Re: Employment history low points

Subject: Re: Employment history low points
From: "Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 07:56:55 -0800 (PST)

Employment screeners seem to have a hard time figuring out _any_
kind of complexity in a resume. Any over-simplification you can
create in the resume (short of actual dishonesty) is probably a
good thing for a mass-market resume. On the other hand, you'll
also need a more verbose resume to give to serious employers.

Also organizations will lie to you about why you were let go.
Struggling companies will manufacture performance issues against
employees (especially low-on-the-totem-pole technical writers)
so they can pink-slip them without having to admit the real
issues of poor management or failing finances.

Most software shops can tolerate being without technical writers
for six months or so before problems start to develop. So it's
easy to "fire" a few tech writers to juice the balance sheet for
a quarter or two.

In one company I witnessed a quiet wave of hurry-up performance
reviews and sudden terminations for "performance issues" up to
ten days before the employee option vesting date. Of course all
the nonvested options eventually reverted to the executives who
did the firing.

In another company I witnessed another wave of quiet
"performance" firings, one month before the major layoff which -
surprise- came in just under the WARN act limit (i.e., if they
had laid everybody off at once they would have been required by
law to give advance notice).

Personally I'm out of that game, but I remember it well. As an
independent, I have worked for the same company (mine) with the
same job title (president) for the last five years. Being
independent doesn't guarantee you'll find work, but it sure
simplifies the resume.

Mike O.

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