Re: Resumes

Subject: Re: Resumes
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 14:52:07 -0600

At 11:52 AM 2/20/97 -0500, you wrote:

>> 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
Don't mistake my meaning. It's not schmoozing that impresses me. I don't
hire schmoozers. I do hire professionals who are visible, dedicated,
hard-working, and willing to be creative. Schmoozing is way down the list,
although it's not off the bottom. It can occasionally help in sticky client

My point about hiring "joiners" is that you get to see the joiners in
action: they volunteer, work on teams, contribute ideas. They attend
meetings to get updated on new technologies and new concepts. They're
putting in time to improve their standing and value in the profession and
aren't content to be lurk in a cubicle until the downsizing scythe comes
along. Then it's too late. Watching the joiners is like getting a free trial
run for employment. Just coming regularly to meetings shows a certain level
of commitment, while volunteerism shows even more. Becoming a good officer
shows an even higher level.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
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