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>Does anyone else get as aggravated as I do when browsing
>want ads for tech-writer positions, to find prospective
>employers specifying the brands/models of software tools as
>REQUIREMENTS for the positions?
I think that there is -another- reason for this type of ad.
It comes from management/HR types who really don't have a clue about
the type of person they want to hire. (One some of these, the clue
you will find is one referenced in another posting: they want 3 years
experience using a product that's been out for a year...)
Since they don't know what type of person they want, they create a
checklist. If your resume doesn't fill in the necessary boxes, you're
dropped from consideration. Theoretically, HR should be able to weed
out all the non-compliant resumes, and then send the manager one or
two candidates who are perfect fits. The manager will then call them
in for the interview. With luck, one of the two will be energetic,
personable, and dress well. The other will come in drunk, and puke
in the wastebasket, thus making the final decision a no-brainer.
What more likely happens is that HR sends in about five "as close
as we can get" resumes, the manager interviews all, and then drags
out the decision for weeks hoping "that one perfect resume" will come
in through the door at the last minute.
At least that's how it worked in our office...
The other point that makes specific platform requirements silly is
the constant changing nature of the "platform of choice." Right now
(at least in the Boston metro area) FrameMaker is the platform of
choice and the best one to have on the resume. Pagemaker, Interleaf,
Ventura, and Quark seem to round out the top five. But things change.
Five years ago, most of these were virtually unknown. I'd hazard a guess
that five years from now, we'll all be using some new and amazing
products, and most of these five will be in the dustbin. (Comment
to look for: "Remember FrameMaker? You could build a book, but you
couldn't run a spell-check or text search in the whole book, you had
to open each file one at a time....")
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com