Friday, October 15, 2010

How to seduce your (potential) computer forensics employer

by Forensic Focus columnist, David Sullivan

David Sullivan
About the Author

David Sullivan has over 15 years recruitment experience and has spent the last 6 years running his own computer forensics recruitment consultancy, Appointments-UK

We all over-complicate things and this is certainly true when seeking a new job. Essentially, to be successful at a Computer Forensics interview you just need to demonstrate two things:

1. You have the technical skills needed to perform to a high standard;

2. You are a likeable person. This is described in numerous ways such as interpersonal skills, company fit etc, etc, but when it comes down to it I would argue strongly that essentially it comes down to whether the interviewer likes you. This is especially important in CF where you are likely to be working long hours, maybe in a hostile environment and often in stressful situations where personality clashes can cause real problems.

In this article we are going to focus on the second point - making sure we are as likeable as possible as, after all, if two people have very similar technical skills guess who gets the job? Think about it like this - when you have contacted a company or a recruiter, or when you have sat in an interview, how much have you thought about helping the potential employer to actually like you?

Who is David Herron?

This whole process starts way before you get to the interview room which I will demonstrate with the example of a CV I received a couple of months ago with the following cover note:

‘I have just finish my degree in BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing with Third Class Honours awarded and I am seeking employment. I heard of your agency when one of your reps who I think was called David Herron or David Sullivan came into our university 2 years ago to give a talk on your agency.’

Who is David Herron?!! I thought he was a line-backer at Kansas – I am David Sullivan. Agency?! We aren’t an agency, we are a Professional Search firm! Although my initial reaction was to laugh out loud that somebody had taken so little care in their cover note my next thought was that I was not going to make any effort at all to help this person. Maybe I just have issues about needing to be loved due to being ignored by my parents when I was five, but I bet that you too can remember a time when you bristled due to somebody having made no effort to know anything about you before they made contact.

On the other hand I do occasionally (very occasionally I should add) receive an email from a prospective jobseeker saying how much they have enjoyed my articles. OK, so having read my articles we both know that is unlikely to be strictly true but it doesn’t really matter – straight away I am keen to help this person purely as they have made me feel good about myself. Even if I can’t help them I am happy to spare the time to talk about the market and help them improve their CV – it is just human nature...


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