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I got a call yesterday afternoon from ... well, I suppose it's a little grandiose to call them a headhunter but basically an employment agency looking to fill a payroll manager position for their client company. I agreed to interview with the agency this morning at 9am.

Within 2 hours of agreeing to interview, I was filled with doubts and misgivings because the agent had told me the client company is currently using my present employer's payroll services but actively working toward leaving my employer for a competitor company with whom I've had client-side experience, and not in a good way.

I admit I'm still not convinced I'd want to work at a company that is using this competitor's software. (It's a crap product in comparison, cumbersome, poorly supported, etc.)

I decided to do the interview anyway -- it's an agency after all and if this isn't the ideal job or company, they'll have other opportunities in the future so I figured why not get my foot in their door, get my resume on file and see where it takes me.

I had my portfolio of accomplishments & samples; I was dressed professionally and well groomed; I arrived on time and prepared with the paperwork already completed and my documentation ready to go.

Naturally the questions were fairly predictable and when she asked about my strengths, I rattled off "organized, efficient and detail-oriented" - all good things in the payroll world.

Then she asked about a weakness. I heard M&M in my head telling me to be honest and not try to slide one past her, pawning off a strength as a weakness. So I said "I need more zen in my life. I'm a perfectionist and when something's not right, my chi is disturbed sometimes but I'm working on it and I've had great success this past month." (Thanks in large part to WillDuke's sage words, quoted below!)

[u]She actually complimented me on my weakness[/u]! LOL She told me that at least I recognized it and was aware of it and wouldn't be blindsided by it or freak out. I felt good about that.

During the interview, she gave me some resume tips (and found a typo - OUCH!) This is the part where I hang my head in shame: I went in with a two page (but very nicely formatted!) resume. I know, I know.

When we got around to the part where she said she would be forwarding me as a candidate to her client company, I told her I was interested and that I'd like the chance to modify my resume, ostensibly to incorporate the changes she suggested. We agreed I would get it to her before lunch (already sent) and she would submit me this afternoon.

As soon as I got home, I updated the two-pager with her suggested changes and then [u]I finally took the plunge and drafted my very first one-page resume[/u]. All this time, I though that more information was better (you've seen the length of my posts!) and that the pretty white-space and fancy tables helped the "curb appeal." Basically I've always thought I had much more interesting, worthwhile things to say in the resume that deserved to be showcased.

What I realized as I was paring things down, consolidating and economizing was that I'm a blowhard! I was repeating myself job after job - maybe trying to convey consistency or a track record of a certain area.

It feels good to finally have "the right resume"! And for as long as I was putting it off, I think I cranked it out in less than an hour. (Yes, I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner but I think I needed to have the right muse.)

Anyway, I just wanted to once again say "great insight & info, M-T/M&M - thanks!!" Even if this lead doesn't pan out (and I honestly don't think it will) I at least was prompted to step into the Realm of the Smrat Folks here at M-T with the one-page resume. Heh.

WillDuke's picture

Sage words? I'm really more of a parsley kind of guy... :D

I'm going to be a little lazy here and rely on my memory. Didn't you post a nice long rant about the low quality of the products and systems at your company? Here you indicate concern about the low quality of the competitor's product.

Is it possible that you're a perfectionist? (Okay, that's definitely rhetorical, we know you're a perfectionist.) Presuming your perfectionist status, is it possible that you're placing too much concern on the quality of the product they "might" use "if" they make that decision. Sure, you "could" be involved with that product "if" they offer you a job and "if" you accept it. But in the meantime, enjoy the compliment of being wooed.

You're still my hero. :)

ashdenver's picture

Heh, parsley.

The end-user products are phenomenal. The internal systems we use to support those products a shoddy, antiquated, sluggish and overly complex. At least five of the systems I use regularly still operate in DOS. That's just insane in 2007 ... isn't it? Are there others here who work regularly in DOS programs?

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="ashdenver"]Are there others here who work regularly in DOS programs?[/quote]

Not personally but others in my organisation do. So long as the cost of replacing a system is bigger than the cost of keeping it, the old system will stay.

The grey area (where I tend to land up having heated discussions with budget holders in the business areas) is how you calculate the cost. Doing nothing can have a cost associated with it if the extra value generated or cost avoided by doing something is greater than the cost of doing something. Unfortunately understanding how the costs and benefits are arrived at, where IT is involved, can be difficult. The benefits of standardisation seem to be particularly obscure to people outside the field, especially where they don't see the support costs directly in their accounts.

Stephen