[Fwd: Re: Resume format]

Subject: [Fwd: Re: Resume format]
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 21:11:17 -0500


Naturally, it depends how desperate you are; but if you have the luxury of deciding not to work with this recruiter, that would be the choice I'd recommend. I've never seen any good come of a situation where the recruiter wanted to redo a résumé. Several techwrlers have told horror stories starting with just that practice, and to me it is the signal to watch for unscrupulous behavior. It is not only a waste of your time, but it can hurt your reputation in the local market.

As for your specific questions ...

Justin Cascio wrote:

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?

It's going to depend on the company, and there may not be any way to know in advance.

* 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?

If they need to see those keywords, give them the keywords. But listing in detail every feature of every program you've ever used on any job is a bit much. I think you had a more sensible approach.

* 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?

This depends on the level of the job you are applying for. If they're looking for a production person and you want to work as a production person, tell them about the tools. If they are looking for a writer to collect and organize information and present it in the appropriate media, mention a range of tools briefly to give the impression that you're not intimidated by a keyboard, but don't concentrate on them. Focus on your writing abilities instead.

* Was this recruiter definitely rude and defensive, or is it just my
neurotic opinion?

I think your neurotic opinion is an accurate assessment. As I said, if you're desperate, you may need to grit your teeth and go through with the transaction; but if you decide to do that, be sure you read everything they ask you to sign. In fact, you might ask politely for a day to review the things they ask you to sign, and use that day to have an employment lawyer review the stuff.

Did you know you can get RoboHelp certified?
To learn how, visit http://www.ehelp.com/techwr. Be sure to also check out
our special pricing offers and promotions for RoboHelp 2002.

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