RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler

Subject: RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: 'Dan Goldstein' <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 13:20:49 -0700 (PDT)

Caution: there follows a rant based on totally non-scientific personal feelings.

As a job seeker in the technical writing field, I don't want any kind
of STC certification to become important in the minds of people who
make the hiring decisions.  There are already too many ways in which we
are being hurt by things that make the decision making process quicker
and easier for the people doing the hiring.

The problem is, anything that makes the decision making easier for the
hiring companies must do so by denigrating the experience, personal
characteristics, and human qualities of the person seeking the job. 
The things that make it easier for the deciders work by reducing the
initial stages of the hiring processes to nothing but a mechanical
process that involves no consideration of the actual person who put in
the application.  Too often today, when it comes to getting that first
interview, nothing matters but whether or not you have the right
degree, or the right software tool listed on your resume.  There are
already too many ways in which deciders try to reduce the decision
process to doing nothing but checking off boxes on their lists.  We
who are looking for jobs do NOT need to give hiring deciders yet another
excuse to make decisions based on nothing but the question of whether
or not someone has the "right" piece of paper on their wall.

The idea that the STC may be doing something good for technical writers with this certification business is, in my opinion, ludicrous.  It is is cannibalistic.  It amounts to the STC saying we think if you can't pass our certification you don't deserve the job title, and we'll throw you away in the hiring decisions.  It makes me think the STC thinks it is in the business of protecting its industry at the expense of the practitioners.  It is too easy to realize the effect of such a certification would be not helping TWs find work, but culling the herd. 

I thought the purpose of the STC was to enhance the public and professional image of tech writers, and give them support that could help them in their careers.  And they apparently think the way to do that is to do things that limit the field for the hiring deciders even before an application is filled.  Since when is it the STC's business to offer to do the corporations' work for them?  The STC is not helping anyone by giving employers yet another excuse for throwing out job seekers' resumes without thinking about the actual candidate.  The idea behind this certification idea may be good but the real world effect of it would be self-destructive.

I don't want the STC or anyone else doing something that may affect my chances of finding another job for reasons that I don't agree with, that they didn't ask me about, that I had no input on, and that are arguable at best.  I am a damn good tech writer and I'll prove that to anyone who offers me any kind of test.  I don't need or want the STC doing something that affects my marketability without my leave and for reasons that having nothing to do with me.

If a person tasked to do the hiring is not willing to actually *think*
about the applicants, that person should ask to be relieved of the task
and let someone else do it.  Trying to make the hiring process even
more mechanical and less humanized than it already is is grossly unfair
to the job seeker.  The hiring process is difficult and time consuming for the people doing the hiring?  Tough bananas - they knew the job was dangerous when they took it.  It sure can't be any worse than the death march projects they expect us to work.


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RE: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler: From: Sharon Burton

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