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In hiring I have never stressed tools over writing skills . . . however,
I DO stress initiative. A few years ago I was teaching a class of
technical writers and they started complaining to me that all the
entry level jobs required FrameMaker. I said, "So? There's a computer
lab with FrameMaker loaded just down the hall. You can work there
anytime no class is scheduled. Go learn it."
If an applicant doesn't have experience with FrameMaker, I usually want
to be assured that he or she has experience with several other programs.
That way, I am reasonably assured that the learning curve won't be
too steep. The one mistake I made in the last few years was to hire a
person with limited experience with any program, and he was not able
to learn FrameMaker (or, indeed, anything he needed to know for the
job) very quickly.
My point is that I would be reluctant to take a chance on you unless I
could see indications that you making an effort to upgrade your skills in
some way. If I see that initiative going on to redress those lacks, then
that's another thing.
> I'm sure the employers on this list are just chomping at the bit.
> Here are some "problem areas":
> - My resume is terrible. It's old, has nothing but coursework and
> unrelated experience on it.
> - I don't really know the tools. FrameMaker? Ack. Word? Haven't
> messed with a Microsoft product in a while...
> - The skills I have, I can't easily define.