Monday, July 5, 2010

What My Cover Letter Says

I came across a web page that will let you feed a document into it and have it produce a word cloud.  A word cloud is an interesting piece of art.  It is created by looking at what you're saying, removing all the short words, then ranking them based on how often you use them.  Words that are larger are those that are used more often.

This particular piece is created based on my Cover Letter.  I have another one that I created using my Resume.  I suspect it won't be interesting to too many people, I can always point a prospective employer that I am interviewing at this sort of graphic and tell them this is what they're getting.  A Systems person who is strong in Business Analysis, a Manager who is experienced in Development and Management of People and Application.  That's pretty much in line with someone who calls themselves a Project Manager, IT Manager, or Senior Business Analyst.

You can also see a hint of some of the things that I have worked on in my career.  LAMP and Joomla are somethings I'm working with for a client.  SDLC is small, but it stands for something I've worked with throughout my entire career - Software (or Systems) Development Life Cycle.  Projects are how most things are measured at my level - work at something step by step until complete and move on to the next Project.  I Usually work more than one at any given moment of course. 

There are also some things that I have some significant experience in that are not shown in that graphic.  Those are the things that while they put you where you are, aren't terribly useful in this particular market.  Will someone who is hiring me in 2010 care that I was considered a Subject Matter Expert in Fortran or COBOL?  Not in Fort Lauderdale, although in Tampa or Jacksonville they're still used heavily.

This particular word cloud is the one for my Resume.  It is interesting to me as it tells me that my Resume and my Cover Letter are saying the same thing.  Analysis, Management, Project, Staff, and Business are all prominent.  Some of the other second level words are System and Systems, Requirements, Experience and Software.  Right there, I'm defining a Project Manager or a Sr Business Analyst again.

I don't know how interesting this would be for a casual reader but if you would like to play around with the software, you can see it at Wordle and make one for yourself.  If you're interested in seeing what someone is thinking rather than what they're saying, it may give you some insight.

Now if I could find just the right position...

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