Re: resume fondling -- am I being too picky? [AND] Re: Click or Click on vs. Press

Subject: Re: resume fondling -- am I being too picky? [AND] Re: Click or Click on vs. Press
From: <Jeanne -dot- Keuma -at- CH2M -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 19:34:09 -0600

T.W. Smith asked about resumes...

Regarding the standards you look for in resumes: I'm with you because
I've needed people who can do everything (write, edit, format, manage
the documentation process...and even make professional-looking copies).
In addition to the qualifications you listed, I also give a timed online
writing test (information is provided, applicants are given a task to
write a brief document using and focusing the information; gives me
evidence of typing and computer ability as well as writing) and a timed
paper-and-pen editing test (short document riddled with actual errors;
gives me evidence of expertise in grammar, punctuation, formatting,
style, further writing ability for sections with particularly bad
writing, and even things such as knowing when to use headings, headers,
footers, bulleted lists, etc.). We're Word all the way, so I also
require testing in Word, as well as in typing and Excel. (Staffing
agencies can help with software and typing tests.) This has been the
best way to gauge an applicant's overall level of expertise and to gauge
how much I will have to invest in training. Another key thing I look for
is the ability to adapt and to learn quickly (since some candidates may
need to learn some of the software we use or some of the advanced
functions, but are very quick learners so it is worth the training
investment if they have expertise in the other areas). These in-person
tests, as well as phone and in-person interviews, also aid in assessing
attitude and relational/interpersonal skills (can-do attitude and
teamwork perspective are necessary). I remember a candidate who became
frustrated and was banging keys/keyboard around--a telltale sign that
the applicant may not have been the best person to work with.

[Dick Margulis commented on online resumes submitted through the Web and
stripped of formatting]

I've had to receive Web resumes too. It has impressed me when a
candidate has considered that the resume will need to be inputted as
"plain text" and has included pseudo-formatting using doublespacing and
extra spaces. Those resumes were definitely easier to read than others
with text that ran together, sans paragraphs.

[T.W. Smith on "press" vs. "click"]
I use "impact" for keyboards and "leverage" for touch screens.

You made me LOL! Thanks for the chuckle!

One could use "select" for everything. Eliminates "click" and "press."

There's probably a standard in the Microsoft style guide.

Jeanne K. Tsutsui Keuma
Senior Writer, Editor, and Proposal Manager
Technical Publications, Honolulu

-----Original Message-----
From: "T.W. Smith" <techwordsmith -at- gmail -dot- com>
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 1:31 PM
Subject: resume fondling -- am I being too picky?

Am seeing quite a few resumes these days--telephony technical writing,
mostly books, a little online help, using FM and WWP mostly, some
Word. We receive mostly Word docs, to which I do not object (I prefer
reviewing these to reviewing PDFs). Here are some common things I trip
over, some are mostly harmless, but I trip on them anyway. Am I being
too picky?

1) Run-on sentences, especially in the objective/summary section.

2) Incorrect capitalization of the tools the candidate has said
they've used. For example, "Framemaker."

3) Everything tagged Normal. Or, a hodge-podge of style use. (Which is
why I prefer to receive Word files; I look at the structure of the
content in the resume and style use and evaluate the author based on
the sample.)

4) Failure to indicate which tools were used at which jobs.

5) Failure to indicate size of documentation projects at various jobs;
was it a long doc or short one? (I can infer some of this from the
tools used, PPT for example would cause me to believe the doc was
short, but I cannot infer that a user guide is either short or long.)

6) Oddly inconsistent case. For example, "I wrote User Guides and
online help"; I find it odd that User Guides and help differ in case.

7) Ambiguous employment descriptions anf an odd mix of sentences and
non-sentences in employment descriptions.

8) Poor font choice, manual kerning changes, that combined with
run-ons (1.) makes the resume hard to read.

9) Failure to embed fonts in PDFs.

10) Document properties that list an author other than the candidate.

I'll stop there. Thoughts?

Remember, this is online. Take everything with a mine of salt and a =


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