RE: Resume: Educational relevance in light of actual experience?

Subject: RE: Resume: Educational relevance in light of actual experience?
From: Fred Sampson <fred -at- fredsampson -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 13:48:25 -0700

I've long maintained (and told my son) that after you've been working a few years, your education (degree, major, institution) become nearly irrelevant. Apparently not everyone agrees with me.

My resume omits dates for those items that would tend to suggest I'm "old," but includes dates for more recent, relevant, jobs and education. So my college graduation dates are missing. And no one seems to care.

However, when I changed careers from small business management to tech writing a few years back, I enrolled in a technical writing certificate program from the local university extension. I was also working as a tech writer at the same time. The date I earned that certificate is on my resume, you bet--it shows recent education in current tools and technologies. I don't, however, mention that I got an A in every single course! If anyone asks--and they have--I'll tell them.

Incidentally, when I was finishing the certificate program, I worked as a contractor at a company that also hired (full-time) another graduate of the same program. Everyone assumed that she was more experienced than I, since she finished the program first! They finally learned that I had twenty years' computer experience, to her zero, but not before I found a position at another company that valued my experience and education.

Fred Sampson
Technical Writer
fred -at- fredsampson -dot- com


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