Things. We had customers and revenue, but after three years we made the tough decision to shut it down. Even though we failed, it was an amazing experience. The tech start-up community taught me a ton about how products/businesses are created, changed the way I look at the world at a fundamental level, and connected me to a network of amazing people that I love to work with.

Almost immediately after we shut down TelemetryWeb, I co-founded Apruve, a payment platform for B2B e-commerce. I stepped away from the company in 2015 to focus on my family, but this was another amazing experience. I’m very grateful that my friends still work there and the company continues to grow.

My favorite part about being a tech nerd is that my skills are applicable to almost any company in almost any industry. So while I’ve developed deep subject matter expertise in some key industries, I’ve had the opportunity to gain experience across dozens of industries.

Continue reading "10 Minutes With Neal Tovsen, CTO, Consultant And Tech Community Supporter" »

Minneapolis And St Paul Tech Jobs

Minnesota IT Jobs

The following have been added to the page…

Friends who are hiring:

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Minnesota Recruiters In Demand–Fall 2018

Minnesota Recruiters In Demand

This year I have had a lot of conversations about the 2018 spike in demand for Recruiters and Sourcers (corporate, consulting and search firm). In August I put some data together for the first time => .

Above is the chart through November 2018. I get that those data points and lines are a bit messy. Here is what you need to know… that top line, that’s 2018. By far the most Minnesota recruiter jobs I have posted.

Here is another way too look at it:

18 - 11 Minnesota Recruiters In Demand Fall 2018 Raw DataThe column on the left is the year and the column on the right the total number of jobs posted that year. Through November I have posted 378 jobs. If you take the next top two years and add them together you are less than this years total through November.

So what does this suggest… these are my opinions that combine my experience and from speaking with labor analysts, CEO’s and peers. Some of these may be making impact more than others and know these are “in general” and not “absolute”:

  • Recruiter and HR groups have been understaffed for a long time. We’re finally getting our teams to the size they should have been a long time ago.

  • Recruiters are in demand so Recruiters are looking and moving around a lot. There’s a ripple effect for sure.

  • We have very low unemployment in most job categories causing greater stress on the business to grow resulting in more attention to recruiting.

  • Some groups are stepping up and getting more aggressive/serious about recruiting. #ItsAboutTime

  • I think this was the peak and we will not see numbers like these again for a long time.

  • Staying away from politics… the economy is likely to slow down a bit so the frenetic pace many recruiters have been maintaining will be reduced to “really busy” or something more normal.

  • There should be a continued low employment rate in the region for the next six months.

I’ll likely think of some more points and add them later.

Some things to know:

  • This is not a scientific set of data… it shows trends.

  • I post jobs that are sent to me or that companies have said that if I see them post something then I can add it too. It is not a data set of all the Recruiter jobs that are, have been available.

  • 90%+ of the jobs posted are corporate recruiter roles. Infrequently I get a consulting or search firm role to post.

  • Labor markets are lagging economic indicators

  • I’ve been doing this a long time and the Minnesota Recruiter community generally knows about this site so I don’t think there is any other “influence” that inflates the numbers other than demand.

This is how I am seeing it and I gladly take Twitter and LinkedIn comments and email to hear what you are seeing.

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Survey: Two Page Resumes Better Than One Page Resumes

Resume Template

Ahhhh yes… the long and frequently debated question, how long should a resume be?

Many years ago I mostly joked, with a side of serious, that I wanted to get 5 Recruiter and HR friends around a table with 7 bottles of wine and video/audio record the conversation that would include this question… how long should a resume be?

My guess is I would end up with 7 or 8 different answers. That some of my friends would end up contradicting themselves.

My answer to, “How long should my resume be” has been the same for as long as I can remember… not one line longer than it takes to get someone to want to talk with you.

I get that is subjective and we all don’t have a sense of what is too much or too little. If you’re cutting your resume short to fit onto a page, it’s likely too short. If you have 10 bullet points for every employer going back 10+ years it’s likely too long.

So maybe not a perfect answer just like the one page resume or only two page resume is not perfect.

“They say…” is what we always hear. “They say recent college grads should only have a one page resume.” Who the heck is “they” and who made them the all knowing on the subject. Oh, likely those who anoint themselves an “expert”.

Have you caught on to my sarcasm yet?

Some research from Resume Go with => Settling the Debate: One or Two Page Resumes

“Despite the common arguments given on the matter, there is little to no empirical data to support either side. In fact, so-called “experts” often base their conclusions on individual preferences and unsubstantiated claims from random sources. Furthermore, recruitment methods and the hiring landscape are constantly evolving, so what may have been true in the past may no longer be the case today.”

Some data:

One Page Resume Or TwoI don’t think they “settled the debate” with this one simulation but it is some interesting data. And it has me sticking to my advice… not any longer than it needs to be to get me or someone like me to call you back. However many pages that is.

My guess is, in the next two weeks we’ll see a major “expert” refute this and the debate will go on.

It’s worth noting that most applicant tracking systems (ATS) put resume content into fields so once it is in the system and without clicking on the original document… we don’t usually know how many pages it was.

If you are a Recruiter or in HR and want to try my wine experiment… send me an email Smile

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MSP On Deck Podcast #25: Atland Ventures, State Of Junior Developer Hiring And Tech Conversations

MSP On Deck Podcast

We start this podcast light on news so it allow us to dig into a few topics deeper than we might usually do.

Casey starts by talking about Atland Ventures… an investment group made up of students at the University if Minnesota. Casey walks us through how it started and how it works. They have already made investments in Structural and Dispatch. 100 students applied to the program and only 8 were accepted

I ask for a definition of “seed round” because I think numbers varying from $500,000 to a few million.

I briefly suggest a future podcast should be Kathy, Casey and I starting a company.

We move on to me and a bit of a rant… OK, it is a rant. I am frustrated with how the tech industry says it needs workers and young people should focus on STEM classes yet, companies do not seem very eager to hire them out of college or a coding bootcamp. So, how does that work then if we don’t hire them now how will they ever become the 3-5 year developer that is in such huge demand?

I go off on a number of tangents… I’m telling you, I am frustrated with companies (not just here in Minneapolis, St Paul and the Midwest) and the tech industry as a whole.

I also invite companies who are recruiting, hiring, onboarding and mentoring well to give up some of their “secret sauce”. Let’s a get a few groups to share their ideas and have an event in 2019.

And… I’d like to know what you think about this topic. You may be a recent college or bootcamp grad, an online learner, hiring manager, recruiter or CTO. What do you think are the issues? Send me a note paul@mnheadhunter.com

We do something new… we each talk about a recent conversation we had that listeners may find interesting.

Casey starts with a conversation he had a with a founder who is not taking outside money. I was super interested to hear Casey’s take on the topic because so often conversations in the startup space are about raising money. This really got me thinking and I loved when Casey said that most entrepreneurs should not raise money.

I talk about how I think most people are trying to recruit without actually engaging people. It’s bonkers to me. It’s like we don’t want to talk to people. We don’t want to learn about them, what their dreams and fears are or what they really want to do. We just want to check off a list and if they have enough check marks we’ll get back to them. That’s a horrible way to build teams. It’s a terrible way to do business in this (your) town.

Kathy talks about a conversation she had with Parker Schlank, CEO of Travel Labs. They are a startup and raised $500,000. They are recommending flights and travel arrangements for travelers based on previous trips and behavior. It’s a cool concept and has companies already testing it out.

We get into dares and Kathy starts with inflatable colons (as in the organ). Serious.

To connect with Kathy, Casey and MSP On Deck:

Kathy Grayson

Casey Allen:

MSP On Deck

And click MSP On Deck Podcast Is Live And Focusing On The Minnesota Tech And Startup Scene if you are new to this and wondering how it came to be.

Here we go…

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