Re: a few questions (entry-level job)

Subject: Re: a few questions (entry-level job)
From: "Lindamood, Brad" <blindamood -at- DCA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 1995 14:34:27 EST


I really don't think we disagree as much as you claim. My original post
suggested knowing a few tools _very well_, in addition to other skills necessary
for the job. Knowledge of these tools (the "buzzwords") are what will get a
recent graduate in the door, I agree.

When you state:

>I don't resent this, but it *is* frustrating. I don't see any way around it
>except to acquire that experience, slowly, piece-by-piece.

aren't you basically reiterating what I said about the majority of your learning
coming on the job through independent initiative ("willing to learn")? You can't
expect a new graduate to come right out of school with knowledge of every aspect
or tool of the job. Remember, we're talking about an entry-level position.

From my own experience, I know it's possible. When I graduated I had no
Technical Writing experience, except for a single class offered by the English
department. I did have a fairly strong technical background, having taken many
computer science classes. What I also had, though, was a strong desire to do
whatever it took to get employed, and go from there. I took an entry-level
contract position with a small company (based on a knowledge of WordStar,
believe it or not!), and eventually acquired the skills necessary to apply for,
and get, a permanent writing position. I've now been in the field for close to 7
years, and have built a solid resume of a wide variety of skills.

blindamood -at- dca -dot- com

Lindamood, Brad said:
> The most important thing you need when you graduate is not the
> knowledge of a specific tool, but more the willingness to learn.
> Just approach it with the right attitude, and you'll have no problem
> convincing someone to give you an opportunity!

With all due respect, Brad, you are wrong. At least in my experience.
No one is interviewing *me* based on my willingness to learn. I taught
myself Japanese well enough to get a job teaching it in one of the
best programs in this country, and I've taught myself everything I
know about computers. Not enough. You *have* to have at least some
buzzwords on your resume to get through that door, and it's still hard
unless you have practical experience to go with that. I am a good
learner, and a good writer. I learned sensitivity to audience the hard
way, by giving talks to grade school kids and to senior citizens, as
well as at academic conferences. But none of this matters when it
comes to looking for a job as much as having those buzzwords and that

I don't resent this, but it *is* frustrating. I don't see any way
around it except to acquire that experience, slowly, piece-by-piece.

karenk -at- netcom -dot- com

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