Re: As a hiring manager, what are you looking for in a resume?

Subject: Re: As a hiring manager, what are you looking for in a resume?
From: "Monica Cellio" <cellio -at- pobox -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 14:43:33 -0500 (EST)


> As a hiring manager, what are you looking for in a resume?
> Do you think hiring managers with a technical writing background look for
> different things than one that is just getting to employee their first
> technical writer.

I am a software developer and manager who was formerly a full-time tech
writer. (I still do some writing, but it's not the majority of my work
any more.) When I was hired it was for a sole-writer position.

What I look for in a resume is: technical expertise (what domains do you
already know?), types of writing, size/complexity of past projects, and
classes of tools. On this last: I don't care about the long list of tools
(my eyes kind og glaze over, actually), just as for programmers I don't
care about the long list of languages dating back to college. I do care
about whether the candidate has worked with structured editing (e.g. XML)
versus just working in Word. I care about whether a candidate has built
or maintained the tool chain. But I don't really care if you've used Epic
or FrameMaker. Tools are tools; I assume you can learn the ones we use.
We'll sanity-check that assumption in the interview.

You may have noticed an absence of actual writing skills on my list. I
can't judge that from a resume (except in the negative); that's what the
writing samples are for, and they're essential. I want up to a few hours
with them, not just what I can see while we're talking during the
interview.

I don't have a lot of data about what non-writer hiring managers look for,
but I believe the factors that got me hired by my current company were:
technical skill (both writing and programming), ability to work with
geeks, ability to work independently (demonstrated by past positions), and
asking insightful questions about their software (showing that I wasn't
going to just parrot what the SMEs told me, and also that I'd done some
homework). (Granted, you don't get to demonstrate some of that until you
get the interview.)

Monica


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References:
As a hiring manager, what are you looking for in a resume?: From: Karen

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