RE: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?

Subject: RE: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?
From: "Janoff, Steve" <Steve -dot- Janoff -at- Teradata -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 15:03:09 -0400

Larger issue that this addresses to me is being misunderstood in an
interview, whether with HR or someone else toward the front end of the
process, and feeling like Josef K. from "The Trial."

Years ago I used to have a section on my resume with legacy tools, and
someone would see vi or TeX and go, "Oh, you used TeX? I *love* TeX! I
used to use that..." and we'd have this great conversation about how
wonderful TeX or vi was. Didn't guarantee I'd get the job but it made
the process more pleasant and got me in some doors.

I shortened the resume over the years (it's now 1 page), and there was a
period where I'd agonize over whether to remove a tool or not. For
example, I'd remove RoboHELP and the very next recruiter or HR person
would say, "We're looking for someone with RoboHELP experience, sorry."
And then you start explaining, "But I... but... but... 5 years...
but..." -- too late. Or you take out a term that's too
military-oriented and then turns out they want that. Then you put it
back in and for space reasons take out another one that you think is
dated and then the next person wants exactly that.

And years ago they were so hung up on tools that if you didn't have
exactly the number of years they wanted on exactly the version they
wanted, you were out. We're only using 10% of the power of any of these
tools, if that. Later versions amplify the other 90%. Probably the
best job I ever got, the ad said years of JavaScript experience and I
wasn't as confident about that, and almost didn't apply. I plowed
through and ended up getting the job, and ended up using almost NO
JavaScript on the job.

There's just no rhyme or reason to the whole thing. That's why it pays
to just network like crazy and get the inside track, and get to know
your peers in hiring positions -- 5 years down the line, they may want
to bring you over to their shop.


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+steve -dot- janoff=teradata -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+steve -dot- janoff=teradata -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com]
On Behalf Of Peter Neilson
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:24 AM
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

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?

Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
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and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial:

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How do hiring companies view TW resumes?: From: Peter Neilson

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