Re: Tips on Getting Hired

Subject: Re: Tips on Getting Hired
From: Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 23:31:06 -0500

I beg to differ. Cover letters and resumes are inextricably linked. If you do not present a good cover letter, why should I read your resume? It shows you were too lazy to address my job requirements as stated in the posting. I have hired many technical writers and helped many of my students and former employees get jobs. My point, in case anyone missed it, was that you should tailor your application to the job, the company, and your qualifications, and communicate yourself as an individual every time you apply. If the company rejects your 5-page resume after reading a good cover letter, simply because it's 5 pages, why do you want to work for a place that is so arbitrary? I have never had anyone complain about my 6-page resume, my years of experience, or my job application approach. I've always managed to find a good job when I wanted one, get clients when I wanted them, and contract when I felt like it. But as I said, you need to find an approach that works for you. If you like the 2-page resume cap idea, good luck with that.

Ami WRIGHT wrote:

I think there are a couple of things worth noting in people’s posts:
Myself, Steve Jong, Gene Kim-Eng, and Richard Combs either are currently,
or have been in the past, in a position to actually hire technical writers.
We are all advocating for resumes that are short and to-the-point.
So far, some of the posts have been from technical writers protesting that
their experience requires a long resume, but I haven't heard any hiring
managers say that’s what they want. (Any hiring managers out there who want
to let us know that they prefer long resumes?)

Also, note this from Al Geist, who has 30 years of experience: “I have
noticed that since I started tailoring my resume and keeping it short and
sweet, I've gotten a lot more interviews.”

So if you’re playing a numbers game, try a tight, targeted resume to reduce
the percentage of the other 3,246,974 companies that you need to contact
before you find one that wants to bring you in.

Beth, cover letters are a whole other topic, and I'd have to go look
specifically at the cover letters that came with the 5-page resumes. For
the moment, I prefer to stick to the original topic, because I don't have
time to address everything at once.

Suzanne, the problem with including a bunch of stuff that's more than ten
years old isn't that it makes you look old, it's that the technology is
old. If I'm looking for someone who knows Java, the fact that you know PL/I
probably isn't going to get you much.
Beth Agnew
Catch the Buzz:
STC Presentation archived at:

Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416.491.5050 x3133


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Re: Tips on Getting Hired: From: Ami WRIGHT

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