Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How you just lost my interest in your job search

There are some things candidates do that make recruiters crazy. I recently spoke to a man about a position I believed he might be qualified for, but his resume listed no technologies.

He is a desktop technician, a support analyst, a help desk, configuration, deskside, tech support sort of guy: Let's call him Guy. The job description called out a few technologies such as Windows operating systems, Active Directory and working on PCs in a networked environment. Judging from the companies he has listed, I think he's a likely candidate.

Also, I believe that a bad resume doesn't mean someone isn't qualified, so I called him about the job. I kicked off the conversation with Guy, whom I have met in person once before, by explaining that I needed to verify some technology and oh, by the way, why isn't there any technology on your resume?

He wants to keep his resume to one page. One page! His resume goes back to 1998 and he has had five decent, technology-industry jobs, so that means he has to leave something out. He chooses to leave out technology.

Lesson 1: Don't get so caught up in the "rules" you've heard in the past that you get left behind. 

I explained how resumes are read by databases and when a resume like his is searched for keywords that are basic to his experience, his resume will never show up as a search result. To his credit, he seemed concerned about that and I am hoping to get a more appropriate resume from him soon.

I still think he is qualified, so I dive into the job description to cover certain aspects of the job because it is possible he is missing one or two key elements. I'll recap the most baffling parts of the conversation:

Me: Do you have experience with Windows XP and Windows 7?
Guy: I have very little experience with 7. Only three or four of my clients used it.
Me: Do you have experience working on PCs in a networked environment?
Guy: Well, I can't patch networks or configure routers. They need a network administrator.
Me: This is not a network administrator job. They want a first level PC tech.
Guy: I did help convert XYZ Company from token ring to Ethernet.
Me: This job simply calls for someone with experience on PCs that are connected to a LAN.
Guy: I always assume they want someone with middleware experience.

Lesson 2: I can't make you want the job. 

I'm not sure if Guy is simply confused or if he doesn't want the job, but at this point, I'm not questioning his skills, I'm questioning how he will do in an interview. Maybe I haven't completely lost interest, but for a level 1 help desk job candidate, I now see that he is going to take a great deal of time and effort on my part and he could still shoot himself in the foot in an interview.

There are many ways you could lose a recruiter and then wonder why they never get in touch with you again. Many recruiters will stop after a contact like the one I'm describing. Carefully consider if you've ever been in Guy's position before.

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That is probably the best interview advice I have have ever received!!! ~Neal C.

I wanted to talk to you again before this interview because you really geek interview tips. ~Chad T.

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