* Posts by Dominic Connor, headhunter of old London Town

5 posts • joined 5 Oct 2011

Why your tech CV sucks

Dominic Connor, headhunter of old London Town
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Dominic respopnds...

You may want me to starve by bypassing recruiters, fine, but be aware that I want to sell you, if you send a badly spelled and formatted CV to HR they will be less kind than I am because I will often help debug nearly-good CVs, HR will bin them.

Matt89 says my stuff is obvious, which is why I am less tolerant of those that don't do it properly, some parts of getting a job are subtle, this wasn't. I don't handle web dev jobs, you can see that as good or bad, you choose.

LeeDowling, yes I am arrogant and picky and I agree with most of his advice.

This is not specific to finance, even slightly, M&S (for instance) really are very picky about your CV being coherent.

Cthonus, I did say the *average* HR .... But I have to tell you that the same person who will write Linucks as an O/S will bin your CV for doing the same.

I do not know if one or two pages is optimal for a CV, actually that's a lie (I am a headhunter after all)... Some managers prefer one, others two, I know which is right for some, you can't, and frankly we are both just guessing in the general case.

My point about you costing the same as a Ferrari should be the right for >80% of Reg readers. Say you keep the job for 5 years, and earn 50K, your equipment, s/w, desk space, benefits and other costs will be about the same as your pay (ish). That's 500K, enough to buy a really nice car from almost anyone. Apply different times and numbers, hard to make it not true for most.

Few of you are sales types, fewer still have written anything other than emails since leaving education, fine. Flowery text and words like "stakeholders", "empowerment", "business alignment", and puffy prose do you more harm than good in tech CVs. I'm just asking you to avoid obvious errors that make me think you're sloppy.

Cosmo really needs to read my piece again. My parents were also immigrants and I made it clear that I don't approve of the situation that leads me to give that advice. It just so happens that many people (apparently including Cosmo) think my name sounds English, which it ain't.

But you have a choice here...

I recognize a bad thing that you might want to deal with and suggest how you deal with it. That advice reminds you that things aren't ideal and you don't like it.

You can instead take advice from people who tell you only what you want to hear and who will remain silent about things you don't want to hear.

I am of the first type, but there are far more recruiters of the second and they are easily found, I wish you luck with them.

HSBC UK systems major outage

Dominic Connor, headhunter of old London Town

HSBC don't even tell good lies.

As a recruiter I am seen as a naive fool, which means that HSBC card services decided to tell me that the reason for an awful screwup was that a whole batch of their cards had been compromised. Sadly for HSBC I also write for The Register and have written trading systems with my bare hands, so I contacted their media relations team about what was clearly a good story and they were caught in the trap of having to either admit they were lying to cover up their incompetence or that their security was crap, they chose to admit they were lying.

Of course they may have been lying about that, it is HSBC card services we are talking about here.

PowerPivot: a new spin on understanding your business

Dominic Connor, headhunter of old London Town

writer's response

@dan10 : Of course MS wants you to upgrade this is part of of them addressing the "problem" that most people are happy enough with older versions.

But I think it will only require a very few people to upgrade their LANs, from what I see, most SME LANs aren't that overstressed, though some file severs have had had their upgrades delayed for a bit too long.

You're bang on with with the "truth", and you can go further. Years back I was working on a seriously important project at IBM and had a model that was quite good at calculating when we'd actually reach certain points. Management was not happy because I was a contractor and as "non-IBM professional" it ought to have meant that I wasn't allowed to read my own data. They solved this by ignoring what the model said.

RM threatens to axe 300 staff

Dominic Connor, headhunter of old London Town

good riddance

I slightly disagree with Alastair, the RM stuff I have experienced is *well marketed* rubbish.

When I was a kid in the 1970s, it was reasonable that teachers didn't have a clue about IT and so needed a bit of hand holding and PCs used to be so absurdly expensive that toughened ones made sense for a school environment.

That stopped being true at least ten years ago.

There is a need for specific UK school *software* but PCs should be bought as some function of cost and reliability.

The fact that RM still manages to sell expensive PCs tells us more about the daft way schools buy anything than about tech.

Put down the Java manual

Dominic Connor, headhunter of old London Town

Response from the writer...

1: Yes, it's obvious that you need to keep learning, but not obvious enough for some people who find themselves in holes.

2:I DO NOT CARE if Java is better/worse than C++/Haskell/REXX the point is that supply/demand is not moving in favour of Java programmers. Specifically I'm not predicting the "end of Java", just saying that it will become less lucrative, it's success as a language makes that inevitable.

3: Some have criticized recruiters, as it happens I agree. My job is to tell it like it is, not as you'd like it to be. Fact is that many employers are buzzword driven and many recruiters respond by doing what they're asked to do, ie find someone who as used version X of product Y, not version X-1 and certainly not someone who can easily learn this. I'm not defending that or criticsing it either, if you want to be told stuff that makes you happy google on "jokes"

4: I remember being quoted more for Sun C++ than the cost of my whole PC+Visual C++ so yes its good that development environments have opened up. By "good" I mean that it makes programming cheaper, your definition of "good" as a seller of programming effort may differ...



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