Re: Resumes [Ref:C239125]

Subject: Re: Resumes [Ref:C239125]
From: Geoff -dot- King -at- NA -dot- NWMARKETS -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 15:54:38 +0000

Well, Tim you must have thoroughly enjoyed writing this pompous little
screed of yours (by the tone of it, it's easy to tell that you're
management). Perhaps you practice your self-righteous insights in
front of the mirror daily? Or rattle off your tough-as-nails blather
to every new applicant? By the end of the first paragraph (and
remember: there are seven of them), it was clear you were just warming
up a speech that you've rehearsed to yourself and anyone else who
would listen for years.

A tip to someone looking for a job: most of what Tim tells you is
nonsense and boilerplate holier-than-thou rhetoric (imagine: "Resumes
don't demonstrate those things, nor much of anything else, because
they're nothing but paper." You must have worked overtime to come up
with that piece of tripe Tim!) I've been a technical writer for 17
years and some of my best work has come by submitting a resume. More
to the point, some of the best work was possible ONLY by submitting a
resume. Any manager who tells you that he or she doesn't have time to
look, merely look, at a one-page resume: (1)is not really interested
in hiring, or (2) has someone else in mind for the position, or (3) is
playing silly games with you. Move on. Yes Tim, to state the obvious,
resumes can be padded and fabricated...so? What can't be these days?

It's true Tim, you haven't heard of me. I hope it remains that way.
To those looking for work: put together the best resume you can,
hustle everyone in the field you can, and take with a huge grain of
salt the advice you receive from other people.

Geoff King
geoff -dot- king -at- nwmarkets -dot- com


______________________________ Reply Separator
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Subject: Resumes [Ref:C239125]
Author: INTERNET TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU at Multimessage
Date: 2/20/97 2:07 PM


My own opinion about resumes is perhaps a radical one, but I'll toss it out
anyway: they're usually evidence that an applicant hasn't done his/her
homework and isn't top of the line. Not always. I'll look at one. But not
very hard.

My reasons: First, resumes are easy to pad, simple to manufacture, and all
too available for broadsides.A resume usually tells me that the applicant is
trolling for a job. That's probably okay for a newbie or a really low-level
employee, but once you hit true techdoc'er status I don't think it's
workable.

In my view a resume tells me absolutely zip. Can you write? Maybe. Maybe
somebody wrote the resume for you. Did you really work at all those places?
I'm not going to call them before I talk to you anyway. Your degree? Hey, you
might have slept through your classes. Did you work with those operating
systems? Who cares? I can teach an operating system. I can't teach the
intangibles. And intangibles are the devil to get into a resume. Even samples
are slippery. What role did you play when these were created? Were you the
writer who was the bane of every editor on the project?

Of even more importance, though, is the fact that I don't know you. Why not?
There's an STC chapter in town and I've been an officer for years. I get
around quite a bit doing sales and other contacts, I belong to other
organizations, and my phone number is listed. Why haven't I heard of you?

I'm asked often by students and newbies how they should write their resumes.
I tell them to forget it except under extraordinary circumstances, as when
they have to supply an internal champion with good ammunition to justify a
hiring. I tell them, instead, to think months ahead. Make appointments to
talk to lots of techdoc departments and managers. Don't make the meeting
into an employment interview. Instead, ask them what kind of work they do
there, the technologies they're wanting to move to, the software they run.
Ask what skills they're looking for now and in the future. Take them to
lunch. Hang out at STC meetings. Send notes. Buy Harvey Mackay's books. Buy
a couple of Rolodexes. Join other professional organizations. Start building
a network.

That takes a lot more time than dashing off a resume, but once you're past
the entry-level point a resume is a tip-off to me that you're not thinking
creatively and that you're probably not wholeheartedly committed to the
profession. You haven't maintained relationships with your colleagues in
other companies. You're been too complacent in your previous job. I want
people that I can't say no to. I can say no to a resume without a backward
glance. I get lots of 'em. Most writers don't even follow them up with phone
calls. I have a lot of trouble saying no to somebody who's taken the
trouble to find out what companies like mine are doing and needing and then
contrives to prove to me that she can supply them. It's also very, very hard
to say no to somebody who's volunteered at the STC chapter, written
newsletter articles, and done other things to maintain visibility and give
back to others.

Resumes don't demonstrate those things, nor much of anything else, because
they're nothing but paper. People demonstrate those characteristics, and I
want to hire people. I think most companies do.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
FrameMaker support ForeHelp support
FrameMaker-to-HTML Conversions
HTML Help Consulting and Production

http://www.simplywritten.com/simply

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