Re: Resumes

Subject: Re: Resumes
From: Pete Kloppenburg <pkloppen -at- CERTICOM -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 11:52:27 -0500

Tim Alton writes:
> 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.


> 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.

Hmm. No doubt good advice for the ambitious young turk, but
I wonder about it as hiring criteria.

My question is this: sure you've found someone dedicated to the profession,
but what does that buy you? Have you found a good writer, or a good
schmoozer? If you run a TW consulting firm, good schmooze skills are no
doubt a very valuable asset in an employee. They may very
well get you contracts.

If, however, you are hiring a permanent writer for your in-house staff,
I bet that you're far more interested in how well a person writes than
how good they are at networking. I don't see how your method of hiring
is any better at finding writers than the resume method.

Networking does have it's place, especially if you're a contract writer.
And no doubt it'll help you get hired. But your skill as a networking
has absolutely no bearing on your skill as a writer.

Pete Kloppenburg
Technical Writer
Mississauga, Ontario

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