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John Cole and Michael Ray


This dialog between Michael Ray and John Cole is located in activities listing of the Mega Reruiting Corp demo data.  At the behest of our beta testing team, we have placed a copy of the discussion here in the help file for the purpose of archiving it.  The beta team wanted to remove it from their real world entries, but didn't want to delete it because it characterized so well the essence of what job seekers are facing.  Placing a copy in the help file was the most appropriate solution.  :-)



Met with Michael Ray this morning and I expressed my frustration with not getting the job offers I was qualified for and/or hearing back from firms to whom I had sent my resume. Michael listened intently and gave me some excellent advice which I will summarize here for future reference.


Keywords - there weren't enough keywords in my resume

Michael showed me how he looks for consultants in his database. He typed in words that would define my skill set and showed me over 100 hits. I was number 34! Whats worse is that after I reviewed the qualifications of the top ranking candidate - I was better qualified than she was! Her resume wasn't even professionally laid out - Michael laughed when I said that(?). She just kind of managed to sprinkle the right words in the right places such as, what skills she used on each assignment, what the client's environment was like and what have you. Michael said she was an IT contractor and that she rolls off of one contract and manages to roll right onto another.

(The real shocker was when I also took the liberty of looking closer at some of the other fields on the screen. I could see the notes on all of the conversations Michael and the other recruiters in the office had had with each consultant. They had the low-down on everyone.)


Qualified - These guys are qualified to do the work.

He said that sometimes when he calls them, they'll listen to the details of the engagement and then tell him their experience is better suited to the job offering than their current resume indicates. They'll ask Mike if they can send him a resume that provides more details on their experience in that particular domain. Why would Michael care? If he can submit a resume that more clearly details the candidate's experience in that particular environment everybody wins. He said he loves it when his clients express their appreciation for submitting candidates with such excellent qualifications! He gets the updated resume, submits it to the client and the next thing you know these guys are on their way to an interview.


Networked - Most of these people were sent to him.

He said a lot of his candidates get referred to him by his other candidates he has already placed at the company. He says its a lot easier to sell someone to a client when he's confident that person can deliver the goods. What's even more dizzying is that the people interviewing them at the client site are sometimes the same guys who referred them! Then they turn around and collect referral fees from his firm when their referral rolls onto their project. Michael, "These guys are plugged into their network man."  I'll say!


Numbers - Michael gets over 500 resumes every day.

I almost fell out of my chair. He said that given this economy, "You have to cast a wider net, yet at the same time be ideally qualified." That sounded backwards. "Mike, isn't it one or the other? If you cast a wider net, aren't you just going for the numbers as opposed to being highly specialized and trying to target those one or two opportunities to which you are ideally qualified?" Michael said, "Hey, I don't know exactly what other people are doing to adapt to the ever shifting supply/demand equation, but I do know that things are changing every day. Ten years ago we didn't even have software to manage our recruiting. Now, we are on version seven of this thing and I can't see how we ever managed without it."


Then I said, "Okay, what else do I need to do?" He couldn't tell me so much what I was doing wrong as much as he could tell me what successful job seekers were doing right. He said these guys who are getting offers have the dirt on these companies. He said, "There is only so much I can tell them about the client as I don't want this information getting into the hands of one of my competing recruiting firms. I tell them about the client's environment, what kind of skill set they are looking for, and generally what kind of problem the client needs solved without giving up too much information. By the time some of these guys show up, they know who the managers are, what kind of obstacles the company is trying to overcome, and everything. They show up cool, calm and collected and blow the employer away."  These guys are networked alright.


I thanked Michael for his insight and let him know how much I appreciated the time he spent with me. I told him I'd go home, change my resume and zap it back to him. After leaving his office, I sat in my car and realized the scope of my folly. Here I had been in the software consulting business for over five years implementing software for blue chip clients all over the country, upgrading their systems, burning the midnight oil, making sure everything was just right, only to find that the master technologist himself was still using the veritable equivalent of a slide ruler to manage his own affairs - a spreadsheet. The pall of the irony was overwhelming. Here I am, maximizing these companies ever increasing investment in technology - in the Information Age no less - yet my only investment in technology is the price of my spreadsheet.  Did my smart phone count?  All this time, I was adding value to their systems but didn't concern myself with adding value to mine. I knew right then I needed to make some changes not only to my immediate job search, but to the way I was going to manage my career.



If the sum total of your investment in your career amounts to the price of a spreadsheet, we invite you to ratchet it up a notch.   Invest in a license here.





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