Subject: Resumes
From: Lisa Higgins <lisa -at- DRDDO1 -dot- EI -dot- LUCENT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 13:56:25 +0000

One thing you need to realize when you're going through job shops or
headhunters is that many of them rewrite resumes before sending them

I've personally had at least one case where an agency seriously
exxagerrated my VAX experience (to the point of lying), and many
cases where they've made my resume stupid and ugly and not at all
what I'd want to project.

If you're getting a lot of bad resumes from a shop, you might want to
consider the source.

And contractors: Ask your job shop what they're sending out on your
behalf. You might be surprised. I sure was.

lhiggins -at- lucent -dot- com

From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
To: TECHWR-L -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
Subject: Resumes and SMEs
Date: Monday, February 24, 1997 9:18AM

What with all the discussion of resumes and hiring recently,
I thought you might be interested in my dept's recent search
for two contract tech writers.

These two positions were on the same project and I screened
resumes for both. I got maybe 100 resumes from several
head-hunters. (I had to work through head-hunters -- I wasn't
allowed to post to this list :-(, though I asked.) Here's
what I looked for:

* _Show me you can write and check your own work._ Make sure
your resume and writing samples are perfect. I got several
resumes from candidates who looked really good but wrote
stuff like "two years experience" (should be "two years'
experience") and "In my current job, I layout pages" (should
be "In my current job, I lay out pages"). Misplaced commas,
missing commas, obviously awful formatting -- all got the
boot. Persnickety? Yes indeed. The job is for a writer and
DTPer. We don't have a resident editor. The successful
candidate shows knowledge of the mechanics of writing. I'll
overlook one or even two problems, but more than that and I'm
inclined to think that you either don't know your stuff or
you can't take the time to check it.

* _Show that you can ask questions._ We had to find a
candidate who knew our DTP app well and could start without
coaching. (I don't like to do this, because I think there a
re lots of stellar candidates out there who can learn any a
pp, but that is the way this position was.) At the intervi
ew, I gave each applicant a DTP exercise that would have
taken me five minutes. I told each candidate to ask any
question s they wanted, because we are a cooperative shop --
we don't care how you get your answer, as long as you get
it. I meant it -- in my book, asking questions is a sign of
strength, not of weakness. Very few candidates asked any
questions, and those who didn't ask really should have. Only
one candidate finished it in less than half an hour. She
asked several questions. She's working for us now.

* _Don't tell me everything._ I didn't need to see every job
the candidate had ever held. One guy's resume got eliminated
*because* it did this, and it was in about 8-point type and
badly photocopied to boot.

* _Tailor your resume to the job._ This makes things much
easier for me. Trouble is, headhunters rarely do it.

* _Show me you care about quality._ I got excited when
applicants showed concern about their audience. We write for
end users. They are our clients. Convince me that you care
about serving their needs and I will definitely put your
resume in my "Oh boy" pile.


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