Resumes vs. Networking

Subject: Resumes vs. Networking
From: Documania <dcma -at- MAIL1 -dot- NAI -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 07:29:50 -0500

Tim A. makes an extremely good case for hiring what he calls "joiners." I
agree that where he looks for them is the best place to find them, and, on
the whole, he will find the cream of the crop. His position on this matter
is strong and well-reasoned, and I'll bet he has few employee problems
compared to other hiring managers.

What disturbs me about his viewpoint is that it leaves no place for the
rest of the pack. While competition is required in this world, not everyone
is cream of the crop, yet we all need to work and most organizations have a
place for people of many levels -- levels of achievement, skill,
motivation, and all those other things that make us employable commodities.
I wonder, is everyone at Tim's company the cream of the crop, or only those
in his department?

Those of us who are unmotivated to be joiners, or who have other
obligations on our time, or are competent and hard-working but not so
committed to our profession that it dominates our lives, or are simply
introverted, have to rely on resumes to serve us in the competitive market.

Carolyn Haley
dcma -at- ct1 -dot- nai -dot- net

At 02:52 PM 2/20/97 -0600, you wrote:
>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
>>> 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)
>FrameMaker support ForeHelp support
>FrameMaker-to-HTML Conversions
>HTML Help Consulting and Production
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