TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: resumes From:"M. David Orr" <whitears -at- INTERACCESS -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 20 Feb 1997 13:39:24 -0600
As a recipient of hundreds of technical writer resumes a year, here is
reality as I see it:
I'm looking for a reason to eliminate a resume within 10-15 seconds if
possible. Here are some things I consider:
* An ego-centric, eccentric, or wordy cover letter is the quickest
indicator for rejection. A concise letter that mostly just points to the
resume, or a letter that highlights two or three strong points is fine.
* I may forgive one typo or mistake, but not two or more.
* Inappropriate experience or writing samples for the stated
requirements turn me off. I'm looking for someone that I won't have to
train a lot, who already can do the work I need. If the person has no
experience, I look for initiative--like creating a writing sample.
* I look for good layout and formatting of resume, writing samples, and
* A great writing sample can help overcome a weak resume. A bad writing
sample always overturns a strong resume.
* A high Grade Point Average (3.5 on a 4.0 system) or higher is a
definite plus. If the GPA isn't this high, I would leave it off.
* Statements about specific project experience are good on free-lance
resumes. Job history is more important on staff employment resumes.
* Statements of specific technical and computer experience are
* Location and availability count.
* I'd rather have a two-page resume that tells me what I need than a
one-page resume that leaves out what I need.
I hope this information helps.
M. David Orr
Orr & Associates/Usability Management
7366 N. Lincoln Ave. Suite 101
Lincolnwood, Illinois 60646, USA
Email: whitears -at- orrnet -dot- com