Re: Tech writer who can't write a resume

Subject: Re: Tech writer who can't write a resume
From: Karen Mayer <Karen_Mayer -dot- TOUCH_TECHNOLOGY -at- NOTES -dot- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 14:27:17 EST

-------------------- ORIGINAL MESSAGE TEXT --------------------
>At 01:01 PM 12/6/95 PST, Heli Roosild wrote:
>>This has been an eye-opening thread for me. It had never occurred to me
>>that a technical writer would farm it out. I'll have to add that
question >>to my interview list. (And BTW, I doubt I'd hire any writer who
did NOT
>>write his/her own.)

>But, Heli, why not? A resume is a marketing piece, not a technical manual.

>Would you hire a technical writer to create advertising? Probably not --
>you'd hire an ad agency. So why shouldn't a technical writer, who know
she >isn't a marketer, hire one to help with her resume?

I take offense to your reply-- you seem to be saying that a "tech writer"
isn't creative enough to write his/her own resume because a "tech writer"
is nothing more than a "tech writer." I'll argue any day that GOOD tech
writing takes a lot of creativity and style. I'll also argue that any GOOD
writer has experience in more than one genre.

We're not talking about the new ad campaign for Calvin Klein. We're talking
about a piece of paper that sums up a person's experience and skills in a
concise and appealing manner. That's pretty basic stuff. If a tech writer
can't do that, he/she won't make it in my company.

-------------------- END OF ORIGINAL MESSAGE --------------------

I hope you're not *really* offended by a professional discussion! Tech
writers are highly creative -- we have to be. I don't think anyone is
disputing that.

But your claim that a GOOD writer should have experience in more than one
genre *seems to imply* that a GOOD tech writer should be able to write
anything *well* -- romance novels, science fiction novels, newspaper
articles, TV commercial scripts, movie scripts, astronaut training
manuals, etc. Can you do all these things equally well? If not, why on
earth has your company hired you? (I'm being facetious, not intentionally

A GOOD technical writer should be able to produce GOOD documentation for
the field(s) in which he or she is employed (or seeking employment). If
that's resume writing, fine. If it's writing complex technical
references, how can you make a reasonable claim that if he or she cannot
write a good resume, he or she cannot possibly write a good manual?

Resumes=apples, other types of writing=oranges.

-- karen mayer

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