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A few words from the other side of the issue... I've been a
freelance/contract tech writer for a long time, and my experience is that
the verbiage in 99% of ALL hiring ads is WAY less than specific. Until some
client is willing to say exactly what they are looking for (e.g., "Someone
who can produce 5 web ready pages per day using FrontWeaver, on an NT box,
in a Novell LAN, in a small/large cubicle, with a 14 inch (or whatever)
monitor, with x, y, & z utilities, in an environment where priorities and
content requirements change hourly/daily/weekly, on a review cycle of x
hours/days, with limited/unlimited SME/user access, etc.) then I will be
forced to submit my standard resume.
My experience is that I rarely know what a client REALLY wants until I've
been engaged/hired and in their environment for about a week, if then.
I've been on the other side, too, and when I was managing and hiring I knew
how good my crystal ball was/wasn't and didn't expect more (!) of any
candidate. I was ALWAYS very successful in my hiring because I always hired
the best overall person available, who had the best attitude about working
and learning, and who I thought would best fit into the environment I had to
offer them. If they didn't happen to know DreamPage, it didn't matter. In
short, I always bet on general talent rather than specifics.
Finally, in general I don't think there is such a thing as an
"inappropriate" resume. Someone took the time to read the ad, make some kind
of inquiry, and took the time to respond. If they weren't interested they
wouldn't have done any of that. It usually takes a lot more time to respond
to an ad than it does for a hiring manager to throw some standard
boilerplate together and place the ad.
I particularly loved a response I once got, by email, from a VP of
Engineering in a high-tech start up where he criticized my writing samples
using grammar and syntax that wouldn't have gotten him out of the 6th grade.
I have it on my wall.
Tech Doc-It, Inc.
wallyg99 -at- home -dot- net <mailto:wallyg99 -at- home -dot- net>
From: bounce-techwr-l-9988 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-9988 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Murrell,
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 6:07 AM
Subject: RE: Employment Resources
> From: Tony Rocco[SMTP:tony -at- roundpeg -dot- com]
> I am having some trouble finding a qualified mid-level tech writer to help
> me document the Web sites my company produces for corporations.
> No offense to those who might have responded my job post, but the resumes
> I received
> left much to be desired. Is this typical for those of you in a position to
> hire tech writers?
Speaking from my own experience I would have to say that sometimes that's
true, Tony. When I've been looking at a general submission of resumes for a
position, maybe one in six or so (purely subjective estimate) is really
targeted at the job advertised. I've talked with managers hiring in several
different areas of several companies and divisions, and I hear from them
basically the same thing. People are going to submit inappropriate resumes,
or be totally unqualified for the job they submit a resume for. It's just
the way some people are, I guess. I don't know how far they get with that
approach, but I never keep a resume if I'm not going to talk to someone.
I would not get discouraged by that, though. I think it should be difficult
to fill a Technical Writer or related position. I know that some people
think anyone can do a Technical Writer's job. I don't think that's true.
Certainly, I am fussy about who I would hire or recommend to others.
Remember, "Many are called, but few are chosen." <G>
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