Re: Advice on Resumes

Subject: Re: Advice on Resumes
From: John Posada <john -at- TDANDW -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 15:02:54 -0500

> > First, what is the problem with asking how the recipient wants it?
>
> Nothing at all, but my experience is that relatively few
> clients/employers express a preference, and those who have one
> express it in terms of exclusion, e.g., "Anything but PDF or
> WordPerfect." I have certainly never had anyone say that they just

I've never had anyone say XX format and absolutely nothing else, but I have had those that said I'd rather have it in XX format and I've never
had anyone not state a preference. Whenever I've asked, they had a preference.

> positively must have it in, say, HTML or PDF or MacWrite 1.0, and
> nothing else. If they did, I'd be inclined to think they're so
> hopelessly screwed up and/or stupid that I wouldn't want them as an
> employer or client.

> > Second, I keep my resume in several formats [etc.]
>
> Okay, if you want to go to all the trouble AND if it works for you, no
> problem. But someone just getting started in the job market needs to
> make getting *a* resume out his or her first priority, and creating
> umpteen different versions of it really ought to be a secondary concern.

I don't offer these formats because I "can"..I do so because I've been asked for that format. Besides, knowing what I do know about document
delivery, I recognize the strengths of each format and use the format in a particular situation because I know it is the best format for that
situation. ASCII because it works best in an email, html because it works best as a web page, PDF because of its strengths and Word because of
agency preferences.

A substantial part of a tech writer's credentials is not just content creation, but content delivery. If a writer is doing a 100% job on
content, they are still only doing 50% of the job function. Knowing how to delivery effectively is just as important.

> The fact that you *can* create a resume in several electronic formats
> doesn't mean that you *have to*. It can be a lot of work with no clear
> benefit. For TWs, it might show that they have some grasp of all these
> different formats, but I'm inclined to think you might do better to
> present samples of your work.

You have to if it is required. If I ask someone to send me a format that I know is very common in the business, such as PDF, HTML, etc., and
they say they cannot, but at the same time claim themselves as an experienced tech writer, I will be suspect of their qualifications. Besides,
it isn't a case of samples OR resume...strong instances of both are required.

John Posada
john -at- tdandw -dot- com


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