Re: Where are all the entry-level jobs??

Subject: Re: Where are all the entry-level jobs??
From: "Nickell Traduction" <nickelltrad -at- autoroute -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 08:53:01 -0500

What about starting through agencies? That's what I have done, and I just
want contract work, working from home (only going into companies to learn
the software and then for the odd meeting), and have managed to find some
work. I could actually have far more work if I was willing to work full
time in companies either permanently or on a contract basis. I work for two
agencies specializing just in technical writing, plus I've been told by
other technical writers that many places who specialize in temp work with
secretaries, etc. generally have a technical division that also finds
technical writers for companies. Of course, the pay is lower than if you
were working directly for the companies, but it's a great way to get
experience and try your hand at different types of technical writing.

Have you listed other skills on your résumé that would be attractive?
Computer skills, editing and translation skills, experience with
localization, or any other type of writing? Or a background for the type of
technical writing you are applying for (electronics, biotech, etc.)?

Other than that, it sounds like you're going in the right direction.

You could also call up companies that you know hire technical writers (and
not necessarily have an ad in the paper right now) and ask for an
information interview. Research the companies where you'd really like to
work, try to get in for an information interview and show your interest
through what you've learned. As well, the companies who you have been
sending out to, do you follow up? If you do get an interview, do you send a
thank-you note?

The agencies will at least give you an interview and ask to see some
samples. If there's something amiss, they will tell you point-blank and
even give you ideas on how to come across so that you're interesting to

The first agency who hired me were willing to give me a chance without any
experience outside what I did in class. Granted, I did have ten years'
technical translation experience, but what impressed them more was my
ability to teach myself software quite quickly. Plus I was confident that I
could do everything that they talked about. When I didn't know something, I
admitted it, but said that it would probably take me little time to pick it
up, and if it was similar to something I already knew, I talked about that
experience as well. I guess my confidence shone through, and they were able
to see my writing skills from samples I'd brought from translations I had
done, so they were willing to take a chance on me. I also brought up
experience as a temp. secretary (which I did while in school) and how I
found no problems going into a company for a short period of time, not
knowing anyone and adjusting to their way of doing things. After my first
contract, they were quite happy, as was their client, and I've had work from
them since. I recently got hired on by another such company, and have had
two of my own clients.

So if you push enough, and draw on other experience that you may now think
is not related, you will eventually find work. You have to really want it
(which if you're at it eight hours a day, it sounds like it), but whatever
you do, don't appear too desperate, and keep up your enthusiasm. Also tell
every soul you know that you're looking for work and to keep their ears and
eyes open.

Good luck,

-----Original Message-----
From: Not Working <workingnot -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sunday, March 05, 2000 1:12 AM
Subject: Where are all the entry-level jobs??

|I recently received my B.A. in Technical Writing, and have been trying to
|get a job for months. I followed people's advice while I was in school: Put
|together a good portfolio, get internships, go to the university career
|center, etc., but I haven't had any luck. I have sent out approximately 50
|resumes, and only received 1 call from an employer, who told me that the
|position had already been filled.
|I've even sent resumes for jobs for which I was over-qualified (according
|to the requirements listed in the respective job ad). I've also applied for
|internships, with no luck. And yes, I have asked former classmates about
|openings at their companies, which don't exist.
|I'm spending SO much of my time (about 8 hours a day, often more) searching
|job postings and multiple company web sites, trying to find something
|that'll get me in SOMEWHERE, but I'm getting extremely frustrated and
|discouraged with this process. I wish I could take an unpaid internship,
|I can't afford that.
|So does anyone have suggestions for finding an entry-level writing/editing
|job? Do they even exist? Location doesn't matter anymore--I'm willing to
|move since CA companies don't seem to want me.
|Sorry for the long post--but I guess I not only needed advice, I needed to
|"Jane Woe"
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