Re: Acknowledge Resumes?

Subject: Re: Acknowledge Resumes?
From: Jennifer Geaslen <jennifeg -at- ALLENSYSGROUP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 16:00:38 -0400

>Barb Philbrick wrote:

>I would like to send postcards out that say, "Thank you for submitting
>a resume. Unfortunately, we cannot hire you at this time." (Something
>like that; suggestions are welcome.)

>Now, the tricky part: Should I tell them why?

If you want to help these people, a proactive approach would be a
handwritten note that says something like, "Your qualifications are
admirable, but typographical/grammatical errors on your resume detracted
from your message/gave me the impression that your writing skills are not
adequately developed...blah, blah, blah."

If you just want say, "You idiot, you sent a grammatically-flawed resume
for a writing position! Get out of my profession!" don't write anything.
Certainly do not tell these applicants that you cannot hire them "at this
time." That implies you might hire them later. Tell them they are not
qualified since you feel that they are not.

However, your post does bring a question to my mind and to the list:

To err is human...must technical communicator's be flawless? What qualities
do managers look at most critically?

Many a high-stess situation has brought many a typo into my life. You never
forget the feeling of finishing a stack of cover letters for promising job
opportunities, licking the stamps, dropping them in the box, sitting down
to admire your beautifully designed resume just one more time--and then you
see the glaring typo you know seals your fate.

I suppose you wouldn't want someone as careless as your examples on your
staff. But, keeping in mind all the cutting and pasting that goes on when
you hone a resume for a specific job, I'm not sure I would totally ignore a
resume because it has single grammatical error or typo. If the person's
qualifications and experiences reveal that the writer's real fault was not
having another pair of eyes proof the resume, I would cut them some slack.
Jennifer H. Geaslen
Technical Writer
Allen Systems Group

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