I enjoyed the webinar and agreed with most things I but I thought some things were missing.
i.e. on the cover letter and cv.
On the cover letter, if you’re applying for a role. As a recruiter with an inbox of 200 plus resumes and cover letters, I’m not interested in a general blurb. I’m there to put your resume initially into 3 categories; the No pile, the Maybe pile and the Yes pile, in order to then call you. That’s the point of the resume, to lead the decision maker or screener to make a call.
So the cover letter - copy and paste the requirements, or summarise the requirements and address them.
It shows that you have read the advert, an activity that most candidates don’t actually do.
It shows that you’ve thought about the role.
Over 67% of decision-makers polled, want to see customised cover letters, short and to the point that address the requirements. In a way, it’s the start of the conversation.It’s part of communicating with another person.
It doesn’t mean you have to MEET all the requirements you may not. You might not have a skill, but you can learn and you discuss a few options that you can take to get up to speed quickly.
Over 99% of all cover letters, even when specifically asked to address the requirements testers don’t do. So the 1 or 2 people that do, always get called even if they’re resume isn’t a match. And it’s always proved worthwhile to talk to those 1 or 2 exceptional people.
I find employers look for at least 3 things, this might be because Australia is small. So the focus is on 1) does this person have some kind of personality, can you get a sense of who they are, so you can get a sense of whether they’re a cultural fit 2) the core or base of skills you’re looking for, they might not be a perfect fit but they have the base skills to quickly come up to speed 3) do they have a growth mentality is their evidence of ongoing learning.
So I DO want to get a sense of their work environment, certain things tell me - the size of the team, what product they tested, what typical challenges around that product, how they prioritized testing, do they understand what mattered to the company/users/stakeholders of that product. What are the problems the product solved? What were the typical types of bugs? In other words, did the tester really understand what mattered?
The tester works in an activity that’s both technical and social, so you do want to know how they put the software together.
If it’s a start-up that person will have a very different skill sets attitudes and capability from someone who’s only worked in a large hierarchical establishment. How did they create software? Are they embedded in the development team and testing is all the way through. Or in a large test team (Wipro or Tech mahindra style) and testing is done at the end for example. What is the problem-scape of the team she worked in, poor scoping, no time, understaffed, or budgeted, working with colleagues in different time zones, constant interruptions etc. Who did they interact with? Usually what you see is a spaghetti list of regression testing, Blackbox testing, automation blah blah. And other buzz words which are kind of meaningless.
I notice Candidates always list their achievements, usually, however, there is no context to that achievement, e.g. “I was made a test lead of 3 others for a government project.” Was something a candidate put on their resume as an achievement. What really happened is that they learned a functionality/feature of a product that no other person in the company took to learn, so that when the client needed that capability she has put herself in a position to be promoted to leadership around that skill because of her proactive initiative.
…Anyway I think I’ll write my own blog post on this. Because I get people to update their resumes as part of a practice to prepare for the phone and face to face interview.
I also don’t believe in resumes, I got jobs for ‘unqualified’ disadvantaged kids by using portfolios instead, so they could compete against degree qualified experienced testers. Much more useful.
E.G look at young David’s portfolio he’s up for an inteview with Amazom tomorrow, he’s never gone to University: