Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Job Opening: Writer. Requirement: Ability to Write

I'm advertising for an experienced technical writer. Here are a few unedited e-mails I've received from candidates:

"I found you ad on Craig's list seeking a technical writer. Please find the attached resume."

Followed quickly by:

I just wanted to let you know that I am aware I missed the letter "R" in the previous message, my apologies. Please do not hold that against me, I am an excellent technical writer.”

(What was that rule about when to use periods and commas? Heck, even a semi-colon would have sufficed!)

So I sent that e-mail to a professional writer I know, thinking he’d pick up on the irony of it all. He replied:

“Funny stuff. These resumes are hard, I’m sure he has the chops and should get a shot at MS, but it would be much easier if he’d already been there.”

(What was that rule about when to use periods and commas? Heck, even a semi-colon would have sufficed!)

Hey – déjà vu!

Later in the day I received this cover letter from someone who wanted to be sure that I knew that she was a great writer (and I swear on my copy of Woe Is I, that this is a direct copy and paste):

“I have wrote materials that are very technical. The listing said that telecommuting was OK, I live in Arizona. Let me know if this works,

I will never again hesitate to call myself a writer.

(And if you're an experienced technical writer with Microsoft experience who can write deeply technical deployment guides and whitepapers, please contact me ASAP. Just please, please proof your cover letter!)

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Anonymous said...

This blows my mind. We get the same kind of resume/cover letter "crap" for marketing coordinators, a job that truly requires excellent writing, grammar, spelling, and editing skills. We haven't filled a much-needed position in five months of advertising because PEOPLE CAN'T WRITE. (Or spell. Or edit. Or anything!)

So. Just how, uhm, technical...???

Maria said...

LOL! That's crazy! People are too dependent on spell check to correct all errors.

Anonymous said...

Just last week I emailed my resume to a company and only after I hit send did I see that the file attachment was titled 'Resuem.jpg.' Gah!

Anonymous said...

I suppose that I wouldn't qualify as I tend to make up grammer as I go along!

Maria said...

Here's one. From our office administrator's Out of Office Auto Reply...

"I am left the office for the day."

Yes. She helps to write memos, proof letters, etc. LOL!

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