RE: advice for the job hunt

Subject: RE: advice for the job hunt
From: "Sella Rush" <sellar -at- apptechsys -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 11:55:12 -0700

A couple of more suggestions other than marketing yourself.

Maybe what you need is to get a truer picture of your own skills
(particularly in relation to the market). In these oh-so-hard times, the
difference between who gets hired and who doesn't is going to be skills.
(This is partly because skills are so much easier to measure than quality of
writing--and let's not get on *that* horse).

So here are my suggestions:

1. Presumably you have a portfolio or at least some writing samples. If you
don't, there's your first step! Try to get some honest feedback on your
samples (and your presentation of them). Maybe an informational interview
could help here. Or check out groups like STC or others where mentors tend
to congregate. Who knows, maybe you use a singular "they" (see other
thread) and it's turning off all your interviewers.

2. Go to school. Pick up some new skills. I work in software development
and have a full share of that attendant arrogance, and I suspect you
probably don't work in high tech. But I keep my eye on jobs in non-high
tech and I see a lot of jobs in engineering and the sciences that want
skills such as HTML, Acrobat, graphic design, etc. Every organization these
days wants a web page, and many have jumped on the electronic delivery
bandwagon (witness the postal service hard times). (If you do work in high
tech, then hard core skills are definitely the way to go so long as your
basic writing abilities are ok.)

If you don't have any formal training in technical writing, consider taking
a class or an entire course (there are several online programs). The
certificate course I took improved my writing ability and my technical
skills tenfold. School is also a pretty good place to make contacts. One
of my classes was taught by a guy named Joe Welinski (help developers will
recognize the name), who, while teaching a class in project management,
turned me onto WinHelp and directly to my first four jobs as a tech writer.

As Mary Deaton says--get creative. But not just with marketing. With


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