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The Davidson Group Blog

Avatars: Separating the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Scary

July 1st, 2014
Reposted with permission of Debra Wheatman, President of Careers Done Write 

An avatar is a digital photo or graphic image used to represent you online.  It may be your profile photo on LinkedIn or an image on your blog.  The purpose of the avatar is to help those in the virtual world connect with you when they are viewing your profile, reading your blog, or visiting your website. For many people, this is their first visual connection with you, so the task of choosing an avatar should not be taken lightly. Over the years, we have seen a lot of avatars…the good, the bad, and the downright scary!   Let’s examine avatars so you can select an image that supports your brand and helps others to connect with you.

Face Only

Do you ever see someone’s image and even after you enlarge it, you still can’t see the face?   The best way to form a connection with someone is through a headshot.  A headshot is just that, a tight photo of your face.  Headshots with a pleasant smile and eyes looking into the camera are proven to facilitate a connection with the reader.  Artsy side view photos (a la F. Scott Fitzgerald) or ones with eyes looking away exhibit body language of avoidance or distance. Aloof is not a good image when you want to connect with customers or potential employers.


Take the time to be sure your face and hair look great. Photoshop is an awesome tool to whiten the teeth a bit and smudge a wrinkle or two.  However, don’t go overboard.  Also, update your photo every couple of years.  You want to look appealing, but recognizable.

Professional Background

Do you notice the background when corporate CEOs, sports figures and politicians, give a statement?  The background is carefully set with a backdrop with logos, executive style office, or the iconic marble hall of Congress.  First, the backgrounds never distract from the speaker.  Secondly, they foster an image of professionalism.  Do the same with your headshot photo.  You can’t go wrong with a clean plain background.  Whatever you choose, make sure it is clean, uncluttered, and does not distract from your face.

Never Ever Make These Mistakes

There are certain things that are never appropriate for your avatar.  These choices scream, “Unprofessional!”   Avoid these mistakes:

  • The bathroom mirror selfie.
  • The unflattering snap of yourself looking into your laptop camera.
  • Holding phones or other props to simulate your work activities.
  • Vacation shots, especially beach shots or any shots in which you are not dressed professionally.
  • Photos with sports cars, motorcycles, boats, etc.
  • Photos with other people (this includes children, celebrities, and significant others).
  • Cartoons or celebrity photos.

Your avatar is your first contact with someone visiting your blog or Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook page.  Choose an image to engage the visitor and start a connection.  Everyone judges others based on their avatar. The truly scary images are often forwarded along with a comment, like “Can you believe this one?”  The good avatars prompt you to take a second look and continue reading the profile or blog.  People will feel as though they have a sense of who you are based on the genuine and professional headshot that you place online.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Debra Wheatman at Careers Done Write for permission to share her blog. She is an experienced human capital management strategist who will help you take the next step up your career ladder.

If you are ready to take the next steps in your career or if you would like us to help strengthen your organization, please contact The Davidson Group for executive placement   services.  Give us a call at 415-893-1020 or drop us a note at  You can search all of our current opportunities at

Talent Showcase – June 2014

June 25th, 2014

The Davidson Group is a leading recruitment agency serving the legal, technical, and finanacial industries.  Each month we highlight some of our best candidates.  Our June 2014 talent showcase includes:

Candidate #SK160908 – eDiscovery Executive Consultant – Midwest Region

Relevant Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Over 20 years of experience designing and implementing multiple electronic discovery solutions for AmLaw 250 firms and Fortune 500 companies, including collection services, processing requirements, review management and a set of comprehensive discovery management services.
  • Managed multiple e-discovery projects from pre-sales through post-sales implementation including several large pharmaceutical projects with data in excess of 20 terabytes.  Led a rapid response team for data collection, processing and review management at Sprint in response to the DOJ second request during the Sprint-Nextel merger.
  • Assisted clients in creating ESI content maps, document retention and preservation policies in order to avoid litigation or significantly reduce the implications of litigation and protect company assets including intellectual property.
  • Developed new information governance and e-discovery service offerings to augment SaaS solutions which increased both departmental revenue and customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Directed the largest legal hold in company history for top 10 IT firm including the development of custom workflows and on boarding processes for outside counsel to effectively review the contents of the various holds prior to Rule 26f conferences.
  • Exceeded quarterly publishing requirements via inquiry driven client interactions resulting in the position of most published analyst.  Provided actionable advice on client hardware and software purchases resulting in savings for one client of over $10M.
  • Created advisory service offerings for ROI analysis of mobile hardware and software implementations utilizing the total economic impact (TEI) framework resulting in over $1.8M in new business within the last year.
  • Proven leader by developing and managing the EPM and PPM consulting programs within Microsoft’s consulting services which in turn grew EA revenue levels by over 36% year on year.
  • Attained highest customer satisfaction ratings for Microsoft’s EPM program in company history.
  • Effective communicator between Legal and IT through attainment of Juris Doctorate and admission to state and federal bars combined with multiple technical certifications including MCSE, CNA, and OS2LA.
  • Attained certifications in multiple sales and consulting programs including the Holden Methodology, Effectiveness Institute, Gartner TCO and Giga TEI models.
  • Attained necessary government security clearances to lead projects involving the President’s helicopter and a new tanker for the USAF.
  • Developed secure process for protecting client IP and data while complying with ITAR and other governmental requirements.

For more information regarding this candidate or other candidates with similar qualifications, please contact or call us as 415-893-1020.


Candidate #SA230713 – Director of Business Development – Southwest Region

Relevant Experience:

  • 8 plus years of experience in the legal industry, serving as both a Senior Project Manager and a Sales Professional.
  • Managed large complex litigation involving multiple parties both domestically and internationally.
  • Built and managed a significant book of business that includes AmLaw 200 & Fortune 500 Corporations.
  • Strong Consultative and Relationship building skills.
  • Ability to build loyal, long lasting relationships, through a relentless focus on customer service.
  • Advised on emerging technologies, e.g. ECA, Project Management Software and Predictive Coding.
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Ability to listen to client needs and concerns in order to develop efficient and customized solutions and workflows.


  • Presidents Club award recipient for outstanding sales effort in 2009 and 2010.
  • Top 5 (out of 20 sales professionals) revenue producer 2009 through 2011.
  • Top 10 (out of 40 sales professionals) revenue producer in 2012.
  • Secured MSA’s with several AmLaw 200 law firms.
  • Built a book of business that consistently yielded $3 – $4 million dollars of revenue, annually.

For more information regarding this candidate or other candidates with similar qualifications, please contact or call us as 415-893-1020.


Candidate #AP030614 – Sales & Marketing Executive – North Territory

Relative Experience and Accomplishments:

  • 15 Years of financial services industry experience, including 7 years of leadership experience at the Director level
  • Ability to recruit, train, motivate and retain world-class sales professionals.
  • Created a process for consistent goal setting, tracking and measurement.
  • Developed a strong sales background at both the retail and wholesale levels, with proven success, notably:
    • Developed an aggressive strategy for consumer lending, increasing loan origination from 0 in 2006 to over 8,000 by June of 2012, and creating a loan portfolio of approximately $1.7 billion.
    • Instrumental in the opening of 103,000 new credit accounts between 2009 and 2012.
    • Drove the addition of over $2 Billion in assists into the firm’s depository products.
    • Led the firm in high-value client acquisition, with an incremental, year over year, lift of an average of 1.72 High Value Clients per advisor, (1500 advisor client base).
    • Positioned the parent company as a leader in the financial services industry to nearly 2000 prospects over two years through numerous speaking engagements.
  • Experienced working with cross-organizational teams consisting of both individual contributors, and CFO, EVP, and SVP level executives.
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills, as evidenced by numerous awards, including National Wholesaler of the Year for my former firm.

For more information regarding this candidate or other candidates with similar qualifications, please contact or call us as 415-893-1020.



Talent Showcase – May 2014

May 29th, 2014

The Davidson Group is a leading recruitment agency serving the legal, technical, and finanacial industries.  Each month we highlight some of our best candidates.  Our May 2014  talent showcase includes:

Director of Sales, Litigation Solutions – Northeast  

Strong sales leader with entrepreneurial drive and innovative strategic vision, specializing in new business and market growth penetration in legal industry for Fortune 500 Company for over 16 years.  Responsible for law firm, corporate and Government markets nationwide.

Relevant Experience:

  • Proven leadership track record managing teams through change and increasing revenue and profit margins by exceeding goals and executing on company initiatives.
  • Attorney with the ability to communicate and sell ideas both internally and externally to senior leadership in complex matrix organization through an analytical sales approach, collaboration and teamwork.
  • CPA with strong business acumen to accurately forecast and measure results, identify trends and improve operational efficiencies.


  • Exceeded annual new business goal of over $11m by over performing against plan at 121%, 122% and 135% respectively over the last 3 years as Director.
  • Motivated sales teams through development and implementation of compensation and incentive programs resulting in improvement in employee satisfaction scores and very low turnover.
  • Re-aligned sales structure to best leverage resources to maximize outcome within budget guidelines resulting in significant cost savings.
  • Improved collaboration and communication across matrix organization through partner programs, increased teamwork and greater communication.
  • Developed sales performance metrics to better track and evaluate health of opportunity pipelines to measure success and ensure accurate weekly forecasting.
  • Monitored industry trends and competitive threats to revise sales approach, pricing and influence Go To Market strategy.
  • Identified gap filler initiatives and new verticals to increase market share and revenue.

For more information regarding this candidate or other candidates with similar qualifications, please contact or call us as 415-893-1020.


Sales Executive/Sales Engineer – North Region


Increased revenue and profit; long-term client partnerships; account penetration; market driven business/product transformation

  • Developed and led sales team to increase aggregate close rate from 38% to >42.5% in one year
  • Personal Close Rate over two year period: 49.8% (124 new contracts) averaging $126k per win, as sold (before add-ons) (~50% new business)
  • Achieved historical corporate high annual personal close rate of 54.3% (Peer average for period: 31.9%)
  • Achieved corporate high individual quarterly close rate of 90.9% (Peer average for period: 31.1%)
  • Identified and brought to market new revenue generating services and product offerings

Relevant Experience and Skills

  • 15+ years in litigation support: Consulting Practice Leader; Sales Manager; Technical Sales Team Leader; Leading Technical Sales team member.
  • Managed day-to-day business of a $17MM consulting practice including corporate management for consultancy specializing in computer forensics, electronically stored information (ESI),  electronic information security (cyber security), and electronic discovery.   Managed sales team and activity for decentralized consultants
  • Leader of technical consultant team that consistently exceeded performance targets.  Direct B2B sales support, sales leadership cultivating relationships with internal and external customers (G1000, F500 and AM Law T200); perform needs analysis, developed and delivered client-centric solutions that meet business and profit goals.   Coached, mentored and trained staff, while maintaining responsibilities for personal sales performance
  • Provides continuity across entire EDRM (retention policy assessments, readiness assessments, response plans, data maps, application inventories, forensic investigations, paper/audio/video/electronic discovery, data processing/hosting/review/production, trial support. SaaS, enterprise software,  product demos (Relativity, Clearwell, Equivio Zoom, Method Legal Hold, Ontrack Inview, Ontrack Verve), pricing
  • Developed and implemented business transformation projects for Consulting Services; including: pricing model, time collection, Revenue Recognition Policy and consistent look and feel across client facing documents. Initiative led to a more client-centric offering, enhanced comprehension of proposals, contracts, reports and invoices.  Trained staff on new policies and procedures
  • Identified data needs and developed processes capturing broad range of sales performance and operations metrics providing greater visibility into market segmentation, sales trends and profitability.  Analyzed data and provided reports and recommendations to executives for business direction and GTM strategies
  • Accountable for sales funnel management and revenue forecasting
  • Collaborated closely with Product Line Management to develop GTM strategy and refine/restructure service offerings and pricing models in a dynamic environment
  • High frequency client contact; develops and enhances client relationships through active management and account penetration.  Effectively communicates complex technical concepts to varied audiences.  Identifies and confirms tangible and intangible benefits and risks of solution options.
  • Leads/controls large initiatives.  Active management of commitments and expectations of cross-functional/multi-disciplinary client stake holders and internal project teams; engaging appropriate subject matter experts (SMEs) as needed.
  • People leader – builds, focuses and motivates teams to deliver results in matrixed environments.
  • Miller Heiman Strategic Selling and Conceptual Selling techniques.


  • Consistently a top performer (personally and as manager/lead) based on contracts signed, close rate and revenue generation
  • Account Management – Identified opportunity and enhanced the relationship to build company’s largest customer account, leading to a $25 million per year relationship (recurring).  Identified opportunity and enhanced the relationship to build largest corporate account, leading to a $25 million per year relationship (recurring).  Included identifying and developing programs for raw data hosting/storage, managing international data sets (safe harbor, international privacy restrictions, file level decryption)
  • Conceived and implemented custom solution for storage and management of client data (hundreds of terabytes), championed the opportunity internally and achieved client approval, generating over $10 million per year
  • Data Breach response: Managed team in scoping, coordinating, executing and delivering one of the largest and most complex multi-department multi-business unit projects in company history. The project involved nearly all departments and creation/delivery of a new video evidence review service line. This emergency project required several hundred contract reviewers and was completed on-time and significantly exceeded profitability targets (>$3M revenue)
  • Developed and implemented department restructure, created more effective dialog between Sales, Operations/Service Delivery groups and Project Management – removed many challenges for effective communications between the groups, increased efficiency and enhanced customer experience, resulting in increased close rates, profitability and client retention

For more information regarding this candidate or other candidates with similar qualifications, please contact or call us as 415-893-1020.


Technology Sales & Marketing Executive – West Coast 


  • Top performing executive with over 18 years experience of results-driven success streamlining processes and creating greater firm revenues and efficiencies.
  • Focus on strategic and tactical sales, marketing and promotional implementations and executions.
  • Accomplished extensive achievement leading company profitability through growth and improved methodologies.
  • Have been associated with start-up boutique size to multibillion dollar companies, in both the US and Internationally, I have proven capability to cultivate lasting relationships in both internal and external business partnerships that benefitted all and increased revenue.
  • Previously contracted with Major Silicon Valley Corporations.
  • Among other levels of overall tenure and experience, as an E-Discovery Sales Professional, I possess a strong knowledge of the Electronic Discovery life-cycle as well as the E-Discovery software marketplace, and clearly have a handle on and understand the competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • In this market-specific sales force I have experience selling forensic data collection, data processing, production, hosting and/or attorney review services.
  • Additionally, I possess the ability to develop and maintain long-term relationships with C-level executives and Corporate Counsel members of Fortune 500 Corporations, including Partners and Shareholders of AMLAW 100.
  • I maintain a consultative selling style and am a top performer that will drive new sales, as well as bring in repeat business from existing clients.

For more information regarding this candidate or other candidates with similar qualifications, please contact or call us at 415-893-1020.





Build Your Professional Brand in Three Steps

April 10th, 2014
Reposted with permission of Debra Wheatman, President of Careers Done Write

Brand Blog Image 1




What is your professional brand? Are you the finance guy, the consulting guru, the turnaround CEO, or the hedge fund manager who retired at 30? If you can narrow down your career to three words, I would say you are winning. For the rest of us, however, we may have a number of skills that all may not complement the other; our professional brand, or summary value proposition, can get muddled. Here are three tips on how to get your professional brand in order.

  1. Simplify your multi-page CV into a two-page executive resume. Do you have a long 5- or 6-page CV with every conceivable detail on it? Who is going to read that? Your brand will not come through on a document that long. Narrow down what you’ve done in key stops in your career, leaving in pieces relevant to the brand you want to establish. Cut out the rest. Short and sweet is best and don’t forget to give the examples and results.
  2. Update your online presence so it is consistent with your resume. If your resume says one thing, your LinkedIn profile should mirror the \ same message (Notice I did not say mirror the same thing).Brand Blog Image 2 Control your online presence so that recruiters can understand the skills and achievements that make you a valued contributor in your field.
  3. Obtain  an industry certification and network via professional organizations. Perhaps the easiest way to add credibility to your profile is to demonstrate your ongoing knowledge and industry commitment. Awareness of trends and changes, as well as keeping a focus on your own growth demonstrates that you mean business – something that a potential employer will appreciate.

Building a solid and well-respected brand takes time; it is not something that happens overnight. Start shaping your brand by reviewing your background and what your marketing message says. Create something of an outline for yourself regarding what you want the outside world to know about you. Use the information to add value to your professional documents and online presence. You will continue to refine this over time, so you deliver the most compelling message.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Debra Wheatman at Careers Done Write for permission to share her blog. She is an experienced human capital management strategist who will help you take the next step up your career ladder. 

If you are ready to take the next steps in your career or if you would like us to help strengthen your organization, please contact The Davidson Group for executive placement   services.  Give us a call at 415-893-1020 or drop us a note at  You can search all of our current opportunities at Read the rest of this entry »

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