RE: Having a killer resume

Subject: RE: Having a killer resume
From: "Marguerite Krupp" <mkrupp -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2002 09:06:23 -0400

Annie Lajarisse wrote:
> What approach would you
> recommend for someone with plenty of experience but no degree?

As I've said in other threads, having a degree, especially one relevant to
your field, CAN give you a jump start in your career. BUT there are many
excellent tech writers both with and without degrees - AND many dreadful
tech writers both with and without degrees.

The point is that a degree is not, IMHO, a requirement. [Heresy, perhaps,
from a college teacher, but true!]

When I was a hiring manager, I wanted to see what you could do that would
help me solve my business problems. A degree tells me, among other things,
that you have the wherewithall to stick with a project, do some research,
and produce a result. You can convince a hiring manager that you have those
same characteristics by the quality of your work and by doing the research
about the company that lets you answer that basic question, "How are you
going to help my company?" Focusing on the company will help you structure
your resume and portfolio for maximum impact.

Of course, if you're hitting the job boards, you can't do that at first, but
you CAN do that once you get an interview.

In fact, you've already written your own educational summary:

> Twenty years ago, as a precocious, multilingual, hyper-literate kid, I
> launched into dirt-cheap world travel and assorted arts and media
> projects instead of college. I fell fairly naturally into
> technical writing
> because I like coming up with simple explanations for complicated
> things --
> and I'm good at it. I think I have a pretty interesting and valuable
> background, and my years of experience speak for themselves.

You have no need to defend this lack of a degree. If you've taken courses or
seminars, list them. By all means DO list your skills and highlight key,
relevant accomplishments in your resume. No need to make a big deal of the
degree thing. If you don't, chances are good that they won't. Yes, some
companies DO pay more for doctorates. But I'd rather look at what the person
brings to the party... the whole package.


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Re: Having a killer resume: From: Annie Lajarisse

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