RE: resumes/recruiters

Subject: RE: resumes/recruiters
From: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>
To: "'Joanne Wittenbrook'" <jwittenbrook -at- ameritech -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2007 21:31:12 -0800

Hi Joanne,

I think that there are a few issues here. One, is that after the dot-com
bust, there were more people calling themselves Technical Writers because
they lacked enough qualifications for other work. Another, is that
searchable databases made it easy to find people with right "keywords" in
their resume. I think that hiring managers are beginning to see flaws in
increased competition and improved technology. I also suspect that some job
descriptions are posted to get names in a database, while there really isn't
a position open.

An issue that I see while competing for State contracts, is that with fewer
jobs than applicants, there is a lot of nepotism where jobs go to people
that are friends or family or previous associates of the people doing the
hiring. I also saw an odd case of incompetence procreating itself, where
there was state worker (programmer) that needed to hire another person, so
she hired somebody who had less skill than she had, and she did not have
much skill.

Some of the issues that concern getting work these days is finances.
Companies got very burned by the sudden growth of technology and
technology-focused applicants. I think that they are reluctant to hire
someone that might cost too much. So an applicant with an excellent resume
could be too pricey. If that applicant also happens to be willing to work
for a low rate, then there might be a problem with that applicant,
otherwise, there would be a higher rate.

I work as a contractor for short-term contracts. I had an old resume on
Dice and a recruiter called me about FSR work. (A real recruiter from a
company that I had worked with before and not a recruiter using some search
tool to fish for leads.) I sent her my latest resume and she mentioned that
my resume had more business analysis than technical writing lately, so she
wanted me to call myself a Business Analyst on some jobs. Whatever, I don't
care what my title is. Then she proposed a higher rate. Well that's nice.
The resume that I sent is appropriate for an FSR Writer, but it could be a
little heavy for a Technical Writer. I think that many of us can write very
heavy resumes for ourselves, but hiring managers don't really want someone
to come in and take over and this is a possible interpretation for a very
heavy resume. On the other side, however, a resume that is too light will
look under-qualified.

It is important to strike a balance in a resume and not come on too strong
or too soft. When you say that a job description fit your resume precisely,
did you limit yourself to the points in the description with minimal but
sufficient support of your qualifications? Or did you include a lot of
other qualifications that were not really required by the job? If there is
too much, then you could look like you might be too busy with too many
things to focus on the job.

A resume with too much information can easily cover nearly every technical
writing discipline and more. I imagine that there are many people out there
competing for the same jobs that will try and cover everything in their
resume. How does a resume like this stand out from the rest? The key here
is to stand out and look like the ideal candidate and not look like the
other applicants that are covering everything and more with their resumes.


> I'm sure I'm not the only one that has spent months
> crafting a very targeted resume. Throughout my career I have
> been very successful in getting responses to my resumes. It
> is with the adoption of web submission and scanning of
> resumes that I suddenly find I cannot seem to hit the target.
> I had one recruiter remark that "resumes don't really tell
> you much anyway". So what the heck are we all doing?
> Joanne


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