RE: I just got one of those resumes

Subject: RE: I just got one of those resumes
From: "Jane Carnall" <jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 11:41:03 -0000

| Martin,
| I think you've missed the point of Sharon's message: this applicant calls
| himself an "expert Word user" but doesn't use the tool as an expert would.
| What *is* she to think? That he's lying? That he thinks he's an expert but
| really hasn't a clue? That he's an expert in some parts of Word, but not
| styles? Something else?

More significant to me, actually, is that if he chose to use spaces and hard
returns to create formatting in his CV, that (according to Sharon) it "wraps
really badly". I use spaces and hard returns to create formatting in my CV
because I find that it converts to plain text better, and I want a CV that
is equally readable once someone has converted it to plain text from Word.
If he can't lay out his CV so that it looks good, it doesn't really matter
what technique he used, does it?

Though this thread is *scary*: it had never occurred to me that a potential
employer would conclude that because I *hadn't* used tables or tabs in my
CV, that must mean I

-am lying about being an expert Word user
-that I think I'm an expert but I really haven't a clue
-that if a technique doesn't appear in my CV, that must mean I don't know
how to use it

or even that I must have spent 8 years using various varieties of Word doing
everything by hand. <g> No, I don't own a dishwasher.) In the past 16 years
I've learned how to use (thoroughly) 6 different WPs, counting all the MS
Word sub-species as one WP: 7 if you count oldfashioned manual layout and
typing before that. Plus casual use of probably a dozen more text editors of
one kind or another. Isn't this just another variety of "tool question"?
("If you don't already know how to use the tool we want you to use the way
we want you to use it, we're not going to hire you, because we want someone
with enough experience to hit the ground running. No, we're not interested
in how fast you are at learning how to use new tools, nor at any other
technical experience you have that might be useful. Everything depends on
your having the right toolmarks in your CV, and if you don't have them,
we're not interested."

Granted, I appreciate the situation when you have a 100 CVs arrive for one
position: in all sanity, you *have* to find a means of weeding out at least
two-thirds of them before you actually settle down to pick a short list.
<rant> But I once had the experience of watching a TW job that looked
interesting hang around in the want-ads for at least 8 weeks because they
specifically wanted someone with experience in one particular tool. I
didn't - I'd never heard of it before, though I did some research for my
cover letter - and while I suppose I could have bluffed it, after watching
it recur for a fortnight I wrote to them offering my experience (which was a
pretty good match for the job) and talking up my ability to learn any
software tool *fast*. They wanted someone who could start ASAP and, due to
personal circumstances, I could have started on a week's notice. Got a nice
letter back from the agency saying no, the company were looking for someone
who already knew the tool well so that they could start immediately. Six
weeks later, the job ad finally vanished... </rant>

Oh well...

Jane Carnall
Platon: modo fac. Apologies for the long additional sig: it is added
automatically and outwith my control.


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