A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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There are diverse views about how one should produce the professional résumé. Until just a few years ago, there were only a few formal college degrees in technical communication, and as one implication of this, there are a diversity of opinions about how best to create résumés to demonstrate one's competencies in the field. Advice about creating professional résumés in the fields surrounding technical communication and usability vary widely, but interviewers tend often to be very interested in experience and portfolios with examples of skills.



Academic Cover Letters

When you're applying for a faculty position with a college or university, the cover letter is your first chance to make a strong impression as a promising researcher and teacher. Below you'll find some strategies for presenting your qualifications effectively in an academic context.

Purdue University (1998). Careers>Resumes>Cover Letters


Action Verbs to Describe Skills, Jobs, and Accomplishments in Employment Documents  (link broken)

These are some words commonly used to describe your skills on your resume.

Purdue University (2004). Careers>Resumes>Glossary


Annotated Cover Letter: Using Block Style Format  (link broken)

An annotated sample cover letter for applying for a tech comm position.

Ray, Deborah S. TECHWR-L (2000). Careers>Resumes>Cover Letters


Answer the Four Key Questions

Your resume must persuasively answer at least four key questions to win the interview.

Tech-Writer. Careers>Resumes


Are You Job Hunting or Job Fishing?

Landing the best jobs, like snagging the best fish, takes hard work and patience.

Fiske, Peter. Science (2000). Careers>Resumes>Social Networking


The Art of the Developer Resume

Resumes may seem like something of a mundane topic, but after spending the last few weeks wading through resumes from software developers, it is clear to me that most developers need help with their resumes. This impression is backed up by many past resume reading experiences. While I have come across very few truly awful resumes, the majority of the resumes I have read in the last week have been substandard. Only a few have been what I would call really well done.

Read, Daniel. developer.star (2001). Careers>Resumes>Programming


Business Correspondence and Resumes

This chapter focus on business correspondence-general format and style for business letters as well as specific types of business letters.

McMurrey, David A. Io.com. Careers>Resumes>Writing>Business Communication


Career Resources: Writing a Resume

The Career Center: Writing a Resume section contains information that can be helpful when you are preparing to write a resume.

Burnett, Rebecca E. Thomson (2001). Careers>Resumes>TC


Communicating Your Value as a Technical Communicator

A resume tells a prospective employer what you have done and how your experience makes you the best candidate for an open position. A marketing plan, on the other hand, guides you in selecting the best position for your skills and experience. A resume explains what you did – a marketing plan captures what you want. You want to precisely define the target market for your job search so that you do not waste time – yours or your interviewer’s.

Harvey, Michael. Carolina Communique (2008). Careers>Resumes


Cover Letter Tips

A selection of writing samples for cover letters, CVs and resumes.

CvTips.com. Careers>Resumes>Cover Letters>Writing


Cover Letter Writing Blues

Cover letters can mean the difference between your work being read and being tossed callously into the nearest wastebasket. Writing cover letters makes me feel stupid and small, as though I were begging some faceless entity (read: editor) to acknowledge my pitiful existence.

Van Nooten, Sylvia. Writer's Block (1999). Careers>Resumes>Cover Letters


The Cover Letter: Door Opener Par Excellence

Although we are allowed to put more into a cover letter than can appear on a magazine cover, the challenge is still to keep it succinct. In fact, writing something that is powerful and yet short is the single most difficult kind of business writing. You already know that although it's easy to go on and on in a company memorandum, saying the same thing in half the space can make your work twice as powerful.

Jensen, David G. Science (2002). Careers>Resumes>Cover Letters


Cover Letters That Sell You   (PDF)

Drake discusses the three objectives of cover letters to work applications.

Drake, Cheryl S. Intercom (2002). Careers>Resumes>Cover Letters


Creating The Perfect Portfolio

At its core, building an online portfolio is much the same as any other design brief—the only difference is that you are your own client. So as with any design brief, it’s best to begin by asking yourself, “who is my target audience?” Let’s look at two types of portfolios.

Ta'eed, Collis. Digital Web Magazine (2008). Careers>Resumes>Portfolios>Web Design


CVs for Postdocs Leaving Academia

How do I present my academic experience and background in a way which won't turn employers off? I've found lots of example CVs on the Web, but none that shows how to promote postdocing to the "outside world".

Science (2004). Careers>Resumes


CVs That Open Industry Doors

Resume and CV writing is a huge subject, and thousands of books have been written about it. My goal in this column is to give you a brief refresher on some of the most common concerns that you may have regarding the preparation of your own personal "marketing materials." And please don't be put off by that description. Despite the low regard you may have for sales and marketing, it is exactly this job that a resume or CV needs to do when it arrives at its destination.

Jensen, David G. Science (2000). Careers>Resumes


Developing Your Resume   (PowerPoint)

This sixty-one slide presentation takes job seekers through a comprehensive interactive workshop about the drafting and desigining of their resume sections, including the contact information, the objective statement, the education section, the experience section, and the honors and activities section.

Kopp, Bryan M. Purdue University (1997). Careers>Resumes


Do's and Don'ts for Resumes

Keep it simple and easy to read. Do not overuse bold or italic lettering. When sending via e-mail, remember everyone may not have the same equipment/programs that you do.

Raperto, Marie. IABC (2006). Careers>Resumes


Does the Typeface of a Resume Impact Our Perception of the Applicant?

Resumes play an important role when applying for a job. Unfortunately, many applicants focus only on the content of the resume and not the appearance. The typeface chosen to display the resume not only influences the physical appearance, but also influences how an employer may view the applicant. In this study, resumes displayed in a high appropriate typeface (Corbel), resulted in the applicant being perceived as more knowledgeable, mature, experienced, professional, believable, and trustworthy than when displayed in a neutral typeface (Tempus Sans) or low appropriate typeface (Vivaldi). Moreover, the applicant was more likely to be called for an interview when their resume was displayed in a high appropriate typeface than a neutral or low appropriate typeface.

Shaikh, A. Dawn and Doug Fox. Usability News (2008). Careers>Resumes>Typography>User Centered Design


Effective Scannable Resumes  (link broken)

The Career Center: Writing a Resume Effective Scannable Resumes section contains information that can be helpful when you are preparing to write a resume. It discusses how many companies are using OCR scanning to pick keywords out of a resume and enter them into a database. This section can help you write your resume so it will allow for effective scanning.

Burnett, Rebecca E. Thomson (2001). Careers>Resumes>TC


Eleven Things You Should Never Put On Your Resume

"Somewhere between 95 to 99% of resumes have stuff that shouldn't be on there," Eli Amdur, senior coach and adviser from the Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group, told us. "The general rule is if you put anything on there that distracts the reader from your real accomplishments, then don't do it. Resumes need to be concise and clear." We've compiled some tips from career experts to make sure your resume steers clear of the trash pile.

Giang, Vivian. Business Insider, The (2011). Careers>Resumes


Employer Preferences for Résumés and Cover Letters   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article reports the results of a survey of employers' preferences for résumé style, résumé delivery method, and cover letters. Employers still widely prefer the standard chronological résumé, with only 3% desiring a scannable résumé. The vast majority of employers prefer electronic delivery, either by email (46%) or at the company's Web site (38%), with only 7% preferring a paper copy. Cover letters are preferred by a majority (56%). Preferences regarding résumé style and cover letters were independent of national (USA) vs. multinational geographic range, company size, type of industry, or respondent's job function. Smaller companies prefer résumé delivery by email, and human resources workers prefer delivery using the company's Web site.

Schullery, Nancy M., Linda Ickes and Stephen E. Schullery. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Careers>Resumes>Cover Letters


Ethics Case: The Engineered Résumé  (link broken)   (PDF)   (members only)

A proposal specialist must decide whether to pursue more information about a new coworker whom she has reason to suspect was dishonest during the hiring process.

Kuszmaul, JoEllen. Intercom (2008). Articles>TC>Ethics>Resumes


First Impressions--Lasting Results  (link broken)   (PDF)

Your resume is the first sample of your writing that a manager sees. If your resume is fatally flawed, you might not get an interview. Writing a resume involves determining what to emphasize to potential employers; building a convincing case for your qualifications through how you document your education, skills, and experience; and presenting your resume professionally.

Mazza Panagakos, Denise and Cindy Thornton. STC Proceedings (1998). Careers>Resumes



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