Re. Certification anecdote

Subject: Re. Certification anecdote
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 13:14:41 LCL

This thread reminded me that if we had required
certification ten years ago, I'd never have gotten my first
job and probably wouldn't be writing this right now.

I applied for a writing job at IBM way back when, and after
the requisite delay, got a generic "don't call us, we'll
call you" form letter. At the very instant (really!) I was
filing this away in my desk, the phone rang. A manager from
IBM was on the phone, and politely said something to the
effect of "your resume crossed my desk this morning, and
quite frankly, I can't imagine why you ever thought you
could work at IBM... you're completely unqualified, and
this piqued my curiosity".

Not being one to let such a comment pass unchallenged, I
spent five minutes explaining why I felt that my training
qualified me for the job. I had an interview an hour later
(barely time enough to iron a shirt, hop on the subway and
get to his door), and I had a job before I went home that
afternoon. A few morals:

1. Yes, the truth is occasionally stranger than fiction.
2. Learn to write a good cover letter that explains why
someone would want to read your resume (something I hadn't
learned at that time).
3. Don't rely on "qualifications", including certification;
you'll get some bozos that way, and you'll also rule out
good candidates.
4. Even if you look like me (see sig!), you can still get a
job with IBM.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.


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