RE: Is this hackneyed or cliche?

Subject: RE: Is this hackneyed or cliche?
From: "Eason, David" <David -dot- Eason -at- lsi -dot- com>
To: "Dubin, David" <David -dot- Dubin -at- sage -dot- com>, "technical writing plus" <doc-x -at- earthlink -dot- net>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 09:38:01 -0700


And sometimes the reverse happens. One time, I was part of an interview
panel for a technical writer at a software development company. One
applicant claimed on his resume a master's degree in technical writing
from a very prestigious university, a lot of experience, and an
extensive technical writing background.

The screener had looked at all the content and thought it impressive
enough to pass on to the decision-maker, who set up the interview. When
I got a copy of the resume the day before the interview, I looked at it
briefly and immediately decided I would recommend not hiring this
person. The resume was replete with typographical errors, erroneous and
inconsistent punctuation, and other indicators of a bad technical

When I asked about writing samples, the interviewee pulled out a
briefcase full of documents--enough to completely cover a 4"x8" table.
Apparently, he thought I was interested in quantity, not quality. As a
courtesy, I leafed through them. All of the documents were 8, 10, 12
years old. The most notable aspect was that on all of them, he was named
as a co-author or other secondary role, not as the author.

I showed the resume errors to the decision-maker. He apologized and
admitted that if he had seen them, the person would not have been
invited for an interview.

Big waste of time, but an educating and eye-opening experience.

David Eason

-----Original Message-----

From: Dubin, David [mailto:David -dot- Dubin -at- sage -dot- com]

Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 8:33 AM

To: Eason, David; technical writing plus; TECHWR-L

Subject: RE: Is this hackneyed or cliche?

David Eason said, "In my experience, the HR screener or other gatekeeper

is not the one who makes the decisions about whom to interview and hire,

just which resumes to forward to the person who will decide whom to

interview and hire. The "hiring authority" and the decision-maker are

not the same person."

I must add a big AMEN! to that. It has also been my experience that

often good candidates do not make it past the gatekeeper for one reason

or another and therefore the real decision-maker may have lost a

potentially excellent employee. In many cases, the gatekeeper's bias is

due to their age (read youth) and inexperience in the discipline(s) that

are required for the posted position. This seems especially true of

technical communications/learning positions where youth seems more

valuable than knowledge and experience.

David B. Dubin

Senior Curriculum Developer

Sage Software

727-579-1111 x 3356

david -dot- dubin -at- sage -dot- com

Your business in mind.


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