Re: How do you respond to job ads?

Subject: Re: How do you respond to job ads?
From: Janet Valade <janetv -at- MAIL -dot- SYSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 13:19:48 -0800

> 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.
>
What does your job ad say? Just, include work samples? I would not
know what to send. If I am sending the resume electronically, does that mean
you want the writing samples electronically also? Do you want the original
Word file of the 300 page manual I wrote? Or the original QuarkExpress file?
Do you want me to fax you 300 pages? Do you want the 300 pages via email in
text, sans formatting? Actually, I would not be inclined to send a total
stranger the Word souce file for my 300 page manual. I would not be
comfortable with that. I might respond to a sensible request, e.g., please
fax a 3 page sample containing a procedure you have written.

Actually, my portfolio is a notebook containing samples of a variety
of work. It is something that I can and do snail mail to people on occasion,
but not until I have talked to them on the phone and am sure that we are
mutually interested. It takes some time to put together one of my portfolios
and money to mail it. I have found that I never get them back when I mail
them.

At several seminars and workshops that covered the issue of
portfolios, presenters have always said not to leave your portfolio or mail
it ahead. You need to actually present it, providing context, highlighting
features, and answering questions or concerns expressed by the person
examining your samples. Samples in isolation are too open to
misinterpretation. I have been convinced by these arguments and rarely send
samples.

> 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?
>
My email consists of a cover letter followed by a resume. I feel
compelled to write a cover letter. However, I have been questioning this
recently. Most emailed resumes are put into a database. I don't know if they
put the cover letter section in the database too. If not, it's a waste of
time to write it.

> 4. When applying for a job via e-mail, how do you prefer to attach a
> resume: as text in the e-mail body or as an attached document? What
> steps do you take to ensure the resume is clean (no unintended line
> breaks, etc.) at the receiving end?
>
I include my resume as text in the email, unless requested
otherwise. It is the format that can always be read at the other end. It may
not be pretty, but it is reliable. I make it fairly narrow. I think the line
length is 60. It is still possible for someone to see odd breaks if they are
looking with really short lines or a tiny email window, but people who do
that must be used to seeing odd line breaks.

Janet

Janet Valade
Technical Writer
Systech Corp, San Diego, CA
mailto:janetv -at- systech -dot- com

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