RE: Resume format

Subject: RE: Resume format
From: "Wilcox, Rose (ZB5646)" <Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- pinnaclewest -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 18:17:30 -0700

So I guess I have a few questions about this experience:

* Do you think it's a good idea to sort the meat of a resume by skills
rather than by employers?
* Should anyone doing a first pass on resumes for a tech writer position
know that MS Office contains Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, if these are
required tools?
* Should I have even the most basic tools on my resume, everywhere I used
them, or should I only apply this treatment to more TW-specific tools like
RoboHELP and just mention once that I know how to use these tools?
* Was this recruiter definitely rude and defensive, or is it just my
neurotic opinion?

1) Possibly, but more when freelancing or if you have a spotty work
history. I have had the same experience, that most employers prefer my
chronological resume, rather than my functional resume.
2) Probably, but you can say you used MS Office and only have used two of
the three listed tools. Being specific is more clear.
3) Only for this job. Otherwise, the resume is to get your feet into the
door. I think listing each tool in each job description *usually* is too
much information. But the recruiter knows the company and if that is what
they are looking for, so tailor your resume for the audience. I have been
asked to do this once, so it is rare but not unheard of. I still use my
more generic resume, with tools and areas of expertise on top in a Summary
section and summarized job history (as well as education etc.) in order of
job for most jobs. However, I have been known to tweak the resume slightly
for a specific job or for a specific new area of interest.
4) I have no idea, not having been there.

I do, however, ask for an *edit* of their formatting changes rather than
*doing* the formatting for them. Many consulting companies have a specific
set of fonts and styles they use. For me to ask to proof that is not an
insult to them, but they may not want to let me do the formatting.

If a recruiter got defensive on me, I would just reply that I totally trust
her, but even the most experienced person sometimes could use a proofing,
and it would make me feel better. I would just soothe her hurt ego and go
ahead and make it like a little favor she is doing for nervous li'l old me
to let me proof. It is a professional courtesy that most consulting
companies have allowed me. The only time I don't get to do it is when the
turnaround to get the resume out is too tight. It also helps to avoid
misunderstandings with clients, like when the recruiter puts skills on my
resume that I don't have. Not that I would suggest to the recruiter that she
does that -- just that some other, less scrupulous recruiters have in the
past. It's not about her; it's just my policy. Etc., etc.

Rose A. Wilcox
Project Office / Power Trading
Communication Specialist / Technical Writer
Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- PinnacleWest -dot- com

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