Subject: Resumes/Interviewing
From: "Patricia Y. Castin" <pcastin -at- dset -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 08:45:10 -0500

"Brad" Stated in a post:
*snip* ... This is sometimes true, but your case sounds more extreme
than others I have heard of. I just spent several months interviewing
candidates for the Tech Pubs manager position. It was really shocking to
see the range and quality of candidates who thought that they could be
Tech Pubs manager. Since it was a combo Manager/Writer position, I
reviewed their writing samples too. Easily a third of the candidates
could not even write at the level of a very green junior writer.

*end snip*

I am currently having a similar problem in the interviewing process and
felt a need to address this issue and even take it a step back to the
"getting your foot in the door" stage of the game. I hope to gain an
understanding and perhaps provide some advice for those of you out there

The resumes that come across my desk are not representing candidates
properly and I'm wondering if this is because of the industry trend in
resume writing. "Expert" resume advice givers say, "Keep your resume to
one page or two, if possible". What I get is "Company Name, Dates,
Title, and 'documented software', or 'created Help'." This does nothing
to differentiate one candidate from the others... (and, quite frankly,
I'm thinking "Duh!" about the 'documented software' and 'created Help'.
Most of us are documenting software and/or creating Help.)

What is special about the projects you worked on? How many pages were
produced in what kind of timeframe... How many people on the project
were you working in conjunction with... Did you interview for
information, work from specs, or play with the product until you learned
it well enough to write about it... What tools did you work with...?
Give me some details and make them count. (On a personal note - I've
never had ANYONE send back or tell me my resume was too long!)

These kinds of details provide the Interviewer with enough information
to warrant an in-person interview. Even a carefully crafted "Newbie"
resume would be considered, but they all seem to look like they were
created using a cookie cutter.

Am I the only one experiencing this, or is this the industry trend?


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