Resumes and such...

Subject: Resumes and such...
From: "Kathi Jan Knill" <Kathi -dot- Knill -at- template -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 14:08:31 -0500

I've kept with the resume thread and find the points-of-view interesting. I
too have suffered with interviewing writers who could not write, etc. And I
too have wondered, where are all those good writers I've heard about? Why
aren't they responding to this ad? It is frustrating, but part of the
process. (One thing that I never thought about before was the one-page
resume that targets a specific position, but I will ponder it for my
future. )

There is just one comment that I feel the need to add. I can't remember who
had this as part of their post (and I deleted the messages before I thought
about responding), but someone said something about looking for someone with
a particular number of years experience using a specific tool (I think it
was 5 yrs. using Frame, but the specifics really don't matter). I do not
agree that you should not respond to an opportunity just because you don't
have the exact requirements that the ad states. I cannot think of one job
that I got, for which I did not have the original "required" experience, but
had some. I did not know which requirement held the most weight for the
interviewer when I responded to the ad. I just knew that if I could get in
the door, I would show myself as the type of person who would be able to
rise to whatever challenges were put before me.

To better explain this, I am going to continue with the Frame example, but
USED AS AN EXAMPLE. It does however work for me to use while I make my

I am currently working at a job where I use Frame. Up until last year, I had
never used Frame before and was a staunch believer in and user of Word. At
that time, I was offered and accepted a job in which Frame was the standard,
but I got the job because of my technical ability (which was a greater
requirement for this particular situation). After I finished that job (3
months) I added Frame to my list of tools that I use. Did I become an expert
in Frame, no. Did I put Frame there because I knew that even if I was
looking at a position in a company that used Frame, I would be able to do so
without detracting from my writing ability, of course!

Now, would I respond to an ad that had a requirement for a "proficient" user
of Frame. Absolutely! And why? Because I (and I hope most of you listers) am
a technical writer. It does not matter what tool I use to create my work.
What matters is whether or not I am able to understand the
technology/product that I am documenting. And, if I am so technically unsavy
that I can't figure out how to use Frame (or any tool) by reading a manual,
then shame on me for calling myself a technical writer! And if someone won't
hire me because I have no prior experience with a tool, but am otherwise a
great candidate for the job ... well, I don't want to work there anyway!

As far as other requirements (because it is not always a matter of how much
time you have using one tool or another), as long as I think that my
experience can be an asset to a company, I will respond to ads that the
company offers. As a person, you always have to stretch to reach the next
level. IF no one responded to ads unless they had the exact requirements
needed, no one would ever move out of their current position (if they could
even get a first one!).

So, if you are out there looking for a job, I say reach until your on your
toes and your barely touching with your fingertips. Then get in there and
show them that you are THE ONE!

Kathi Jan Knill
Sr. Technical Writer
Template Software, Inc.
kathi -dot- knill -at- template -dot- com
"Life is a banquet, and most poor slobs are starving to death" ~ Auntie Mame

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