Re: Resume length

Subject: Re: Resume length
From: Shelly LaRock <smlarock -at- MTU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 1994 14:28:39 EDT

Hi All,

I just want to thank everyone who replied so quickly to my question about resume
length. Once again, I've received a lot of great advice from this list. I
would like to respond to what I've read.

> I think that a new grad who can't keep his/her resume to one page needs to
> learn to write more concisely. ...RM

A new college graduate needs to have a lot more information on a resume than
someone who's been working in industry since 1965! Prospective employers want
to know about our previous work experience, what kind of special courses we've
taken, honors and awards, extracurricular activities, what kind of computer
experience we have, etc., not to mention our education, major, minor, cumulative
GPA, departmental GPA, and date of graduation. I will have a lot harder time
proving myself as a good technical writer than a person who has five, ten, or
twenty years of experience.

The three jobs I have listed on my resume are ALL technical writing jobs, but
they are all very different. One job is software documentation. One job is
producing a magazine. One job is writing tech briefs on electrical devices.
My job descriptions are bulleted lists, so I don't have extensively wordy
paragraphs. I have opted to list my skills (computer/writing/engineering)
in separate sections from my work experience. I know a lot of software
packages, and I even try to keep some of them out of my resume, depending on
who the resume is going to. I make every effort to customize my resume to
the company I am sending it to, so the person on the receiving end won't have
to read something that doesn't pertain to the job in question.

Maybe what I should have asked is what exactly do recruiters and employers want
to see on a technical writer's resume? Do you really want to know that I play
the violin in a community symphony during my free time? Do you want to know
about software I've used, even if I won't be using it at your company? I
don't feel comfortable having a two-page resume, but unless I switch to an
8pt font, I simply cannot fit all of my specialized course work, education,
work experience, honors, awards, and extracurriculars on one page.

Shelly La Rock
smlarock -at- mtu -dot- edu

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