RE: Tools versus skill set

Subject: RE: Tools versus skill set
From: "Carolee Ketelaar" <carolee -at- ketelaar -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 22:35:23 -0400

Trying to convince the employer to change his/her view on the tools issue is
probably a waste of time, even though you and I and every other tech writer
on this list knows tools are secondary. If your colleague wants to try to
salvage the situation, she should spend the next day or two learning the
tool the employer wants. She should download tutorials, find someone who
knows the software and is willing to bring her up to speed (she should be
willing to pay for this person's time), find a book about the software and
study it, etc., etc. Then on Monday, she can call the employer and tell
him/her she's got the basics down and is willing to get more training as
necessary in order to fully meet the requirements of the position. So
instead of focusing what she _can't_ offer and on what the employer needs to
change, she will instead be demonstrating what a hard-working,
problem-solving, get-the-job-done-right kind of employee she would be. If I
were the employer, I'd be impressed and would definitely give her a second
look. And, if she doesn't get this job, she'll have another tool to list on
her resume. Can't hurt.

Regards,
Carolee Ketelaar

Great Explanations, LLC
www.great-explanations.com

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+carolee=ketelaar -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+carolee=ketelaar -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Tammy Van Boening
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 3:23 PM
To: TechWhirl List
Subject: Tools versus skill set

All,



I have a colleague who has a superb set of skills for a job about which she
was recently contacted - many, many years in the field in internal QC and
auditing documentation, but the potential employer is all hung up about her
lack of a single software tool. We all know that tools are secondary and
that it's the underlying skills that are critical. (I can't tell you how
many tool monkeys I have worked with during my career that couldn't write
their way out of a paper sack! I at least had one potential employer
recognize this and state "that he could get a trained monkey to learn the
tool to produce OLH - he needed someone who understood the data flow of the
product and how to appropriately chunk and organize the information" - I got
the job, learned the tool and both sides were pleased.) That said, she is
not giving up, and I am helping her in redoing her resume that truthfully
and forcefully highlights her pertinent skill set. What I am looking for is
any references/articles that you may have tucked away in your archives that
provide a solid argument about why tools are frequently secondary - it's the
person's talent that you want. I swear I remember reading an article about
this topic in an STC journal (I think by the ubiquitous Mr. Hart) but for
the life of me, I can't seem to dig it up.



Any and all references/links/ etc. are sincerely appreciated. I know that
the many gurus and guru-esses on this list will have some guidance and
insight.



TIA,



TVB



Tammy Van Boening

Owner/Principal

Spectrum Writing, LLC

email: info -at- spectrumwritingllc -dot- com

web: www.spectrumwritingllc.com



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
Tools versus skill set: From: Tammy Van Boening

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