Re: Interviews & red flags

Subject: Re: Interviews & red flags
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 09:07:08 -0700

Quoting TechComm Dood <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>:

> Well, I particularly don't like receiving resumes with [snip]

This is one of those areas where you can't win. Mentioning a Mensa membership
will impress some interviewers but distance others. Some interviewers like to
see volunteer work like teaching Bible classes, while others see the information
as irrelevant. Some like to see hobbies because they give a better idea of the
interviewee and provide talking points, while others think that mentioning them
is a waste of time. The closest you can come to pleasing everyone is to have
these sections in your resume, but to keep them short - and even then, you'll
have complaints that the sections should have been longer or cut.

Old job histories, poor resume design, and spelling mistakes are another matter
- not because there is anything innately wrong with them so much as because they
suggest an inability to organize and present well. That's true of any job, not
just of tech-writing.

> I also don't like "best thing since..." cover letters, where the
> candidate goes overboard on why they are the bees knees. Just what
> everyone is looking for... someone who will tell you how good they are
> so you don't have to waste time in evaluating them for yourself!

The trouble with this type of cover letter, I think, is that the candidates have
learned somewhere that a cover letter should stand out and show that they're
qualified, but they don't write well enough to accomplish these goals. That
said, I think you have to expect a little hype in cover letters, and look beyond
it to the substance.

Bruce Byfield


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Re: Interviews & red flags: From: TechComm Dood

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