Westech Warrior (resumes and interviews)

Subject: Westech Warrior (resumes and interviews)
From: Michael Piellusch <mpiel -at- ISI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 10:11:28 -0800

Fellow resume writers and readers:

A resume is basically a writing sample and a self-marketing tool.
As we read any writing sample, such as a message on this list,
we formulate opinions about the writer. I would guess that most
of us read messages on this list and say to ourselves "I'd like to
work with that person" or "I hope I never have to work for or with
that person." If the resume leads to a phone screening or an interview,
it has met the initial objectives. If the resume becomes a good tool
for interview preparation (that is, prompts questions for discussion),
then it serves additional objectives (for example, you get to talk
about vi if you have six-finger skills).

Based on experiences of dropping off resumes at Westech (a local job fair)
and subsequently getting hired (in 1988 by a former and in 1995 by my
present employer), and working behind the booth at more events than I can
count, I submit my bulleted list:

· One page is a good guideline, but why waste the back side of the paper
if you have 20 years of experience to summarize.

· Moderation is always wise, as most hiring managers have "pet peeves"
(listing all of your awards or every piece of software you've ever touched
will hit someone's hot button).

· Edit and proofread carefully. One mistake will show that you're human and
may be overlooked, but more than one and your "writing sample" will be in the
larger pile (the one that goes back to HR or to the round file).

· Write a good cover letter. Even at a job fair, a crisp letter that summarizes
your current status, writing skills, and job potential is frequently more useful
than the resume. (If you have a limited budget, use bond paper for the bulk
advertising and save your nice stationery for when you get the feeling of a
good match.)

Once we get to the interview stage, the interviewer will ask the probing questions
that get the candidate to open up and display the skills needed in the
environment. The question about five years down the road is an opportunity to see
how we think on our feet. Most hiring managers don't have expectations for
the "right answers," but are perceptive about a candidate's analytical skills and
vision for the future.

Mike Piellusch

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