Contractor Interview Candidates
You are doing well if you are one of the contractor interview candidates that a client selects for interview from the CVs they get. This employer tells us how he selects contractors for interview.
If you have a senior position in an IT department, then you‘re usually quite busy. If you talked to every agency that called you, then you wouldn‘t get much else done. I used to, therefore, instruct the secretary not to put any agents through to me that I didn‘t know.
It is crucial that an employer uses only a few select agencies. Certain agencies have ‘˜ins’˜ at certain companies. It follows that it is important for employees to put their CVs out to as many agencies as possible. That’s in order to make sure you that your CV can get into as many companies as possible.
Some Agents Called
Of course some agents still got through (presumably by tricking the secretary). At first I would tell them that we were not looking, or something else. However, I quickly found out that they were like limpets. They would never actually get off the phone unless you gave them something.
I found that the only way to get rid of them and get on with your job was to be blunt, or even rude. I always thought that if they were rude enough to keep on badgering me, after I‘d told them no several times, then I was rude enough to tell them not to call me back, and put the phone down.
Even so, when I was actually looking for employees, I’d often have a pile of about 70 to go through. In fact one time when we were looking for graduates, I got 743 CVs through. That’s after one small advert in the graduates recruitment magazine.
When I did get 70 CVs through, the first job was to whittle them down to about 10-15 CVs that I could consider.
I would quickly go through the CVs, spending about 30 seconds on each I would look to see if they had the requisite skills and the requisite experiences.
If I couldn‘t work out from the CV, in that 30 seconds, if the person had the requisite skills then that CV was out. Once I had selected the 10-15 that I would look at, the other 55-60 went straight into the bin.
Candidates putting forward their CVs may not like this, but I am just telling it how it is. If candidates want me to accept their CVs, then they should try and work out what Employers want. That’s rather than trying to tell them what they should want.
CVs Selected for Interview
I would then go through the 10-15 CVs selected. I’d give them 5-10 minutes each to whittle then down to around 3-6 candidates (if there was only one job), that I would like to interview.
To make sure that you get from Stage 1 (CV on employers desk) to Stage 2, where your CV is given genuine scrutiny, it is crucial that you survive the ‘cull‘ from the 70 stage to 10-15 stage.
It is crucial, therefore, that you have a summary of your skills on the front page. I‘m sure that I must have discarded many good people at the initial stage. However, I didn‘t have time to search for their skills and abilities. They should have the skill and ability to bring them quickly to my attention in their CVs.
Customise Your CV
Once your CV has got to the second stage, then your CV will be given genuine consideration. Forget about jobs more than 5 years ago. Put your most recent job at the front of your CV. The more recent the job, describe it in the CV in greater detail. Also, have the good sense to customise your CV for different jobs.
Don‘t let the agency just send out a generic one. Find out what skills that a particular company want, and change your CV to stress those skills.
Every company that your CV is sent out to, should be at least slightly customized to reflect the match between your skills and what the employing company want, especially on the summary page.
Not many contractor interview candidates do that, and as a result, many of their CVs lose out in the initial ‘cull‘.