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  1. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Candidates I am Interviewing

    I've decided I am going to start writing about the interviews I am giving at my current job. I will, of course, not be naming names and mixing up the dates on which people are being interviewed.

    But I think it will be good for job searchers to kind of see things from the other perspective.

    Here are the skills that were posted:

    Required skills
    · Fundamental understanding of Networking
    · PC and Server Hardware
    · Familiarity with WSS v3.0
    · Windows Active Directory administration
    · Exchange Server 2003/2007
    · Basic Linux
    · Good troubleshooting skills and the ability to learn on your feet
    Desired
    · SQL Server querying
    · Windows PowerShell scripting
    · Basic familiarity with ASP.NET/C#
    Certifications a Plus
    MCSA/MCSE, MCITP, Linux+
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  3. Senior Member xmalachi's Avatar
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    #2
    Are we going to get an analysis of each candidate? Such as, what the person did negatively/positively in the interview? I think this would be extremely helpful to the guys that are currently searching for work.
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  4. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #3
    Just out of curiosity, what is the title of this position and what is the estimated salary. Based on what you listed, I think my next leap will be into a role similar to this one.

    From what you listed, I lack; sharepoint, exchange, SQL, ASP.Net, and my powershell skills likely aren't what you are looking for.
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  5. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by xmalachi View Post
    Are we going to get an analysis of each candidate? Such as, what the person did negatively/positively in the interview? I think this would be extremely helpful to the guys that are currently searching for work.
    +1 I am eager to learn
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  6. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #5
    I would be lacking most everything but would like to learn by reading about your process.
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  7. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by xmalachi View Post
    Are we going to get an analysis of each candidate? Such as, what the person did negatively/positively in the interview? I think this would be extremely helpful to the guys that are currently searching for work.
    Yes. But I will not start doing this right away. Since I use my real name here I don't want it to be obvious who I am discussing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devilsbane View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what is the title of this position and what is the estimated salary. Based on what you listed, I think my next leap will be into a role similar to this one.
    Network Administrator - I will not give specifics about the salary. But it is around $37K.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devilsbane View Post
    From what you listed, I lack; sharepoint, exchange, SQL, ASP.Net, and my powershell skills likely aren't what you are looking for.
    I could work with this. The jobs pays low, but there is time to learn things as you go.

    The issues that I am seeing in resumes I'm getting is that they are not specific enough about the basics. I need to know that this person can manage the domain and understand why we have things set up the way we do. You might not be able to set up an Exchange server but can you create a new user in AD and ensure they have email access? The resumes are just too generic. I need concrete info about skills and I'm not really getting it.

    One guy's resume has nothing about MS AD in it at all. He's got an NT 4 era MCP and NT experience. Am I supposed to be impressed with this? 1998 was light years ago in IT. Just not enough info in his current job listing to tell me about his admin skills.
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  8. Senior Member xmalachi's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKaucher View Post
    Yes. But I will not start doing this right away. Since I use my real name here I don't want it to be obvious who I am discussing.


    Network Administrator - I will not give specifics about the salary. But it is around $37K.



    I could work with this. The jobs pays low, but there is time to learn things as you go.

    The issues that I am seeing in resumes I'm getting is that they are not specific enough about the basics. I need to know that this person can manage the domain and understand why we have things set up the way we do. You might not be able to set up an Exchange server but can you create a new user in AD and ensure they have email access? The resumes are just too generic. I need concrete info about skills and I'm not really getting it.

    One guy's resume has nothing about MS AD in it at all. He's got an NT 4 era MCP and NT experience. Am I supposed to be impressed with this? 1998 was light years ago in IT. Just not enough info in his current job listing to tell me about his admin skills.
    Definitely understandable that you won't be starting right away. I think that candidates need to craft their resumes more for the jobs that they are applying to. I think most people have a single resume and just post it out to everyone regardless of the positions requirements. I think most people need to remember that they are trying to sell themselves to an organization so why would you sell yourself short by being lazy? This is something that I have been trying to work on more when applying to jobs lately. I can't say that I am perfect and I am sometimes lazy and just shoot off a resume but you are already touching on important thoughts for this process.
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  9. I eat bubbles Alif_Sadida_Ekin's Avatar
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    #8
    I can already tell that I'm going to learn a lot from this thread.
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  10. Old Grumpy cablegod's Avatar
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    #9
    Interesting. Career moves are a lot like Hold 'Em poker to me. I'm pretty good at one of 'em

    I started out at my current job with a little experience and determination that I was going to make in IT and loved learning everything I could. (Call it pocket Aces)

    I spent a LOT of time learning on my feet and after-hours labbing & studying= Flopped A Q Q

    I got many certifications along the way with slight pay raises = Turn comes as a K.

    I push all in with confidence *hoping* that someone hit their set of Queens or Kings. Here is where I had a private meeting with my CFO, CEO, and COO and discussed where I was and what I thought I was worth. There were no threats from me, just discussing what I have done and where "we" are going moving forward. It went very well, and got my compensation a bit over what I was expecting, call it a 100% raise.

    That is where I got the 4th A on the river. The first guy had pocket Queens to hit quad-queens, and thought he had won by calling my all-in raise. The guy by him was excited to see his pocket Kings make a set to match the QQ on the board for a full-house, Kings over Queens. He called too. They were sure they had it until I dropped the AA-bomb
    on them. Had they thought I was bluffing, I had 2 written offers in the hole. Remember, I never threatened them once, nor did I imply that I would start "looking". I had the goods from the get-go.

    The morale is, if you think about pushing hard for a large raise or salary "adjustment", make SURE you have the goods to elsewhere at the drop of a hat. Don't go into a gunfight with a mouse gun or knife.
    Last edited by cablegod; 07-21-2010 at 04:13 AM.
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  11. Senior Member phantasm's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by cablegod View Post
    Interesting. Career moves are a lot like Hold 'Em poker to me. I'm pretty good at one of 'em

    I started out at my current job with a little experience and determination that I was going to make in IT and loved learning everything I could. (Call it pocket Aces)

    I spent a LOT of time learning on my feet and after-hours labbing & studying= Flopped A Q Q

    I got many certifications along the way with slight pay raises = Turn comes as a K.

    I push all in with confidence *hoping* that someone hit their set of Queens or Kings. Here is where I had a private meeting with my CFO, CEO, and COO and discussed where I was and what I thought I was worth. There were no threats from me, just discussing what I have done and where "we" are going moving forward. It went very well, and got my compensation a bit over what I was expecting, call it a 100% raise.

    That is where I got the 4th A on the river. The first guy had pocket Queens to hit quad-queens, and thought he had won by calling my all-in raise. The guy by him was excited to see his pocket Kings make a set to match the QQ on the board for a full-house, Kings over Queens. He called too. They were sure they had it until I dropped the AA-bomb
    on them. Had they thought I was bluffing, I had 2 written offers in the hole. Remember, I never threatened them once, nor did I imply that I would start "looking". I had the goods from the get-go.

    The morale is, if you think about pushing hard for a large raise or salary "adjustment", make SURE you have the goods to elsewhere at the drop of a hat. Don't go into a gunfight with a mouse gun or knife.

    For sake of perspective: I got pocket Kings a few weeks ago. I bet triple the big-blind. I get only one caller. Flop comes AAK. I light-up inside, but show nothing on the surface. I check. Dude bets 4x the big blind. I put on a show and wait for a bit and "reluctantly" call.

    The turn is nothing significant. I check, he checks.

    River card is insignificant.

    I check, he moves all-in and I call in about .0000001 nanosecond after. I am SURE I have it.

    He rolls over AK. I don't even show my cards.

    I'll never forget that when he plays with our group from now on.
    You lost me man.... real frickin' quick like I might add. lol.
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  12. Tech Monkey
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by cablegod View Post
    Interesting. Career moves are a lot like Hold 'Em poker to me. I'm pretty good at one of 'em

    I started out at my current job with a little experience and determination that I was going to make in IT and loved learning everything I could. (Call it pocket Aces)

    I spent a LOT of time learning on my feet and after-hours labbing & studying= Flopped A Q Q

    I got many certifications along the way with slight pay raises = Turn comes as a K.

    I push all in with confidence *hoping* that someone hit their set of Queens or Kings. Here is where I had a private meeting with my CFO, CEO, and COO and discussed where I was and what I thought I was worth. There were no threats from me, just discussing what I have done and where "we" are going moving forward. It went very well, and got my compensation a bit over what I was expecting, call it a 100% raise.

    That is where I got the 4th A on the river. The first guy had pocket Queens to hit quad-queens, and thought he had won by calling my all-in raise. The guy by him was excited to see his pocket Kings make a set to match the QQ on the board for a full-house, Kings over Queens. He called too. They were sure they had it until I dropped the AA-bomb
    on them. Had they thought I was bluffing, I had 2 written offers in the hole. Remember, I never threatened them once, nor did I imply that I would start "looking". I had the goods from the get-go.

    The morale is, if you think about pushing hard for a large raise or salary "adjustment", make SURE you have the goods to elsewhere at the drop of a hat. Don't go into a gunfight with a mouse gun or knife.

    For sake of perspective: I got pocket Kings a few weeks ago. I bet triple the big-blind. I get only one caller. Flop comes AAK. I light-up inside, but show nothing on the surface. I check. Dude bets 4x the big blind. I put on a show and wait for a bit and "reluctantly" call.

    The turn is nothing significant. I check, he checks.

    River card is insignificant.

    I check, he moves all-in and I call in about .0000001 nanosecond after. I am SURE I have it.

    He rolls over AK. I don't even show my cards.

    I'll never forget that when he plays with our group from now on.
    Finally an analogy I can understand, . It's nice to see I'm not the only Poker Brat hanging around here, lol.
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  13. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by phantasm View Post
    You lost me man.... real frickin' quick like I might add. lol.

    You must not play poker...much like those guys on Top Shot in the last elimination challenge (really good marksmanship competition on the History Channel).

    I for one got and enjoyed the little poker analogy. Basically what he's saying is if you got a good hand (offer), don't push all in (don't push too hard at your boss), but rather slow play it a bit and see what the other players (the company) does. Based on the betting action, you can either go all in or trap (accept other offer or your company's counter-offer).

    I have sat through 2 interviews myself as a technical lead. The one guy I liked, but his skillset was lacking, and he was asking for a salary that was close to what my boss makes. The other person had no skillset whatsoever. Couldn't even spell SQL, let alone write a query. (Not kidding...)
    Last edited by erpadmin; 07-20-2010 at 04:56 AM. Reason: marksmanship spelling... :)
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  14. Senior Member phantasm's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by erpadmin View Post
    You must not play poker...much like those guys on Top Shot in the last elimination challenge (really good markmenship competition on the History Channel).

    I for one got and enjoyed the little poker analogy. Basically what he's saying is if you got a good hand (offer), don't push all in (don't push too hard at your boss), but rather slow play it a bit and see what the other players (the company) does. Based on the betting action, you can either go all in or trap (accept other offer or your company's counter-offer).

    I have sat through 2 interviews myself as a technical lead. The one guy I liked, but his skillset was lacking, and he was asking for a salary that was close to what my boss makes. The other person had no skillset whatsoever. Couldn't even spell SQL, let alone write a query. (Not kidding...)
    Last time I played poker it was the strip kind, I was hammered and she was cute. That was 14yrs ago. lol. I watch Top Shot as well, I understood their poker hands, just couldn't track on that analogy. lol. Thank you for explaining it.
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  15. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by phantasm View Post
    Last time I played poker it was the strip kind, I was hammered and she was cute. That was 14yrs ago. lol. I watch Top Shot as well, I understood their poker hands, just couldn't track on that analogy. lol. Thank you for explaining it.

    Ahhh...many of those myself in my drunken frat-boy days. That and many of the games found in the Beerfest movie. Though where I'm from, "Beirut" is what we call Beer Pong. Ahhh...good times.

    In any event, glad I could help out, and to cablegod, really great analogy.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled thread.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKaucher View Post
    One guy's resume has nothing about MS AD in it at all. He's got an NT 4 era MCP and NT experience. Am I supposed to be impressed with this? 1998 was light years ago in IT. Just not enough info in his current job listing to tell me about his admin skills.
    If the guy has been working in support all the time since he got those certs initially, likelyhood is he should be an experienced admin... Then again, he may have been in a company that never upgraded well and are still on old technology and he is eager to bring his skill set to the modern environment.

    Techies are notoriously bad at writing down what they can do, especially in a resume. I think this may be partly because they don't like blowing their own trumpet, even on a resume strangely enough, or somehow writing a particular ability down on paper somehow detracts from the skill and experience it takes to do it. We're a big weird bunch of misfits!
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  17. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaminsky View Post
    If the guy has been working in support all the time since he got those certs initially, likelyhood is he should be an experienced admin... Then again, he may have been in a company that never upgraded well and are still on old technology and he is eager to bring his skill set to the modern environment.

    Techies are notoriously bad at writing down what they can do, especially in a resume. I think this may be partly because they don't like blowing their own trumpet, even on a resume strangely enough, or somehow writing a particular ability down on paper somehow detracts from the skill and experience it takes to do it. We're a big weird bunch of misfits!
    Yes, I totally agree with you. I am certain that he is experienced in AD administration, but I could not tell from his resume and if I had more than just a few I would probably pass him over, though.
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    how long are the resumes you are getting? 1 or 2 pages or more?

    how long do you prefer?
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  19. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ajs1976 View Post
    how long are the resumes you are getting? 1 or 2 pages or more?

    how long do you prefer?
    Usually 2 pages. I think that is fine. More than that and I would find it hard to see how they would remain relevent to the poisition.

    To some people this might seem like I am being picky, but one person listed the following skill...
    * Network Administration - Windows Server 2005/07
    Make sure you have a friend go over your resume who knows something about the subject as well.

    Either this guy is full of crap or really lacks attention to detail.
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  20. Virtual Member undomiel's Avatar
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    #19
    You say that the resumes you are getting are not specific enough but in your job listing you aren't really upping the ante either. I hope you don't mind me tearing into it a bit.

    · Fundamental understanding of Networking

    This doesn't tell too much. Someone may think they have a fundamental understanding of networking because they know that you plug a network cable into a PC and it is magically able to talk to things on the network. Maybe if you asked them how they'd use wireshark or network monitor to troubleshoot a DNS issue. Let's get a bit more specific here.

    · Fundamental understanding of Networking (You better be able to show me how you'd use the OSI model for troubleshooting and tell me how DNS works)

    · PC and Server Hardware

    This one you could probably eliminate. Save it for the interview. Most likely any candidate that shows the required expertise in other areas will either have this or will be able to pick it up quickly.

    · Familiarity with WSS v3.0

    Again I would go for some more specifics on this. I'm not too familiar with WSS myself so I can't really construct a fair alternative but here's a shot:

    · Familiarity with WSS v3.0 (So what would you do if users started getting 403 errors on the site?)

    · Windows Active Directory administration

    Tooting the broken horn but more specifics would help here. What you put here will really help the candidate gauge if they are experienced enough for the position, since AD administration can cover such a wide range of material. Are you looking for someone who can just simply create AD accounts, reset passwords, and recognize an OU when they see it? Or do they need to be able to design group policy, administer myriad trust relationships and be completely comfortable with breaking out adsiedit to fix that mailbox that just isn't quite working right? That's one that could really use clarification.

    · Exchange Server 2003/2007

    Here also are you just looking for someone who can create a mailbox and notify the higher ups when the queue is backing up or should they be able to design a migration from 2003 to 2007 from top to bottom?

    · Basic Linux

    Could use a bit more clarification. Do they need to know how to use the cli or just point and click around Ubuntu?

    · Good troubleshooting skills and the ability to learn on your feet

    This one can also be eliminated. The candidate won't be able to evaluate for you whether they have good troubleshooting skills and can learn swiftly, but you may be able to dig that out in the interview.

    I liked these two:
    · SQL Server querying
    · Windows PowerShell scripting

    Since they were a bit more specific. You pretty much either know how to write a script or you don't. Maybe put in that a script portfolio would be a plus. That's one way for a candidate to stand out a bit, since most everyone I've seen doesn't even think of putting together a portfolio of scripts and network documentation.

    Just a few recommendations from how I would do it to give the submitters a slightly better chance to make themselves stand out.
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  21. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by undomiel View Post
    ...
    · Fundamental understanding of Networking

    This doesn't tell too much. Someone may think they have a fundamental understanding of networking because they know that you plug a network cable into a PC and it is magically able to talk to things on the network. Maybe if you asked them how they'd use wireshark or network monitor to troubleshoot a DNS issue. Let's get a bit more specific here.

    · Windows Active Directory administration

    Tooting the broken horn but more specifics would help here. What you put here will really help the candidate gauge if they are experienced enough for the position, since AD administration can cover such a wide range of material. Are you looking for someone who can just simply create AD accounts, reset passwords, and recognize an OU when they see it? Or do they need to be able to design group policy, administer myriad trust relationships and be completely comfortable with breaking out adsiedit to fix that mailbox that just isn't quite working right? That's one that could really use clarification.
    ...
    Just a few recommendations from how I would do it to give the submitters a slightly better chance to make themselves stand out.
    Point taken. But keep in mind I only published the skills here. I also included a description of common duties I did not post here.

    But a vague job description does not mean that candidates must submit vague resumes. The rules of resume writing have been codified on many web sites and in countless books.

    Here is an example:
    Provided accurate and timely on-site and remote support.
    The candidate can surely include something about the applications or anything else so that I understand what he did. We all have an idea of what "support" means. That's fine. I don't need definitions but I want to see why a candidate is better than another.
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKaucher View Post
    Usually 2 pages. I think that is fine. More than that and I would find it hard to see how they would remain relevent to the poisition.
    I had a two page resume and cut it down to one based on some feedback from career services at my school and where my ex works. Since then some recruiters have looked at it and said it lacks detail, so i'm going back to two pages.

    i'm always looking for feedback from hiring managers to see what they want. thanks
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  23. I "HEART" M$ Mojo_666's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by xmalachi View Post
    Definitely understandable that you won't be starting right away. I think that candidates need to craft their resumes more for the jobs that they are applying to. I think most people have a single resume and just post it out to everyone regardless of the positions requirements. I think most people need to remember that they are trying to sell themselves to an organization so why would you sell yourself short by being lazy? This is something that I have been trying to work on more when applying to jobs lately. I can't say that I am perfect and I am sometimes lazy and just shoot off a resume but you are already touching on important thoughts for this process.
    It can be a pain re-writing your CV if you are applying for lots of jobs, also the feedback you get about CV's is based on a single persons opinion of it (you in this case) the next 5 guys might like a general CV so they can see all of the skills and then bring you in for an interview to go over the rest. Also if you apply through agencies the CV gets re-written for you without you knowing or ripped into one of their templates, so to be fair, it is all a bit pointless most of the time.
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  24. Virtual Member undomiel's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKaucher View Post
    But a vague job description does not mean that candidates must submit vague resumes.
    You don't really have any control over what a candidate will submit to your job ad, but you can do the best to win some good candidates. Putting more detail into the job ad and making it stand out will make it easier for those candidates to follow those traditional rules of resume writing and submission and actually tailor a resume to your job request. A generic job ad won't really inspire outstanding resume submissions.

    The candidate can surely include something about the applications or anything else so that I understand what he did. We all have an idea of what "support" means. That's fine. I don't need definitions but I want to see why a candidate is better than another.
    If you get a more specific idea of what you are looking for in your job description then you'll be more likely to get those specifics back from a candidate. You won't really truly know if a candidate is better than another or not until you have them show you how they'll do the job better anyways.
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  25. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo_666 View Post
    It can be a pain re-writing your CV if you are applying for lots of jobs, also the feedback you get about CV's is based on a single persons opinion of it (you in this case) the next 5 guys might like a general CV so they can see all of the skills and then bring you in for an interview to go over the rest. Also if you apply through agencies the CV gets re-written for you without you knowing or ripped into one of their templates, so to be fair, it is all a bit pointless most of the time.
    I understand your point, but look at this from an employers standpoint. If the candidate isn't willing to spend 10 minutes personalizing their resume, why should I (I referring to the employer) waste 30-40 minutes of my day to interview you?

    And to continue this, if you are too lazy to spend some time customizing your resume, then are you also going to be a lazy employee?

    It is the same rational behind someone learning about a company before coming in. If candidate A just showed up, and candidate B surfed around the website and knew what the company was about, candidate B is going to get hired.

    I didn't write a new resume for each job I applied for (I wouldn't expect anyone else to either). But I did have a couple different resumes for the different jobs I was looking for. My helpdesk resume was slightly different than my desktop support one. And I was never opposed to a quick edit if I felt an employer wanted something that I didn't already have.
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  26. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    CCNA:Security,BCNE,Exchange 2007, ITIL
    #25
    The problem here is the salary is WAY too low. In fact its laughable. I would be very surprised if you could recruit any qualified candidates at that pay rate that are versed in exchange, C sharp, powershell scripting, and SQL.

    I get paid double that and I confidently fit all your requirements minus the C sharp but bringing strong networking and expert exchange experience.

    If you are looking for an entry level guy but want to weed out the unmotivated help desk folks, maybe you should try a staffing agency.
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