RE: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?

Subject: RE: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?
From: "Will Husa" <will -dot- husa -at- 4techwriter -dot- com>
To: "'Peter Neilson'" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 08:46:35 -0500

Sometimes, it's difficult to avoid using "special" words in the resume. If
I have to use a special word, then I mask it by referring to it as the
project name. By your example, I would have referred to it as the "Emergy
project."

However, the biggest problem that I've had with HR types and Recruiters who
are not familiar with technical writers is the employment timeline.

Those who are not familiar with project work do not understand that project
work is not linear. Project work does not start and stop like employment.
Three months on a project may be average, but to those outside of our realm,
you look like a job hopper.

To combat this, my resume is organized by client and agency, then by start
date. It's the best way that I've found to describe project work to an
outsider. Since project work timelines overlap frequently, a project may
start in January, go for three months full time, take a month break, resume
for two months part time and stop. Meanwhile another project starts up in
March, goes for six months part time and gets put on hold. Three months
later, it resumes for 7 weeks. Then, the client that you hear from only once
a year has some updates that need to be accomplished ASAP while you are
doing a full time, contract agency job.

=========================================
Will Husa
Technical Writer
Your source for user-friendly documentation
Phone: 708-927-3569
Website: www.4techwriter.com

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+will -dot- husa=4techwriter -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+will -dot- husa=4techwriter -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Peter Neilson
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:24 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?

My resume necessarily contains many arcane terms, some of which are
flagged by MS Word as spelling errors. (Y'all's resumes have the same
feature, of course.) Personally, I use MS Word's spelling correction
magno cum grano salis, but I've just discovered, to my surprise, that
some HR departments might be judging the soundness of a writer's ability
by MS Word's count of misspellings in his resume.

An agent at a placement firm asked me, "There seems to be a spelling
error here, the word 'emergy'. That should be energy, right?" The word
itself is cute, esoteric and unfortunate, but it was indeed the subject
of a thesis that I helped a PhD candidate rewrite.

I had a sinking feeling that my rejection for "perfect" job matches,
getting no interview where it was rather clear to me that I was the most
appropriate candidate, could be from my inability to spell that word
"correctly."

The next version of my resume will omit it.

Does anyone else have evidence that HR people might be so misaligned
with reality as to assume that they can spell technical terms better
than tech writers?
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produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial: http://www.doctohelp.com

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learn to create SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS documents, and
get tips on FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION best practices. Free at:
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References:
How do hiring companies view TW resumes?: From: Peter Neilson

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