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Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:01 am
Every now and again i ask here about jobs in the industry, out of curiosity for what people will say.
Here i am doing it again. I saw several jobs which i'm not going to apply for, but i did wonder what sort of skills they want and more importantly, to what level of proficiency. I find this sort of thing very hard to figure out from the advertisements, and wondered if there's some sort of knack or code to figuring this out! is there anything between the lines in these adverts for example?
LAMP Developer Required
This one i'm not sure it's "IT" at all, looks more like training than computers?
My client is seeking an experienced IT Systems or Applications Trainer to join the expanding team. You will join the existing team, providing training and ongoing support to staff and clients on advanced Software systems. You will be responsible for delivering initial product training and advanced systems training. The role involves all of the following: delivering of classroom-style, pre-prepared training sessions for small groups (between 1-10 individuals). Preparation of training documentation, and related administrative tasks. Delivering pre-prepared and bespoke sessions to both external clients and internal staff. Essential skills/qualifications/qualities: confident communicator with all levels of IT user. Strong IT skills, with good knowledge of Linux or Unix based systems & applications, Microsoft Windows, Word and Excel. Applications software training experience. Excellent organisational skills. A desire to provide first-rate service to our clients is important, as is an appreciation of the urgency of our clients' needs. Possiblity of some world-wide travel. Apply now for a quick turnaround.
Also, have a look at this one, this is typical of the sort of job advert i often see. It weants so many different things that i always think "well, even if i have one or two of those skills, there's no way i could claim to have the lot", and you know there's always going to be somebody interviewing for this that has been doing it for years or knows the manager of the department, one or the other, or both, so what's the answer? how much do you need to know from a list like this and how do you bluff it? what can you bluff and what shouldn't you? (by bluff i mean: learn on the job)
Experienced IT Support Engineer required for a successful and growing IT management Company based in Glasgow.
You will be involved in a variety of 2nd level duties including responding to and resolving technical support queries within service level agreement. You will need to be able to communicate with technical and non-technical users. Customer focused, you will have an attention to detail and the ability to prioritise personal workload.
A robust experience in a similar support environment with extensive knowledge of Microsoft product (Windows PC and Server 2000/2003, Exchange 2000/2003 and Office). Some experience of Comms, networking, firewall and anti-virus would be required. MCSA and/or CCNA preferred. Full driving licence required for occasional on-site client support.
Actually that's not the best example because i don't drive and also i don't see how i'm ever going to be learning how to use windows server, or get an MCSE. You see what i mean though, experience of this, that, the other and something else would be preferred....
Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:48 am
The first thing that jumps out at me in your post that I think is most important so I'll address it first is the mention of the word "bluff". Having been on both sides of the "hiring" and "needing a job" side of the table I would suggest don't even consider bluffing anything. Be completely honest and upfront about your skills and if you are asked about a particular skill you don't possess admit that you don't have experience in that particular area but that you are interested in it and express eagerness to gain experience in that area (hopefully that would be a truthful statement). One thing you don't ever want to do is get caught on a bluff or I'll guarantee you'll not get the job. Worst yet you'll get the job and later they find out you misled them on your capability. I would much rather hire someone who completely truthful and willing to learn than someone who is more experienced but less truthful. I know you probably didn't mean much by it but seriously don't be afraid to be completely honest. Also be comfortable.
Regarding the jobs the first one is pretty straight forward. They seem to be looking for a PHP programmer with a little Linux admin knowledge. Someone to write/enhance/modify PHP web applications. They don't specifically say whether this is a senior or junior position but it does indicate they want someone who is experienced. If I were hiring for this position I might want to hear about some of the projects the person worked on and have an experienced php programmer ask some questions to determine how experienced the person really is.
The second one is definitely a trainer position. It sounds like you would be working for a company that sells some sort of application software to businesses that require servers, clients and probably would be used by a certain number of people at the company the software is being sold to. You would probably be expected to learn the software yourself and provide training to the businesses that they sell this application to. Sounds like you would have to conduct training classes for the users of the software and other classes for the administrators of the application. It sounds like they want someone who does have a decent IT background who preferably already has some experience in training. I were slightly interested I would submit my resume and if called find out more detailed information about the position at which point make a more serious decision one way or the other whether it was a good fit for me.
The last one is pretty straight forward on what they are looking for. All you can do is give them your resume and straight shoot with them. If you have to bluff to get a job the chances are you aren't going to be at that job very long and if you are you probably wouldn't be happy there.
Just as an example if you think you might be interested in a job like the first example in the future but don't think you currently have the experience then buy books and learn. Try and think up what might be a useful web application to you and build it. Research and maybe get involved in some existing PHP projects and make them better. In the mean time you could apply for the job and show them how interested you are in it and that you are currently doing X and Y. You might not be ready for the job yet and not get hired for it but on the other hand they might think "hey, this person might be exact what we're looking for for the future and can probably be molded into exactly what we need".
Again, I prefer to be completely truthful on both sides and I am not afraid to say I don't have experience in certain areas they may want it but if I believe I am interested in those areas and can pick them up fairly quickly and I may express that to them. It's not often there is a "perfect" candidate for a job and from my experience the "perfect" candidate usually doesn't turn out to be "perfect" after the hire. :) I think it's also good to try and not be overly nervous, be friendly and truthful. When going in for an interview I do as much interviewing of them as they do of me. You want to find out if this company is going to be some place you really want to work or not. It should be a good fit in both directions.
Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:54 am
LAMP Developer Required
Doesn't LAMP stand for Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP? If so, isn't it a bit redundant to separately mention PHP and MySQL?
On the subject of bluffing, make sure you mostly tell the truth. Don't scare them. If a potential employer hears "I have lots of hacker friends that have given me tips" or "I stay on top of new software through piracy and P2P networks", they are NOT going to hire you. I guess I'm saying that you have to temper what you say with a bit of judgement. I missed a job once because I was too honest.
Probably a bit off-topic, but make sure you don't end up becoming what you hate, so to speak. A multi-million pound telecom company is probably not going to be making "fun" applications, but web-based interfaces for its business customers. Don't get caught up in making "requires IE" pages or something ghastly like that. Because if you do get a job working for an evil CeNsOrEd, you'll quickly become uncomfortable, and have to walk.
On the other hand, if it's a great working environment, then you might want to make some sacrifices. Pound of flesh for a pound of gold, as they say. Take it from an environmentalist who works for an oil company, it should be a pretty sweet deal if you're going to compromise your ethics.
And I thought you were a musician...
Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:40 pm
Start low and aim high (while this is a clichÃ©, it's probably more true with the IT sector as with anything else).
Your first IT job doesn't really matter.
Most companies will always prefer someone with *any* kind of IT experience (even if it's a silly job).
The biggest fault I personally made was waiting for an almost perfect job (I wasted almost two years with this).
Once you're already working in the IT sector, it will become a lot easier to find a better job.
Personally, I recommend taking the best you can get (even if it's a crappy job, just be good in it) and always keep looking for something better. You'll be amazed how much easier it becomes to get a next (and better) job.
The more experience the more offers you'll get (including jobs with expensive trainings).
Never forget it's always a risk (financially) to hire someone as well...
Anyway, good luck ;)
PS: I really wonder what it would be like to have a job interview with Void Main :P
Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:31 pm
Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:21 pm
Heh heh, I love that movie. :)
Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:58 am
thanks for comments. Seems like bluffing has become a major theme! i just meant that we all know nobody's 100% honest in a job interview (in the "the whole truth" sense at least), so with an industry where the job descriptions are often impenetrable, i sometimes wonder if the jobs behind them are impenetrable as well or if it's all some elaborate code that people in the know understand, to cover how easy the jobs really are.
you never know!
Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:46 am
Calum wrote:i just meant that we all know nobody's 100% honest in a job interview (in the "the whole truth" sense at least),
But that's where I disagree. I am 100% honest in a job interview and if I sense that someone isn't being 100% honest with me when I am interviewing them they will not get the job. In my opinion honesty is the single most important factor.
Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:32 am
Calum wrote:thanks for comments. Seems like bluffing has become a major theme! i just meant that we all know nobody's 100% honest in a job interview (in the "the whole truth" sense at least), so with an industry where the job descriptions are often impenetrable, i sometimes wonder if the jobs behind them are impenetrable as well or if it's all some elaborate code that people in the know understand, to cover how easy the jobs really are.
you never know!
Interestingly, some job descriptions are
really impenetrable by design. Sometimes, they already have a candidate for a job. But by policy, they are required to advertise it for a certain amount of time, and politely consider every candidate. They may accept resumes, and even conduct interviews, but someone's already got the job. In these cases, a job description will be written specifically for that person. This is common in university and government jobs. Before I was hired at the university, my future job had to be advertised. They listed some very specific 3rd party programs that I had just learned a few weeks earlier, and that most people who weren't already in the industry had never heard of. Experience with an SGI was necessary, simply because we had an unused one in the office. Needless to say, I got the job.
But that's duplicity on their part. It's better for you to be honest.
Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:23 am
i am really painting myself into a corner here!
i am probably one of the most honest people i've met! in fact it's because of that that i mentioned not being entirely honest since basically however you choose to put something in a conversation (i think that) it's always potentially misleading in some way depending on the speaker, listener, situation etc. Also, interviews are about "selling yourself". This packaging of one's abilities is in itself not wholely honest in my opinion. Basically i think job interviews aren't 100% honest by definition!
But i'm not a person who would lie in a job interview, in fact i am not a person who would lie at all!
thanks for comments everybody! as always, most interesting.
Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:14 pm
Calum wrote:But i'm not a person who would lie in a job interview, in fact i am not a person who would lie at all!
Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:20 am
oh come come!
i can't think of a witty comeback to that one! well done.
Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:27 am
In the past few months I have been on the market. I revamped my resume and have gotten so many calls that i now have to turn people away. I have been on 4 face to face and about 10 phone interviews. Of the 4 face to face i was offered 3 of them and I accepted 2 of them. I can say that I think that interview process is a skill. Some people interview very well but don't know how to get the job done. Like Void said. You have to be honest. If you have ever seen the movie "Pursuit of Happiness" is said just that. Dont BS the people. If you don't know it. You don't know know it. You don't want to tell them that you do because when the time comes to prove yourself you would have proved that you are a liar. Companies hate that.
I have a friend that put on his resume that he had a degree. The company hired him and when they finished doing all the checks on him. It turned out he was a few credits short and did not have the actual degree. They fired him on the spot.
Be HONEST!!!! It will take you far places.