The Résumé: The Tech Writer Candidate’s First Hurdle

I found this post from Deeptanshu Verma to be an interesting read that made me chuckle.

Imaginative hiring techniques…

So I get this email from a guy on the Windows security team, they are looking for more people and this email was to existing MS employees enquiring if they wanted to move to the team.

What I liked about this particular headhunting was that instead of asking you to simply send in your resume, they set up a machine with a vulnerability and asked you to break into it and drop your resume into C:\resume. (hacking other employees’ machines is a no-no by company policy but this was by permission of the owner).

The premise is that only a security expert would be able to identify the vulnerability, hack into the computer by exploiting that vulnerability, and then leave their résumé in a particular folder.

This reminded me of something I’ve seen before when screening résumés of prospective technical writers. While many will say this is fundamental for any job, if you’re applying for a job as a technical writer, your resume should be well-written and free of spelling errors.

Let’s face it, if you can’t write a coherent résumé free of typos, why should I bother to contact you for a writing position? As with the challenge mentioned in Deeptanshu’s post, you’ve already shown me your writing capabilities (or rather the lack thereof). And another thing…just using a spell checker is not enough. It won’t help you when you’ve spelled the wrong word correctly (e.g., ‘crate’ instead of ‘create’).

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