FWD: Re: Looking for new jobs/dealing with agencies (Long)

Subject: FWD: Re: Looking for new jobs/dealing with agencies (Long)
From: anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 06:31:06 -0700 (MST)

I''ve been in one job, looking for another job, for some time. Just landed
that other job, and I want to share some relevant aspects of my
experiences with you all.

Several months ago, I saw a job advertised on the Web, on one of the job
boards (which, by the way, I first heard of through TechWR-L; so
indirectly I owe my new job to the list...). Anyway, I talked to the
agency. The job was at XYZ company and I was very interested. The agency
thought I wasn't qualified because I didn't have experience with ABC
software (business software, not tech writing tools) but promised to give
copies of my resume to some other managers in the company... never heard
back, figured they weren't interesting.

A few weeks ago, at a party, I heard that a friend I'd used to work with
is now working as a tech writer at company XYZ. I called the friend. He
talked to the tech recruiter at company XYZ, she asked for my resume, I
sent it to her, she gave it to the manager the next day, the manager
called me, set up an interview, I had the interview, they offered me a
job, I took it... you get the picture. A to B, no messing around.

Needless to say, I'm overjoyed. It's a great job, I got a great deal, and
I'm going to make them very happy that they hired me.

My point to share, though, is not to necessarily rely on agencies, or be
put off or discouraged. Some agencies are great; some are just not. In my
case, I think, the communication just never got through.

Also, I think my experience highlights the importance of networking.
Talking to agencies is usually much better than "cold calling" but
sometimes no more effective. It depends. Consider all avenues. I work
full-time and I have children. Evenings are for homework. I found it very
tough to look for a job while working; to make the calls, to follow up, to
take my precious vacation hours to interview. That meant I was a long time
looking. In the end, it was networking that got me in the door. The party
I was at (a Christmas party for another writing group of which I'm a
member) was one of a bare handful of social events I've attended in the
last year or so... I just lucked out. If I'd networked more, I most likely
would have lucked out sooner.

Also, by the way, I don't have a degree, although I have lots of tech
writing experience. I was starting to get worried, thinking the market is
swinging firmly in that direction; so many job ads include a degree as a
requirement. I still think that is somewhat the case; but it was not even
mentioned in my interview.

OK -- end of long message! Hope this data is useful to you, and good luck.

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