Re: TW Resumes: What to look 4?

Subject: Re: TW Resumes: What to look 4?
From: Tom Obenchain <Tom -dot- Obenchain -at- MCI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 09:56:00 -0700

>David Castro wrote:
>I recall resumes being covered on this list previously, but I don't
>recall ever seeing posts asking for hiring manager expectations for
>technical writer resumes. So, a question to you technical writing
>managers out there: If I knew I was applying at a company that has its
>technical writing manager review resumes/hire writers, what should I put
>down, and what should I leave out? I presume that this would differ from
>how I would construct a resume if I knew that HR would be hiring, but
>maybe not?

I look at the following:

- industry experience
- writing experience
- tools
- structure and style of the resume

INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE: I prefer writers who have at least some experience
in my industry (telecommunications). I also prefer that the writer
have some experience in writing for software development teams.

WRITING EXPERIENCE: I look to make sure that the person has the general
level of writing experience that I'm looking for. I use writing samples and
an interview or two to get a real feel for the person's competence.

TOOLS: While I do not grade heavily on this area, I must admit that I
look at it. I will typically not disqualify writers because they lack
FrameMaker experience, for example, but such experience is a plus. I
generally look for a general degree of competence in the PC (Windows)

Pet Peeve #1: Writers who feel it is necessary to have a larger list
of conquered software than any other applicant. List the major packages
and perhaps add a note hinting that you could fill a half a page with
titles of software you are familiar with. But please, resist the urge
to add another page (See Pet Peeve #2) to you resume.

STRUCTURE AND STYLE OF THE RESUME: I assume that most technical
writers design and write their own resume. In fact I sometimes ask
applicants about this, as I know that contracting firms sometimes
mutilate the best resumes while fitting them to the "corporate style."
If a writer cannot create an effective resume, I don't need that
person on my team.

Pet Peeve #2: Writers who feel that they need to provide a paragraph
about every document they have ever worked on. Typically these resumes
run at least 3 pages. What ever happened to the one-page rule?

I believe resumes are advertisements and should be designed to pique
the interest of the hiring manager. The interview is the payoff. Don't
prove you're not worth hiring by putting me to sleep with your resume.

Tom Obenchain: Technical Communications Lead
MCI Telecommunications (Opinions expressed above are mine alone.)
Tom -dot- Obenchain -at- mci -dot- com
"No plan survives contact with the enemy." - von Moltke

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