TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Trish Castin writes, in part:
The resumes that come across my desk are not representing candidates
. . . they all seem to look like they were created using a cookie cutter.
<end of snip>
I cannot agree more. I have been frustrated by the same problem. It's
particularly obvious when we post an announcement specifically stating we
need someone with say five years of experience with FrameMaker. Then we
receive resumes where candidates don't even state if they've used
FrameMaker, or just include it in a list of tools. If I see it in a list of
tools, that could mean the candidate used FrameMaker to create a resume, or
it could mean he or she has used it to create books.
Details, please! If you used FrameMaker to create a 1000-page document set
and you designed the company templates, tell me. Why exclude such experience
just because of the length of your resume?
I completely agree with Trish. I do not mind longer resumes; in fact, I
welcome them if they address the needs we have stated in our announcement.
When I receive a generic resume, especially without any kind of cover letter
(or e-mail) that more directly addresses the requirements posted in our
position announcement, I really wonder how interested the candidate is in
In this day and time, I fully expect candidates to tailor their resumes to
each position they apply for, or at a minimum, to craft a well-written cover
letter to go with their more general resume. However, we almost never see
So all you applicants out there, remember: you're applying for a tech
writing job! So WRITE, and remember your resume and cover letter are your
first samples. Think about your audience! Believe me, the extra effort up
front can really give you an edge.
Thanks for bringing up a good topic, Trish. I hope this thread helps some
people out there, both veterans and newbies alike.
FarPoint Technologies, Inc.