Need some help learning the ropes.

Subject: Need some help learning the ropes.
From: "tara bowman" <tarabowman4 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 13:32:42 -0600

This is my first posting so bear with me. I am a soon-to-be-graduated English major and am interested in technical writing. I would like to start preparing a portfolio to present to prospective employers but need some help as to what to include and what not. I have a manual on web database design that I wrote for the university and a web site to go with it but other than that, I don't have too many "technical" documents. I was planning on including some write ups on programming languages such as XML or DHTML, but am not sure how to format them.

I would really appreciate some advice from all you "seasoned" tech writers out there. I would love to see some examples of what employers are looking for or even examples of what it is that technical writers are doing out there. Even some answers to some questions would help:

--What does a programmer's "spec" look like and what does a technical writer do with it?
--Exactly what kind and how many items are employers looking for in a portfolio?
--Where are the best places to look for work as a technical writer right now (I know how bad the economy is)?

Thanks for taking time to help out a soon-to-be collegue. Any advice you have would help.

Tara Bowman
tarabowman4 -at- hotmail -dot- com
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