When you don't know the programs...

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Angnix
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31 Jul 2018, 12:39 pm

I found an interesting job posting of something I have done either at past jobs or in college... But the qualifications list a bunch of computer programs I am not familiar with using... I tend to pick up computer programs very quickly, in fact my computer class professor thought I should have majored in computers, but how to I showcase my strengths without calling to attention to the fact I am not familiar with these programs?


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BeaArthur
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01 Aug 2018, 2:51 am

That's a tough one. If they would be expecting you to know those programs from day one on the job, you won't be able to fake it and it will stress you. I would be likely to be honest in the application about the specific programs, just say you learn computer software quickly and mention similar programs you do know (like a different company but in the same category of program). Then stress the other aspects that you do have experience with.

You never know who your competition is. It might be there are people who know the software skills but lack those other skills that you have done.


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Angnix
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01 Aug 2018, 4:54 pm

I am interested because it involves writing about birds... But looking back at it it's just too many computer programs I don't know.


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BeaArthur
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01 Aug 2018, 6:48 pm

Google each program to see what it does - is it essentially similar to something you do know? Example, spreadsheet, database, page composition, photo editing, etc. Then I would apply and indicate you don't know Excel but you do know Lotus (is that even still around?), and stress that you are excited about writing about birds. It might turn out to be that that skill is harder for them to find than the software skills!


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Angnix
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01 Aug 2018, 7:55 pm

Some of the stuff I haven't done for awhile and photoediting ... I can't afford stuff like Photoshop and illustrator so I know opensource programs that do the same thing (self taught).


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BeaArthur
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01 Aug 2018, 8:07 pm

So say that when you apply!

I use Gimp which is pretty similar to every other photo editor. I use Apache Open Office which is extremely similar to Microsoft Office.

Here's the thing about Adobe products ... they change so much from one version to another that you practically have to learn the new one all over again. So if another applicant has Photoshop that is 3 releases ago, that might not do them any good with Photoshop just recently licensed.

You have nothing to lose. :)


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Angnix
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01 Aug 2018, 8:17 pm

I use GIMP and Inkscape. Good programs.


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Angnix
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06 Aug 2018, 6:37 pm

I actually asked if they would still be interested in an applicant like me that knew a lot about birds but would have to learn the programs and they said yes, and that I can include examples of my work too. I might consider applying to this one afterall.


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jimmy m
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06 Aug 2018, 7:00 pm

Many times an employer will put down a lot of requirements for a position knowing full well that almost no applicants will be able to meet all these requirements. Then when the employer downselects, they select someone who is the closest matches to their needs and someone they perceive as very motivated.

How is your handshake? When I was in the position of hiring personnel, my manager had an interesting quirk about certain requirements that needed to be met in a good candidate. Since the position required the individual travel and attend meetings and give presentation he want to make sure they were capable of representing the organization. They had to be able to give a firm handshake. [A weak handshake was indicative or a wishy-washy personality or someone who was indecisive and would make a poor presenter.] I remember one individual that had a weak handshake. I pulled him into the conference room and I asked him to shake my hand. It was like mush, like oatmeal. So I told him he would have to improve his handshake in order to meet the requirements for travel and his handshake was way too weak. So I had him shake my hands again. I would tell him a little better, let’s do it again. We repeated this several times and then the vice grip handshake appeared, the one that crushes bones. I said I think you almost have it but you are in a vice grip mode so ease off a little. We did it a few more times, and he was spot on. And that is all it took, just a few minutes of unique training that enabled him for a lifetime career. So generally in an interview you will shake the recruiter's hand. Make it spot on - not too weak and not too strong.



Angnix
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06 Aug 2018, 7:22 pm

How about phone interviews too? Now in the next two days I have one in-person and two phone interviews.


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07 Aug 2018, 7:19 am

Angnix wrote:
I actually asked if they would still be interested in an applicant like me that knew a lot about birds but would have to learn the programs and they said yes, and that I can include examples of my work too. I might consider applying to this one afterall.

Excellent!

Good luck with all your interviews. I'm so happy to see things moving along for you.


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Angnix
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07 Aug 2018, 9:44 am

BeaArthur wrote:
Angnix wrote:
I actually asked if they would still be interested in an applicant like me that knew a lot about birds but would have to learn the programs and they said yes, and that I can include examples of my work too. I might consider applying to this one afterall.

Excellent!

Good luck with all your interviews. I'm so happy to see things moving along for you.


Thanks!


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jimmy m
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07 Aug 2018, 4:00 pm

Good luck.



Angnix
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08 Aug 2018, 12:20 pm

To go back to the position I mentioned earlier, I spent a couple hours putting together a great cover letter, fixed up my resume more, and sent them examples of my work and even my transcripts to show how well I did at computers (perfect grade in that class).I sent them a bird story, a couple examples of my graphic editing and sign work, a lession plan I wrote, stuff like that. I put a lot of effort in it! What's cool about that job is that it's not location specific, you just have to attend an annual meeting in Chicago once a year and I could drive that from here, and it has a decent salary too!


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BeaArthur
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08 Aug 2018, 1:22 pm

That's excellent. This is the kind of initiative, and the kind of portfolio, that is likely to be viewed very positively. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!


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