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further random questions from the newly-unemployed

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Derek D. Martin [mailto:blu at]
> Sent: Monday, November 18, 2002 11:28 AM
> To: Scott Prive
> Cc: discuss at
> Subject: Re: further random questions from the newly-unemployed
> Hash: SHA1
> At some point hitherto, Scott Prive hath spake thusly:
> > This is a good point for everyone, and there's another reason for
> > sending Microsoft formats (even if *not* requested): Document
> > associations don't always work in Windows, and even if they do
> > there's no guarantee they display as intended. Definitely don't send
> > the document without an extension, and proof the document in MS Word
> > for Windows. 
> This makes another assumption that I find extremely irritating...
> What if I don't have access to Microsoft Word? 

A rhetorical question: I'm just the messenger. :-)

> As it happens, I do
> now (it came with the laptop I'm typing this on -- though that's no
> guarantee -- normally I blow away any MS partitions before I install
> Linux), but for a very long time, I didn't.  In the past, if I needed
> to use Word for something, I'd have had to borrow a coworker's PC
> (mine ran Linux, or Solaris before that (ultrasparc, not a PC)).
> Proofing your resume is not the sort of thing you want to be doing on
> an associate's system...

For a short time I managed to have a Microsoft-free household. I had MS Word on Macintosh, which worked well enough... except documents from it didn't always import into MS Word for Windows. I learned to proof documents on another Windows box (-10 points for mentioning you have a Mac in any interview... this is still true today even if it's updated for OS X). Even if you're 100% Microsoft-free, everyone knows SOMEONE on Windows. 

> I don't use Microsoft products.  Period.  At this point, the only use
> I have for them is so headhunters can have a copy of my resume in word
> format.  Litterally.  I no longer even play games with it, for the
> most part.  Having to keep it around for this purpose is a source of
> irritation.
> > Lastly... and I've seen lots of this: SPELL CHECK. It should go
> > without saying that spelling errors on a critical document shows a
> > lack of "attention to detail". Don't expect a headhunter to proof it
> > all they do is match keywords and slap their own letterhead on...
> While I strongly agree this is a good idea, I've recently discovered
> that my resume had type-os (actually spell checker missed them -- the
> type-o was a word).  It's not the HR people that find them, as all
> they do is scan for buzzwords.  It's generally not even the hiring
> manager that finds them, as IME they more-or-less do the same, albeit
> visually.  IME, it's the techies that find them.  And, at least WRT
> this, they don't really matter, because they are much more interested
> in your technical skills than whether or not you spelled some random
> word correctly on your resume...

In the past I've been questioned on sloppy resume's. It's now a secondary goal to make sure it's clean. Automated "highlighting" of errors in apps like MS Word make it all the *easier* for someone else to finger your mistakes. That the critic might not have spotted the error wihout software assist is a moot point. 

Among computer geeks like us, technical skills rule... but you're trying to sell yourself to a group which almost always includes a non-technical decision-maker (who knows more about "Moby Dick" than /bin/sh). This is all part of the competition.

> - -- 
> Derek D. Martin
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