Re: Is TW Still Hospitable to Novices? A Dilemma

Subject: Re: Is TW Still Hospitable to Novices? A Dilemma
From: "Curtis Brautigam" <curtisb -at- nurserysupplies -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 08:12:39 -0500

I can fully sympathize with the notion that the novice technical writer
looking to break into the field faces the familiar Catch-22 situation while
looking for work--you can't get a job without experience, and you can't get
experience without a job. I took a number of computer courses, including a
technical writing course to try to break into the field. I also had the
experience of having to send resumes and cover letters to HR when applying
for jobs. This was a sure fire road to rejection. There was one company
where I knew people who worked there. That did not help in getting me a job,
because everything still had to go through HR. Novice technical writers have
a better chance in companies where those departments in charge of
documentation have a greater input in the hiring process.

It was a little over a year after I took my technical writing course when I
landed my first technical writing job. I think another problem that novices
face is that many companies expect their new technical writers to be able to
hit the ground running because these companies operate under tight
deadlines. My technical writing jobs have not had to deal with that
pressure, since they involve producing documentation for internal use.

Curtis R. Brautigam
Technical Writer
Nursery Supplies, Inc.
Chambersburg, PA.

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