Re: GPA on resume

Subject: Re: GPA on resume
From: Sarah Lee Bihlmayer <tecscrib -at- SIRIUS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 09:09:10 -0700

On Nov. 21, Tim Altom wrote:

>Whenever we run ads for writers, we brace ourselves for the avalanche of
>true offal. Out of one hundred resumes, we may find a half-dozen candidates
>who've written anything, and can state that fact clearly and succinctly.
>Just baldly stating that you have a GPA of 3.6 doesn't really say much,
>>especially in a profession that's as ruthlessly pragmatic as ours. But a
>GPA of >3.6 with a part-time job on a local paper, a wife who works, a
>baby, a house >and a dog, and a hobby of cracking Microsoft's source code
>would be a world >class achievement. Hell, you could have MY job in a week
>with credentials like >that.

Then, on Nov. 22, Dan Fierro wrote:

>If I arrived at an interview and it appeared to me that a prospective
>employer was more interested in my marital status, fecundity, preference
>>between owning or renting property, and my choice of pets, I would end
>the >interview fairly quickly, but politely.
>Also, am I naive, or couldn't decompiling a competitors software code land
>you in criminal and civil court?

Dan, it seems to me that you may perhaps have misconstrued Tim's comments.

As far as fecundity goes, I believe the ability write clearly and
succinctly is an essential skill in our profession...wouldn't you agree?
And, IMHO, if that ability is not reflected on an individual's resume,
there is a strong possibility that the person's tech writing reflects a
similar lack of clarity and effectiveness.

I have a very strong sense also that Tim is not necessarily mostly
interested in an applicant's marital status, own-or-rent preferences, and
choice of pets. What these comments mean to me is simply that a person who
can maintain a 3.6 GPA while tackling all those other responsibilities and
activities has accomplished something rather impressive. Although I was
able to maintain a 3.6 or higher all throughout my undergraduate and
postgraduate years, the predominant reason why was that I was greatly
fortunate--I had nothing else on my plate. All I had to do was go to
class, study, write, and take exams--no spouse, mortgage, dependents, pets,
or job to detract from my ability to concentrate fully on my schoolwork and
do my absolute best. Even with no real distractions, it was not easy to
keep my grades up...and if I'd been married with a house, a kid, a job, and
school on top of that I suspect I would have just squeaked through with
passing grades. My average was a direct result of my ability to
concentrate on my work, and I greatly admired my contemporaries who were in
the sort of situation that Tim describes and kept their grades as high or
higher than I did mine.

And although it is true that decompiling a competitor's code can land you
in criminal and civil court...once again, I believe Tim was only citing
this as an example of one of the elements of the sort of over-full life
that can so easily get in the way of maintaining a high GPA.

My $.02.

Sarah Lee Bihlmayer

"God is in the details." --Frank Lloyd Wright
Sarah Lee Bihlmayer
Print and Online Documentation Specialist
Technical Writing * Technical/Developmental/Copy/Production Editing
Technical Illustration * Electronic Prepress * Graphic Design
POB 27901-312, San Francisco CA 94127 * 415-207-4046 * tecscrib -at- sirius -dot- com

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