Re: novelist wannabes

Subject: Re: novelist wannabes
From: Barb Philbrick <caslonsvcs -at- IBM -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 14:06:08 GMT

On Mon, 31 Mar 1997 13:35:52 -0600, you wrote:

>I can't quite see the difference between that kind of "experience" and the
>kind of "experience" that leads other managers to conclude that women tend
>to be "too vested in their families."
It's something you have to look at realistically, though. My degree is
in English, and some of my early work makes me shudder - I wrote as if
everything was a literary critique. I am very conscious of the process
I went through to become a technical writer. I've met technical
writers who have not yet transformed their writing process. (Anecdote
time: One writer I worked with overintellectualized to the point that
she decided that "to obtain data " was better than "to get
information" in an online help system for a high school educated
audience.) I don't think the original poster was saying she
automatically discounted an English major, just that it is a point
against if two equally qualified candidates show up at the door.

If you hire, you do have to look for someone who isn't personally
attached to every word they write. I've worked with several writers
and engineers who are, and it's sheer hell editing them. I've wasted
hours massaging egos because of minor edits. (I had a particularly bad
experience with an engineer last year. Even when I asked questions
about what he'd written, he'd come back with "You must think I'm a
terrible writer" instead of answers to my questions.)

The face-to-face interview and samples are still the most important
indicators.

>Frankly, working for someone who would search
>out information of that type and exclude candidates from consideration on
>that basis sounds horrible.
IIRC, the thread started by discussing managers checking out web pages
that were listed on resumes, not actively seeking the information. As
with all things, if you list something as accessible as a web site in
your resume, make sure it sends a message you want sent to a potential
employer. For example, if I wrote _Using Mail Bombs to Threaten People
Who Edit Your Books_, I sure wouldn't put it on my resume.

Barb




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