May 1970 Popular Electronics
[Table of Contents]
People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Popular
Electronics was published from October 1954 through April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged. See all articles from
for a technician career in electronics today is not so different
than it was in 1970, when this article on resume preparation appeared
in Popular Electronics. Sure, particular job descriptions have changed,
but the basics are pretty much the same. In 1970, being able to
list television and radio repair on your resume was a valuable indication
of your schematic reading and troubleshooting prowess. The keywords
Sams Photofacts would jump right off the page at a knowledgeable
interviewer (you can still buy documentation packages from
). Then, as now, having a two-year college electronics
degree or a stint in the armed forces as an electronics technician
- or both, preferably - is almost a requirement for landing a job
at a defense or aerospace electronics company.
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Thoughtful Reflections on Your Future
Third in a Monthly Series, By David L. Heiserman
Preparing a Resume
I notice that most
"help wanted" ads request a resume from the applicant. I have never
prepared one. What information should I include in a resume?
Your resume should be as brief and factual as possible, but
do not leave out any important or interesting information about
yourself that might help you get the job. The following items must
be included in your resume:
1. Full legal name.
2. Home address and telephone number.
3. Personal information. (Date of birth, marital
status, and number of dependents.)
background. (Name and location of your high school and any college,
technical school or military school you have attended and the amount
of time spent at each. Describe the major courses you studied and
indicate any certificates, diplomas, degrees, or honors you have
received. Detail any home study courses you have completed and name
the schools and describe the courses.)
experience. (List your last employer first and then the names and
addresses of all previous employers showing the date you started
working and the date you left each employer. Also include the name
of the immediate supervisor at your last place of employment. Describe
the kinds of work you performed for each employer and the titles
of the positions held. Name any special equipment you have worked
on - military or civilian. Lastly, give an honest reason for your
leaving each job.)
6. Military and draft status,
including any military experience. (Show dates, duties and rank.)
7. Special interests. (Detail your hobbies and
Don't be afraid to prepare one master
resume and to send copies (Xerox or other) of your resume to different
prospective employers. However, be sure to attach a personal note
to each prospective employer telling who you are and why you are
submitting the resume.
I work in a TV service shop and we have
a complete file of Sams Photofacts. I use at least three different
folders of schematics and maintenance data every day. In the years
that I've worked at the service shop I've never discovered how Sams
develops these valuable folders. Is it true that errors are occasionally
put in the schematics to circumvent the equipment manufacturers'
Since 1948, Howard W. Sams & Company has
been publishing complete circuit schematics, parts lists, troubleshooting
hints, and maintenance tips on just about every TV, radio, and phonograph
made in the United States. These folder packets of information are
available at a modest price from most of the large electronics retailers
and are considered the bibles of the TV and radio service industry.
It is not true that errors are intentionally introduced.
In fact, Sams is very careful to avoid errors of any kind. According
to Les Nelson, Director of the Photofact division of Howard W. Sams,
all of the schematics are original and not copies of the circuits
distributed by the manufacturer.
It seems hard to believe,
but Sams develops the schematics the hard way-by tracing the circuit
on working models of the equipment. Sams has a staff of about 60
technicians who trace out the schematics, take voltage readings,
photograph oscilloscope waveforms, and develop maintenance and alignment
techniques. Sams also has an expensive staff of draftsmen, photographers,
and artists to put together the Photofact folders.
manufacturers are so pleased with the services provided by Sams
that new working models of home entertainment electronic equipment
are loaned to the Sams laboratory as soon as the first models are
off the production line.
Electronics technicians and draftsmen
interested in more information about job opportunities with Howard
W. Sams should write to: Mr. Frank Wallace, Personnel Department,
Howard W. Sams & Company Inc., 4300 West 62nd Street, Indianapolis,
Frank Wallace tells us that he is especially interested
in hearing from people who have completed training at a two-year
technical school, and have had several years experience in home
entertainment manufacturing or servicing. Teaching
I am a senior in high school and have
always bad a great interest in electronics. I also have a ham radio
license. I would like to teach electronics, but my school counselor
hasn't been able to find any material on how to prepare for a career
in this particular field. He has information about science and the
industrial arts, but nothing on electronics. Is there anything different
about the kind of training an electronics teacher must have?
I assume that you do not want, or intend, to teach electronics
in high school. Very few high schools offer any courses in electronics.
Those few schools that do use their regular science teachers, or
hire a part-time electronics teacher. Generally speaking, electronics
in high school is usually at a hobby level.
In order to
teach electronics full time, you should be shooting for a teaching
job in a vocational school or a two-year technical college.
Teachers at accredited vocational schools and technical colleges
must have college degrees in the subjects they teach. Since you
want to teach electronics, your counselor should find you a good
university where you can study electrical/electronic engineering.
If you don't want to teach at the vocational level, you
must get a college degree in education and according to the rules
of the various educational colleges, a prospective teacher must
"minor" in a secondary subject that he can also teach. Unfortunately,
electronics is not one of the minors offered by any of the usual
education colleges. If you want to teach electronics in high school,
you will probably find it necessary to have a minor in science.
Even with a degree in education and a minor in science,
you should have formal electronics training. Let your counselor
help you select a home study course in electronics technology.
Electronic Organ Repair
is a case where the tail may be wagging the dog! I have been working
as a digital circuit design technician for six years. Last Christmas
I bought my family the large Heathkit electronic organ. I became
so entranced by organ circuits that I am seriously considering getting
into the electronic organ repair business. However, is there such
The electronic organ manufacturers that we have
talked to all tell us that they hire organ repairmen and technicians
who can meet two principal qualifications: a good solid background
in electronics, and at least a one-finger ability to play the instrument.
However, the electronic organ repair business is very specialized
and it is doubtful that you can make it a going business just by
yourself. Each organ is a different design and it would appear to
us that your best bet would be to try part-time electronic organ
servicing in behalf of a large music store or organ dealer's service
If the shop thinks you are qualified, they may have
you tag along with an experienced technician. Then, they'll probably
ask you to go to a full-time factory school for a week or so - with
pay, of course.
At these factory schools the instructors
will tell you about the circuits used in their organs and how to
cure the most common bugs and defects.
From that point on,
you will be a specialist in that particular brand of electronic
organ. And, you can expect to spend at least a week each year back
at the factory brushing up on new circuits and maintenance tricks.
If you happen to get a job with one of the larger companies you'll
also be spending several days a year at regional seminars.
The career opportunities in electronic organ repair appear to
be very good at the present time. Organ sales are rising steadily
and there is a demand for top-notch repair technicians. At the same
time we cannot disguise the fact that the complexity of organ electronics
is increasing at an alarming rate. Organ dealers are paying top
wages to attract and keep electronics technicians who feel at home
with modern solid-state computer-type circuits.
If you don't
want to get too involved, you might contact the Niles Bryant School,
3631 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, California 95820 concerning
a home study course on electronic organ repair.