RE: Getting Hired...Opinion #2500

Subject: RE: Getting Hired...Opinion #2500
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 14:04:01 -0700

Suzanne R. O'Kelly wrote:

> Hi folks. I'm reading your posts on your 4 page resumes, and
> I'm thinking "no, no, no." Too much blah blah puts you right
> in the no pile.

It's been a few years since I waded through a pile of resumes, but the
last time I did, there were over 200, and I sorted them into 3 piles:
(1) Consider, (2) Reject, and (3) Too Funny Not to Share. Everything
over two pages went into one of the latter two. Category 3 included
someone whose 30-year work history took 20 pages to describe, and
another who thought we'd be interested in details about his
accomplishments as an assistant fast food manager and a part-time
library assistant.

Category 2 included the more mundane long, boring resumes. Hey, the old
TW adage, "It depends," applies to resumes, too, I'm sure. But I'll go
out on a limb and declare that almost nobody cares that you documented a
DOS-based custom scheduling application in 1982, producing a user guide,
reference manual, and 3 different readme text files. The names of the
manuals you worked on? Are you kidding me?!?

If someone hands me a long resume full of trivial information, outdated
or irrelevant information, or repetitive information, I'm going to
assume that they'll turn out 400-page user manuals full of trivial,
outdated, irrelevant, and repetitive information. IMHO, such a resume
demonstrates that they lack good judgement and can't effectively
summarize, distill, prioritize, generalize, discard, and organize

Of course, there are places where "kitchen sink" manuals are de rigeur,
and such writers fit in nicely. So I'm sure some of you will continue to
dismiss calls for brevity by arguing that your 6-pager has been plenty
successful. Well, good for you. I'm glad you found a place that suits
you. I'm just glad it's not in the cube next to mine. ;-)

"It's my opinion and it's very true."


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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