RE: Resumes for Tech Writing Jobs

Subject: RE: Resumes for Tech Writing Jobs
From: "Keeley, Bill" <KeeleyB -at- wipp -dot- carlsbad -dot- nm -dot- us>
To: "TECHWR-L, a list for all technical communication issues" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 08:37:09 -0600


Having been on both sides of the fence (technical writer position applicant
and hiring manager), I recommend the following:

+ Include a cover letter. It is your best opportunity to market yourself.
Yes, employers read cover letters.

+ Follow a standard format: name, contact information, experience in
reverse chronological order, education, publications, and community service.
Keep it to three pages maximum. Do not include references, salary history,
or work samples with your resume unless requested to do so by a potential
employer. Your cover letter and resume should stand by themselves.

+ Be sure to focus the experience section of your resume on problems that
you solved and solutions that you generated. Most applicants can provide
services. Organizations want problem solvers.

+ Avoid groovy, "What Color is Your Parachute" attention getters. They get
the attention of the wastebasket.

+ Customize your cover letter resume to answer the questions implied in the
job posting. For example, a technical writer posting indicates that the
hiring organization is looking for someone with I&C task analysis
experience. Do you have I&C task analysis experience, but didn't put it in
your generic resume due to lack of space? Put it in and take something else
out! I am amazed at how many job seekers submit "vanilla" (generic) cover
letters and resumes. Help employers select you by answering the implied
position questions. I believe most employers would prefer that to the
contents of your envelope.

End of sermon. Have a safe holiday.

Bill Keeley
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220

keeleyb -at- wipp -dot- carlsbad -dot- nm -dot- us

<snip> I was wondering if you, my fellow tech writers, had any suggestions
or tips for
putting together a "tech writer's" resume if you will. If you know of any
sites on the web where I might find some help, that would be great too.

Additionally, I'm applying for a job with a very large multinational
company, and I would imagine they are used to seeing some pretty impressive
resumes. Is it standard to provide a cover letter? A portfolio of work? An
envelope with a few hundred dollars in it?


Peter Lucas

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