Re: Looking for "Technical Writer"

Subject: Re: Looking for "Technical Writer"
From: "Laura J. Lockhart" <LLOCKHART -at- ABIM -dot- ORG>
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 10:45:59 -0500

At 08:53 AM 12/29/98 -0600, Tom Wadsworth wrote:
I believe the right person should have
(1) good writing skills
(2) an understanding and interest in engineering/technical matters
(3) and some page layout/design expertise. I think we'd like an entry level person.

MY QUESTION: Is there some helpful phrase that I can put in our Job Opening Advertisement that will weed out anyone who is overqualified or underqualified?

Hi all --

I just wanted to add my thoughts on this topic, from the perspective of the job hunter. I think I have to agree with Eric's assertion that it sounds as though the company is looking for someone for experience but only wants to PAY for an entry-level employee. Tom, please don't take this personally; it's a simple fact that companies want as much as they can get for the least cost. Speaking from my own experience, I found it extremely frustrating, as an "entry-level person," to send resumes for jobs advertised as "entry-level" only to find out that they were looking for someone with more experience. While I know there are plenty of people who respond to anything without carefully reading ads, I'm the other extreme. I analyze ads very carefully to see if I can learn anything about the situation I'm trying to get myself into. My time and postage are worth something too!

Going back to our old thread about tool vs. task knowledge, when I first started looking for work, I didn't have much tool knowledge. I felt like I was spinning my wheels when I'd follow up after sending a resume (and sometimes after interviews) and find out that I fell out of the running just because I didn't know certain software. When Tom says he is looking for someone with "an interest in technical or engineering matters," that says to me, "you don't have to have a degree in Mechanical Engineering or Information Systems." If he PREFERS someone with education or training in those areas, he should specify that. Similarly, I look at myself as someone with layout and design "expertise" (graphic design was my undergrad minor, 8 years ago); however, I never learned Quark or Illustrator. If he wants someone with specific tool knowlege because his company doesn't have the time/staff/resources to train a new employee, the ad should indicate that.

Laura Lockhart

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