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Hi Everyone...

A recruiter contacted me about a position (posted below). It is a great fit for me and mostly about dealing with people. However, she says the potential employer is being a stickler about some skills I don't have (ie, working in a Mac environment).

This really seems to be odd because they want a senior manager, not a graphic artist. The recruiter is also a little baffled by the firm's stance on this as ANYONE is supposed to be Mac savvy. Any suggestions as to how to alleviate this beyond saying I am happy to take a Mac course?

Job Requirements• University degree in communication or marketing• 5 years advertising industry experience in either a retail or an advertising environment• Extensive project management skills; minimum 3 years supervisory experience• Sound understanding of business policy and procedure development• Out of the box thinker who will use their creativity to enhance the scope of the job and make measurable impact on the business

Competencies• Strong understanding of print production• Excellent Analytical Skills• Strategic thinker• Demonstrated time management skills• Superior leadership ability• Enthusiastic and positive attitude towards multiple assignments• Handles conflict appropriately in an open and positive manner• Makes major decisions with a high degree of freedom and authority• Excellent negotiation skills (with clients and Agency)• Excellent planning and organizational skills• Self Motivator, Results Driven• Resourceful, proactive, takes initiative• Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills• Exercise sound judgment in prioritizing workload• Decision maker • Problem Solver• Steady under extreme pressure• Process driven• Strong customer service• Detail oriented• Multi Task operator with strong sense of Urgency• Thrives in fast paced, constantly changing environment• Advanced knowledge of the Macintosh environment and all related software relating to the production process, including Translink, Crosscap, PDF, Quark, Illustrator andPhotoshop along with strong typographic ability

With much appreciation,

*RNTT

tomw's picture

It sounds almost like they want a senior manager who can pinch hit on graphic work when the need arises.

If you know those softwares on another platform, it might be applicable. If you have no graphic production background, I could see it being more of a problem.

the "Advanced knowledge of the Macintosh" really confuses me. Unless they want a systems administrator, I'm not sure how it's relevant. To me, it sounds like the person insisting on this thinks the operating system performs all the graphic functions.

WillDuke's picture

What Tom said.

Tom, can you clarify for us, is PDF an application on the Mac? In the Windows world PDF is a format. We use Acrobat to create PDF files. I'm assuming something similar in the Mac world.

This would just add fuel to Tom's assertion that the person who wrote this really doesn't understand what they're saying. Given that they don't know it, one has to wonder how important it really is. :)

ccleveland's picture

This could be less about the specific Mac skills and more about understanding the need for Macs. As an example: The corporations I’ve worked for have always been PC based, but have had small pockets of Macs. Those pockets were adamant about their need to remain on Mac. My speculation: they may not want to have to “prove” their need to someone internal. There may be other possibilities similar to this.

You could ask the recruiter they’re looking for you to perform a technical role or if they’re looking for you to provide leadership for the right technical infrastructure. That would help you (and the recruiter) understand how to present your experiences.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Thanks Guys.

Nope, they don't want a systems administrator.

Will, generating a PDF is generating a PDF. I said to the recruiter that this almost sounds like something they melded from a number of job postings and never got round to taking them out (a Wendii-ism from a previous posting). Now they think it is something key to the position.

If I am in this role, I am not going to be the emergency Graphic Artist. I am going to call in an "expert" for $35 an hour. And given I am "in charge", I don't want many emergencies on my watch.

My buddy has a huge print shop in Winnipeg. The artists "artisize" on macs. They send the files through the system. The dockets are run and administered on PC's.

Again, the issue is how to overcome this request/criteria. We can minimilize it on the forum - that doesn't help me with the VP who is insisting on this.

*RNTT

WillDuke's picture

Asterisk - what I meant to say was, it's technically incorrect to say you need to know PDF. Someone who used the application would know that. Tthat probably means they really aren't that much into the technology. Is it possible to have a conversation with that VP? If you can find out what he really does need that list will probably shrink right up.

What do M&M say? It's not about skills, it's about benefits? Find out how can you benefit the VP.

Of course, all of that assumes you can get past the recruiter and that list of skills.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Will

I think I was not clear. My apologies. The recruiter is on my side. She says that all the VP talks about is management and relationship skills but seems to have a sticking point about this technology/graphics stuff, which would be what? .05% of the job?

She does not understand this either and is trying to find a way to get around this insistance by the VP. I have no access to the VP at this point, so if I don't help the recruiter get around this, I have no chance to shine in the interview.

*RNTT

tcomeau's picture

[quote="WillDuke"]... is PDF an application on the Mac? In the Windows world PDF is a format. [/quote]

PDF is a format on the Macs, too, but is handled by the operating system. So you don't need Adobe for printing to PDF, for example, and you can embed PDF documents in other documents with drag-and-drop.

PDF is a semi-open format, so at times our public outreach people (think of them as Hubble Marketeers) will directly edit PDF to get exactly the layout they want.

tc>

jhack's picture

PDF is a file format defined by Adobe. There are adaptors for Office and lots of other products that convert the files to PDF. Adobe also provides applications like Photoshop that create PDFs. This format is used on Mac, PC and Unix systems, at a minimum, and is a web standard for documents.

They've "set the bar high" here, trying to get someone who could both do the job and manage the team. Being proficient in these apps would take time. You need to know enough to understand their capabilities, and how they fit into the workflow of the office.

Go online and research these apps. Find out how they contribute to the creation, editing, collation, and production of content. Be able to discuss them in terms of capabilities and how they fit into a process. This will help you in any conversations you have with VPs regarding the software.

You'll never be able to master whether the Clover-whatever key combo pops up this or that menu. So show them you understand the relationship between software capabilities and the business process.

And...taking a Mac course couldn't hurt...

John

tomw's picture

[quote="WillDuke"]Tom, can you clarify for us, is PDF an application on the Mac? In the Windows world PDF is a format. We use Acrobat to create PDF files. I'm assuming something similar in the Mac world.

This would just add fuel to Tom's assertion that the person who wrote this really doesn't understand what they're saying. Given that they don't know it, one has to wonder how important it really is. :)[/quote]

PDF is pretty universal, even though Adobe owns it. You can get Adobe reader for almost any OS under the sun, including for cell phones.

PDF generation is built into the Mac OS printing function, so pretty much any application can create them. I can't see knowing that as a job skill.

That said, some programs like Adobe Illustrator tend to make more use out of them than others... but asking someone to know PDF seems about like asking them to know JPG or TIFF (common photo formats, for the less technical).

I mean we're a Mac company and use an abnormal CAD software but we say right up front "will train the right candidate."

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi John

Thanks. I can research until the cows come home. Basically, all these are used to design and create print or web files. There is no magic to them. It is like saying learn how making a PowerPoint contributes to the business strategy, or how a production line contributes.

The bottleneck is that unless the recruiter can move the VP from a position that these are overly key to the position, I won't get an opportunity to discuss them with the VP or anyone in terms of a process.

*RNTT

kklogic's picture

*,
Any way to inquire about this VP's background? My guess is that they worked their way up from a designer position and feel strongly that to understand the plight of the graphics folks - you need to have "been there, done that."

If you suspect this is the case, I would load your information with how you like to spend time with your directs to really get a feel for what they do every day and how you can make their lives easier, etc.

jhack's picture

Translink (or at least the Translink software I know) is a mainframe connectivity product. Crosscap is a publishing supply chain software provider.

These are distinct from desktop publishing. Make sure you do your homework. Yes, they all contribute, but in different ways. By demonstrating that you understand how they differ, you'll show you know the business.

John

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi KK

I am trying to find out who the VP is as they just did a major reorg - one of my neighbours was downsized and worked in the marketing dept and still is in touch with some colleagues there.

John, of course you are right. I am just a taaaaaaaaaaaaaad frustrated right now, so please accept my apologies.

I can't find anything on Translink anymore. It was bought, then the company that bought them was bought and so on and so on.... It seemed to be an early generation e-business dbase software.

Thanks everyone... alas, it is not looking good for getting a face-to-face with the VP

*RNTT

WillDuke's picture

As I was reading through this I liked the advice to research the products and at least know what they do. I especially like it because it delivers a message that you're interested and engaged. You're willing to do the research to get the job. I think just knowing that will bump you up a notch or three.

Just 10% more attitude.

vinnie2k's picture

[quote="kklogic"]*,
Any way to inquire about this VP's background? My guess is that they worked their way up from a designer position and feel strongly that to understand the plight of the graphics folks - you need to have "been there, done that." [/quote]
Or the VP got nailed by a big customer about something involving PDFs and s/he wants to make sure it does not happen again?

tomw's picture

[quote="WillDuke"]As I was reading through this I liked the advice to research the products and at least know what they do. I especially like it because it delivers a message that you're interested and engaged. You're willing to do the research to get the job. I think just knowing that will bump you up a notch or three.

Just 10% more attitude.[/quote]

I once interviewed with a company that used a rather obscure software for their work. I said I was unfamiliar with it and asked if a spare copy of the user manual was available that I could borrow... anyone want to guess if I got an offer? ;-)

asteriskrntt1's picture

Thanks Tom

I can definitely try that if I get the interview.

*RNTT

wendii's picture

[quote]I said to the recruiter that this almost sounds like something they melded from a number of job postings and never got round to taking them out (a Wendii-ism from a previous posting). Now they think it is something key to the position[/quote]

Hey, I don't even have to post and you know what I'm thinking. Lazy recruiting, publishing a wishlist, thinking superman is available.

Your recruiter's job is to sell her candidate in to that position. When you get there, it's your job to convince them that you are so brilliant you don't need to be mac-savvy to do this role well.

I know you're frustrated and aggravated and that the job search is hard for so many reasons, but try and let the recruiter do her job and if she can't sell you in, let it go. They don't deserve to get good candidates if they don't recruit well.

And I bet you.. in a couple of weeks when they havn't got any candidates, they'll be back with a more relaxed view of the requirements.

Wendii