Re: Indicating comparable knowledge in cover letter

Subject: Re: Indicating comparable knowledge in cover letter
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 09:43:50 -0700

When I write my job descriptions, unless I believe that knowledge of a
particular tool is essential and learning that tool OTJ is impractical (very
rare occurrence), I always say "or equivalent" to indicate that comparable
knowledge should be acceptable. However, I find that HR and third party
recruiting screeners are often not sufficiently familiar with tools to know what
is "equivalent," and I must concentrate on briefing them about what
*capabilities and experience* I need rather than giving them a keyword list of

If you can somehow break through the HR/recruiter wall to the hiring manager,
either of the choices you are considering should do the job. If not, I would
probably just say "three years experience in online help authoring" and let it
go at that, because if the screener hasn't been properly briefed by a hiring
manager who's considering equivalent experience, saying anything more probably
isn't going to help no matter how you do it.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tech Writer" <tech-writer -at- live -dot- com>
> Sometimes I come across job openings which require a specific skill, such as
> RoboHelp experience, and I have a comparable skill, such as EC Help & Manual.
> I'm guessing others have had this experience with applications such as
> Captivate vs Camtasia and others.
> I want to comment on this in my cover letter; however, I'm not sure how to do
> this without calling too much attention to it.
> Should I simply state "I have three years experience in online help authoring
> using EC Software Help & Manual--an application which is very similar to
> RoboHelp." Or should I continue to discuss how quickly I pickup new software
> applications, self-study, and/or webinars?


Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

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