Re: Resumes & writing samples

Subject: Re: Resumes & writing samples
From: "Doug, Data Librarian at Ext 4225" <engstromdd -at- PHIBRED -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 11:04:29 -0600

Shelly La Rock writes:

*************************
I'm thoroughly enjoying the resume conversation,
since I am a soon-to-be-graduated tech writer. Like most
seniors, I am in the process of sending out resumes and
cover letters to as many people I can find to read them.
************************

Whoa, stop right there. Mass mailing is probably not good use of your
time. HR screeners and hiring managers recieve tons of mail. If nothing
about yours stands out, it gets a short trip to the wastebasket. A generic
resume with a one-size-fits-all cover letter that arrives over the transom
is probably not interesting. You need to convince a company that you want
to work for that, yes indeed, you do want to work for them.

First, do some introspection. Where do you want to work? What do you want
to do? What industry or industries are you interested in? Once you know
the answers to these questions, do some research to find companies that fit
those criteria, then study the companies. What do they make? What is
their market position? (Quality provider, low-cost provider, serenely
dominant, scappy newcomer, profitable niche?) What is their culture like?
What do they value?

For public companies, some of this information is available in annual
reports; check with your library. Call or 'Net writers in cities where you
are interested in working; ask about the major employers. Call or 'Net
people who work for the companies you want to work for and ask about their
jobs. This is much more work than rounding up a name and address, but it's
so much more likely to produce a job lead you can actually use that it's
worth it.

Now that you know what you want to do and who you want to do it for,
you're ready to send some letters. As for what to include and when to
send letters, ask Human resources (or whoever does the hiring). Some
companies routinely "warehouse" resumes, and sometimes don't advertise a
postion if the file seems to have a bunch of "interviewable" candidates in
it. Others have a strict policy of not accepting resumes unless they have
an open position. As for whether or not to include writing samples, ask
about that, too. It varies from company to company.

After you send the letter, follow up with a phone call to ensure your
stuff made it and see if they need anything else. If you're clearly out
of the running at that point, see if you can pinpoint what the weaknesses
are, or at least see if they can offer some other suggestions about where
to apply.

Good luck in your job hunt,

Skoal,

Doug "Praise not the day until evening has
ENGSTROMDD -at- phibred -dot- com come; a woman until she is burnt; a
a sword until it has been tried; a
maiden until she is married; ice
until it has been crossed; beer until
it has been drunk."

--Viking Proverb

***********************************************************************
The preceding opinions and positions are mine alone, and are only
coincidentally related to those of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
***********************************************************************


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