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In regards to Dave's irritation at employers putting specific product
requirements into want ads, I have to tell you that I always list the *kinds*
of experience I'd like a writer to have had, and that often includes experience
with particular types of software. Sometimes I absolutely need someone who
knows that product and then I make it a requirement. Sometimes it is not
strictly necessary, and then I make it one of those 'experience with... a plus'
items. Usually if I need someone with product-centric experience, then the job
is more production oriented than writing oriented and I try to make that clear
in the ad as well.
To be honest, I don't read the want ads all that often so I'm not familiar with
how other companies phrase their entries. But I know that I consider myself a
novice at recruiting at best. When I start recruiting for a job, I have to take
some time to figure out what I need and time is something I don't have a lot
of. So the job ads I place are less than perfectly clear or accurate. I'm
betting the same is true of many other companies.
In truth, my decision-making when I'm looking at candidates is a complicated
process and, unless I absolutely must have somebody with experience in 'Product
X,' it is one of the last things I look at. Regardless of what the job ad said.
I'm looking for someone who I believe can do what I need done and there's no
cookie-cutter way to either state the requirements *or* to identify the
My guess is that a lot of companies put the required product lists in their ads
because they are trying to find some cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blanks magic to
make what is otherwise a rather unpredictable and even somewhat mystical
process. Recruiting, believe it or not, can be almost as intimidating and
unpleasant as job hunting.
Conclusion from all this, I guess, is that I'd ignore those requirements if
everything else about the listed job looks right for you. You could always
convince me that you can learn enough FrameMaker or WordPerfect or
Author/Editor to do the job if everything else in your presentation is
screaming; "s/he's the one, s/he's the one!"
And if they really, really absolutely must have 3.752 years experience with
Multimate -- do you really want that job anyway????
Director of Electronic Documentation
Logical Design Solutions
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