Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘CV’

Presenting to the client: How tough is it?

Posted by sweens on July 8, 2009

In the recruiting business, getting a position that needs to be filled can be one of the most challenging pieces of the puzzle, but not always.  My office spent a few hours today discussing how we are going to continue responding to our Government bids moving forward – which has gotten me thinking that this is also one of the biggest pieces to the overall puzzle.

While the Government is unique in how they want to be presented with candidates, the ability to understand the presentation required in order to please your client is a key step to the whole process.  Often times, simply sending in a quick note about your candidate and a copy of their resume is not enough for your client, so you need a bit more.

As mentioned before, I do recruit some positions for partners of ours (System Integrators) and each partner has their own unique presentation style.  While the concept is the same for each, there is always a bit of difference from firm to firm.  Understanding these differences was ultimately the goal of my meeting today and we wanted to set up some best practices moving forward.

I wonder if other recruiters (ones who are hopefully reading this) go through similar exercises with their firms.  Is it common practice for staffing agencies to have templates and guidelines for how to deal with candidate presentations?  How about guidelines/expectations that they need to convey to their candidates?

Since my only tenure in the recruiting business has been with the same firm (which is not a bad thing) I have only been exposed to ‘our’ way of doing things and can only get bits and pieces of outside information on how other firms proceed with presentations.  I am asking for enlightenment, so please share!

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CV: Curriculum Vitae

Posted by sweens on June 19, 2009

As one of my fellow LinkedIn contacts pointed out to me, many people do not know what is meant when I or someone says the term ‘CV’.  So hopefully we can offer some clarity on the issue here.

 Curriculum Vitae – more commonly known as ‘CV’ is another term for resume.  Curriculum Vitae loosely translates’ into course of life – or so I read on the internet. 

 So when someone asks you for a copy of your CV – they really just want to see your resume.

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Sending out your CV: Putting your best foot forward…

Posted by sweens on June 17, 2009

This morning I was looking over a CV for a candidate I just put forth on one of my open requirements. Before I got to the project details, he had a brief summary of 32 projects that he had completed over the last 13 years. I thought to myself, boy that is a lot of consecutive projects. He must be good!

Throwing his qualifications aside for a minute, I came across another reason why this particular candidate has been so good at continually finding contracts. His resume is awesome. Not only is it organized and easy to read through, but he took the time to highlight all the portions in his resume that were applicable to the specific position he was applying for.

This made my job very easy!

It demonstrated a few things to me as I quickly went over his CV. First, this candidate is likely a hard worker and is not lazy. Second, he understands the role. And third, he wants to stand out from all the other candidates. And to be honest he really did. I quickly wrapped him up and move forward with him with all the important information I needed perfectly presented in his CV which both I and my client are likely to appreciate.

 Moral of the story….taking that extra bit of time to prepare your CV before you submit it can go a long way!

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Resume Writing: The objective…

Posted by sweens on June 15, 2009

As my blogging buddy Jonathan McLeod has pointed out before, there are some points that candidates put on their CVs that a recruiter typically does not find very useful. I am speaking about your hobbies. However on the same train of thought, I would argue that the OBJECTIVE portion of your CV is a crucial one – but it is often done poorly.

‘The objective’ is usually the first part of your CV that I read when I am evaluating a resume. I want to see your objective match what my client is looking for. A mistake candidates often make is that they have a generic resume with a generic objective.

This is fine if you do not have any specific titles listed in your object and talk more about your desire to contribute to an organization, develop skills, etc. What you should avoid doing at all costs is having and objective that says “I am looking for an Architect position” and then submitting that resume to a Database Administrator position.

You now have a resume that does not match the job details/client needs and you likely just screened yourself out for that specific position.

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Keep your eyes on the prize…

Posted by sweens on June 10, 2009

And in this case, the prize is your newest job opportunity.  But in order to get that opportunity, you need to have a specific method of applying for opportunities.  This blog serves more as a reminder that when you (the candidate) are dealing with a recruiter or a staffing agency – you need to put yourself in their mindset.

 We look for ‘the’ candidate and not ‘a’ candidate.

 What does this mean?  It means you should avoid sending in your resume to a recruiter saying that you are interested in any positions they have open which may meet your skill set.  This translates’ into – you are open to any opportunity rather then the right opportunity.  This has the same effect as applying to multiple jobs with the same company or recruiter.

 I have said it before, but your resume should be tailored to a specific job.  Sending in the same resume for numerous jobs makes a recruiter wonder how you can be the right fit for one job, when you think you can do multiple jobs.

 Remember a company wants something specific!  Whether they go through a staffing firm or they do their own hiring – they have a specific list of requirements which you should try to meet with every application.  Aim to be ‘the’ candidate when applying for a job, rather then ‘a’ candidate…

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Junior or Senior candidates: I’ll take senior…

Posted by sweens on June 3, 2009

When it comes to recruiting a role, most clients are dividing the level of experience they are looking for into three categories:

  1. Junior
  2. Intermediate
  3. Senior

When it comes to recruiting roles of different experience levels, a different challenge presents itself with each level you are searching for.  Me personally, I would rather take on the senior role over the junior role.  I would prefer the most difficult position a client is trying to fill over an entry level position any day.

The reason for this is not that there is a higher commission on the senior role, but rather that I find it extremely difficult to search and evaluate resumes for junior level candidates.  I do not know how many times a client has said “find me someone right out of school and I will take them”, but if I had a nickel for every time I heard that – I would probably have enough to make a quick run to Starbucks.

While the idea of finding someone right out or school seems easy, I have found it to be rather difficult for a few reasons.  Firstly, someone fresh out of school likely does not have a lot of technologies listed on their resume so they are less likely to turn up in searches.  Secondly, I do not think they have gotten used to the process of finding a job – posting CVs, using search firms, etc – so any online profile they may have is minimal and not easy to find.  Lastly, it is hard to evaluate their skill set when they are coming directly from school and to weigh them against other candidates usually becomes a personality fit rather then a focus on their technical skills.

Perhaps this is only my view, but this type of search takes me out of my ‘comfort zone’ and leaves trying to find different ways to track down these people.  Usually my greatest success has come from posting the position on job boards that new grads pay attention to like:

–         Facebook
–         Kijiji
–         CraigsList 

Does anyone else have this problem, or am I in my own world?

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Hobbies on your CV…

Posted by sweens on May 8, 2009

I have recently been playing tag with a fellow recruiter on blogging ideas.  Lately our blogs have been very similar so I was checking out his blog out and he was checking my blog out.  He had an interesting article on putting hobbies on your CV and how most times – that information is fairly useless.

I would have to agree with him on that and as such I suggest you check out the article.  Please visit:

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