Re: Resumes & writing samples

Subject: Re: Resumes & writing samples
From: Vincent Reh <VincentR -at- SC -dot- HARRIS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 17:20:00 EST

Shelly La Rock wrote:

I'm thoroughly enjoying the resume conversation,
since I am a soon-to-be-graduated tech writer. Like most
seniors, I am in the process of sending out resumes and
cover letters to as many people I can find to read them.

to which Doug replied:

Whoa, stop right there. Mass mailing is probably not good use of your
time. HR screeners and hiring managers recieve tons of mail. If nothing
about yours stands out, it gets a short trip to the wastebasket. A generic
resume with a one-size-fits-all cover letter that arrives over the transom
is probably not interesting. You need to convince a company that you want
to work for that, yes indeed, you do want to work for them...........

I can speak from personal experience that the mass-bombardment technique
does work. I once pulled hundreds and hundreds of corporations out of a
Standard & Poors corporate reference manual and mailed them resumes
cold-call style. S&P is an excellent source because it gives a brief
overview of what the company does (you can disregard companies that don't
interest you), how many are employed, who the key players are (HR,
marketing, sales, etc.), sales, stock health, and addresses.

Out of about 500 resumes, I got calls for interviews with Modcomp in Ft.
Lauderdale, Stromberg-Carlson in Lake Mary, Fla., Goodyear Aerospace in
Akron, O., Motorola in Scottsdale, and Harris in Rochester. I ended up
accepting a position with Harris and got decent offers from Goodyear and

In the end, I did not even get to the bottom of the list and am still using
unused resumes and cover letters for scratch paper (6 years later). I gave
the list to a co-worker whose son was looking for work.

One interesting point, some of the firms that I interviewed with weren't
even advertising, while many reject letters (my mailbox was jammed with them
every day for weeks, I'm still using these for scrap paper as well) thanked
me for responding to their ad in the "Podunk Daily Despatch," which was
amusing because I'd never even seen a copy.

Doug's point about this activity being a waste of time is definitely true, I
certainly did waste a lot of time, toner, paper, and postage. But, I needed
a better job and looking back, it allowed me to access companies I otherwise
would've known nothing about.

Of course, this would have been impossible without a laser printer, WPing,
and mail merge.

For anyone with nothing to lose and everything to gain, I'd recommend
checking out S&P----a copy is in just about every library. Be sure to go to
a bigger library because smaller ones often have older editions these things
are expensive.

Vince Reh
vincentr -at- sc -dot- harris -dot- com

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