Re: How do you respond to job ads?

Subject: Re: How do you respond to job ads?
From: Jane Credland <jcredland -at- IDMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 08:15:58 -0800

At 10:38 AM 2/3/99 -0500, JGREY wrote:

<<Of course, it's ironic that my e-mail decrying awkward line breaks has
awkward line breaks in it.>>

What's even more ironic is that it didn't have awkward line breaks when it
arrived in my mailbox. We must have our line lengths set differently. I
was told many years ago that the standard for mailing lists is between 76
and 80, so mine's set at 80.

I've been hunting for a tech writing job in the Vancouver, Burnaby,
Richmond, British Columbia area for the past few months. No luck so far,
but hope springs eternal.

<<1. Most people aren't sending the requested work samples. When they're
omitted, there's never an explanation as to why.>>

How are you wording your ad? When I see an ad that says "portfolio
required", I'm never sure if they want the samples sent with my resume, or
just want to know that I have one available to be reviewed in an interview.
I'd hate to unintentionally litter someone's mailbox with unwanted
attachments. So, I've put some samples up on a website and point them in
that direction, hoping that this is a reasonable compromise.

Plus, most of my samples are in Word. Given the text flow-through problems
you've already mentioned, I have no idea what the formatting is going to
look like when the recipient opens it up.

<<3. Resumes I receive via e-mail usually look terrible. Text-file resumes
have awkward line breaks. Resumes in Word format suffer from Word's
"feature" of flowing text based on the selected printer. Some people even
use nonstandard fonts that I don't have on my machine. Word substitutes
other fonts and whatever good effect the applicant was trying to achieve is

I don't have any answer for this. When I was sending a text-file resume, I
sent it to myself several times, attempting to avoid the awkward line
breaks. That doesn't help me if the recipient has his line length set much
narrower than I do.

I've taken to sending my resume in an RTF file and offering to make a copy
available in either Word or ASCII if the recipient would prefer.

<<2. When a job ad asks for work samples, what would keep you from
submitting them? If you wouldn't submit them, would you explain why not? If
you wouldn't explain, please tell me why.>>

If the ad is unclear about when the company wants to see the work samples.
Not everyone wants them with the application.

<<3. When applying for a job via e-mail, do you write a cover letter,
either as a separate file or in the body of your e-mail? If you don't, why
don't you?>>

I always do a cover letter. It feels to weird not to do that.

Jane Credland
jcredland -at- idmail -dot- com
Resume & Portfolio website:

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