On Handshakes and Applying Online: A Sinner Speaks Out

Subject: On Handshakes and Applying Online: A Sinner Speaks Out
From: Ed Manley <EManley -at- Solutionsplus -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 12:07:55 -0600

I know that in light of my recent failure to appropriately examine a
candidate I should keep my mouth tightly shut on this issue,
but I have to ask the managers who use résumés as a skill examination this

What are a Writing Samples Portfolio and a candidate's references for, if
not skills determination?

I too can think of many reason's a TW candidate might not be a Word expert -
and unless I am explicitly hiring a Word expert, why should I care?

More importantly, not all documents look and "act" alike - I would want to
see various types of document to be sure this writer knows more than one way
to do something.

If I am hiring a Technical Writer, I certainly do care about their ability
to use style (NOT STYLES), to display an understanding of purpose, content,
clarity, format, layout, whatever; but I care far more that they have
experience in my specific area (software development, in my case), and know
when to write functional description, when to write technical description,
where and how.

The résumé is a sales tool and a first impression, and agree that any TW who
submits a sloppy résumé should not be considered, but come on, none of us
should be so rigid that the words in the résumé can't entice us to look at
the candidate a bit deeper.

I read a résumé to see if there's a candidate with my needs in their
repertoire - and believe me my needs go far beyond Word style sheets.

As mentioned in an earlier post on this topic, I strongly recommend PDF
publication when and where possible.

Lastly, I must add this: It would scare the hell out of me to think I had to
work with a perfectionist of this order. Regardless of my title or tasking
my real job is to get quality software implemented profitably. Everything I
do is in support of that. Spending hours examining document construction
does not support that end. There is a body of evidence (including continuous
paychecks!) that supports my assertion that I can do my job. Never in my
twenty-three years at it has anyone ever expressed an interest in the
underlying structure of one of my documents. But then, my documents are
purfekt anyway

Again, my opinion may be discounted in light of my recent hiring disaster
(documented on this list). Take it for what it's worth!


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