Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 24 Feb 1995 to 25 Feb 1995

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 24 Feb 1995 to 25 Feb 1995
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 1995 07:18:22 PST

>I'm wondering if your attitude is the exception rather than the rule. The
>few writers I have talked to so far told me that employers were looking for
>a big list of tools on a resume. The writers I talked to thought that being
>able to list a bunch of programs on their resume got them an interview,
>where they were then able to demonstrate that they could write.

Yes -- many employers BELIEVE that they need prior experience in a
long list of tools, and WILL NOT hire you unless you claim them.
he manuals. Reading the manuals will make you the local expert.

But all these employers have extremely low standards. It works like
this: employers who are serious about their employees living up to a
high and uniform level of skill in a particular tool have to train
them themselves. People do not enter a company with high, uniform
skill levels. They enter with randomly distributed skill levels,
and the average level of expertise for an "experienced" user is
quite low.

Also, even the most difficult tools are easy to learn. People shy away
from Interleaf in shock and horror, after hearing that it's hard to learn.
I've taught a zillion people how to learn Interleaf, and none of them
has had the slightest difficulty, except on the very first day, while
they familiarized themselves with Interleaf's use of all three buttons
on a three-button mouse, and its context-sensitive pop-up menus. But
many employers will search for months until they find a writer who doesn't
need a three-day training course.

I know people who simply lie when asked about specific expertise. They
claim to be familiar with the program, then, on their first day on the
job, they announce, "Oh, this is 4.0. I used 3.0. Let me take the manuals
home." By actually reading the manuals of the current version, they
become instant experts. Their occasional gaffes and clumsiness are never
detected, because employers who insist on prior experience have no standards.

-- Robert

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