Re: WP vs Word

Subject: Re: WP vs Word
From: Erik Harris <ewh -at- PLAZA -dot- DS -dot- ADP -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 1994 12:10:27 -0800

Rick Lippincott said:
>But this reflects on a discussion we had a couple of weeks ago. As the
>client doesn't want to buy 10 different applications, neither do I. I don't
>have the cash, I don't have the hard drive space to own copies of every WP
>and DTP commonly used. But, when I was job hunting, there were these
>barriers. "You know FrameMaker, but not Pagemaker?" "You know Frame on
>Windows, but not on a Mac?" "You know Word for Windows 2.0, but not 6.0?"

>I wish more people had asked me if I knew how to -write-.

Quite true! I had this same experience in a job hunt last year, and finally
figured out that it may be due to poor directions being given to initial
screening persons in an HR department. They are told to find someone who
knows x DTP package; if it isn't on your resume or on your
hastily-completed application form, filled out in their office, they get
suspicious, EVEN THOUGH they may not really know why x DTP is on the
screening list, whether (and how) it's really used by other writers at the
company (assuming they all *do* use what was in the big, glamorous Help
Wanted ad last week), what you as a tech writer are going to use it for, or
whether you can learn it overnight.

Rick's examples are egregious ones, but telling: An untutored HR screening
person or other interviewer doesn't necessarily make a distinction between
something called "Word 2.0" and something called "Word 6.0", even though
the distinction may be completely irrelevant to the work required of the

FWIW: My solution, after counsel from some headhunters, was to add an
addendum page to my resume listing EVERY operating system, hardware
platform, and software package (WP, DTP, communications, graphics, etc.) I
had reasonable working familiarity with. Such a list is a service to you
and to a prospective employer--because the busy HR staff member who is
checking the resumes in the mail for the phrases "PageMaker", "Windows
3.1", and "Corel Draw" is all too happy not to call you if he or she
doesn't see it in your letter.

Quod erat demonstrandum
Erik Harris
ewh -at- plaza -dot- ds -dot- adp -dot- com (weekdays)
TrinityPlc -at- aol -dot- com (home)

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