RE: Tips on Getting Hired

Subject: RE: Tips on Getting Hired
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 10:05:23 +0900

Jim B said:
> It's difficult for me to imagine some of the people on this list condensing
> their 20+ years of experience, education, goals, awards, etc. to two pages.
> It would look something like this: "Widget Co., 1984-1985, Tech Writer:
> Worked hard, got paid, liked it".

Unless there's something about the Widget Co. job that directly relates to the position you're applying for, that's probably all you can or should say. If you're still a working writer, presumably you have much more recent experience that would cover whatever relevant skills you used back then.

Of course there are times when you should emphasise even older projects or positions:
- high-profile employer or project
- sounds cool
- rare skill

So if the employer has a middleware product for creating defence simulations on UNIX, you might highlight the time you worked at defence contractor A in the early 90s, the middleware toolkit you wrote about a few years ago, any UNIX or Linux projects you've been involved with, and so on.

I don't usually say much about my time as a mainframe programmer in the 1980s, because so what? Mainly I keep it there to show that I wasn't hoboing or in the slammer between 1984 and 1991. But if the job description mentions mainframe skills, experience in a s/w development environment, surveys, data mining, etc, you can bet I turn those three lines into a couple of paragraphs.


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