Re: Resume format

Subject: Re: Resume format
From: Rev Simon Rumble <simon -at- rumble -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 14:58:32 +0000

On Mon 18 Feb, Justin Cascio bloviated thus:

> include specific mentions of every job at which I used MS Word, Excel, and
> PowerPoint, because the job description specifies that these are required
> tools. I pointed out that I had MS Office listed on my rez, but she said
> that wasn't enough, and that HR people wouldn't necessarily know that Word,
> Excel, and PowerPoint are part of the Office suite.

I've had this one too. If your CV is going in to moron HR people,
then this recruiter isn't even trusted by the company you're being
pitched at. That means your CV will be in the same in-tray as cold
callers. If they don't trust the recruiter, neither would I.

> I told her that I would want to make any necessary
> formatting changes and corrections myself, because as a technical writer,
> format and spelling are so important on a resume.

I interviewed someone years ago for a data entry position. The agency
faxed her CV to me beforehand. Typing mistakes on almost every line.
Needless to say, my first question was whether the agency had typed
her CV. They hadn't. She went away immediately with her red-penned
CV and some advice to clean it up and I sacked the agency. Their job
is to screen applicants and save time, not pitch anyone they can find
at the job.

> She got hugely defensive,
> saying she's been in the business x years and knows what she's doing, etc.

Sounds like your standard pushy recruiter. Don't put up with it. If
you're assertive, the recruiters see this as a sign of desirability
and will chase you, not the other way around.

> * 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?

Yes. If the HR Department isn't competent enough to do that, I
wouldn't be too confident in their ability to make sure your pay goes
in regularly either.

> * 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?

If you have been a TW, you have used Word. It's as simple as that.
That said, I actually have two CVs: one for these types of idiots.
That was because prior to my current permanent position, I was trying
to find contract work and the market was tough so I was a bit

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

Yes, and you don't have to take it.

Rev Simon Rumble <simon -at- rumble -dot- net>

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare,
terror, murder, bloodshed---they produced Michelangelo,
Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they
had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and
peace and what did that produce...? The cuckoo clock.

- Orson Welles

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Resume format: From: Justin Cascio

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