Re: Resume format

Subject: Re: Resume format
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 06:52:48 -0800 (PST)

Justin (and everyone else, for that matter), I would pay attention to what Brad
Elder,brad -at- elstore -dot- com, wrote in his first response to this thread. Here is an
honest to goodness member of the audience for a technical communicator's resume
telling you what 'connects' with your audience. Some of his preferences may be
idiosyncratic, in my humble opinion, but there are good insights into the minds
of the people you are trying to reach with your resume. I particularly
recommend his comments about "what you can do for me." They tell you a lot
about how to get past the initial screening of resumes and into the interview
where all jobs are won or lost.

Personally, I use and prefer an Accomplishments resume to one that lists either
job history or tools/skills. I have found that a lot of potential
employers--perhaps even Mr. Elder--can figure out what I can do for them based
on what I have done, what I have accomplished, in other jobs. Another thing I
do is tailor my resume for the specific position I'm applying for. So I do list
tools, and I do list relevant job history information, but the bulk of my
resume is focused on what I've accomplished in other jobs that might be
relevant to the position I'm applying for this time. (If you're interested in
what an example of my resume looks like, there are links on my web site.)

While we're on the subject of resumes, I'd like to make an observation. It
seems to me that most people, not just technical communicators, treat their
resume like it is some sort of talisman, some sort of lucky charm. Once they
find something that works, that's it! It's their Holy Grail, and they are the
new missionaries of the faith. This is a natural reaction. So much of the job
search seems like magic; once you find a 'charm' that works, you want to stick
with it, not change a thing.

Truth is, there are lots of ways to craft a resume...or a CV for our
non-American readers <g>...and your way, or Brad Elder's way, or even my way
(which is obviously the most effective way of all) are all about the same in
the end. Just don't fall in love with only one way to do things.

I think this is especially worth considering when you're working with Agencies.
Treat them as you would a potential employer. They may not be right, but they
ARE in a position to help you or not. They have more candidates than you have

Just my humble <g> thoughts.

Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com
Personal Web Page -
Page Last Updated 02/11/02

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Resume format: From: Justin Cascio

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