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At the risk of upsetting those of you out of work here, I want to spend a
minute or so giving my opinion.
There are jobs out there. This is no longer the 90's, when a person simply
had to say he or she could write and the recruiters were beating on the
door. In those days, my unemployment periods were measured in hours or
days, not weeks or months.
Today, you have to work hard to get a job. You need to have a great resume
and a fantastic cover letter. Read the article on T-letters on the
Tech-Whirler's site and put that information to use. Have some friends,
former managers, and/or recruiters look at your resume and tell you how to
Contact everyone you know. Find a few good Internet job sites (monster,
hotjobs, dice, or whatever works for you) and check the sites at least once
a day. I have been known to apply for a job within minutes after it is
posted on monster, and get an interview.
If you don't have a personal website, make one! Show off your HTML skills,
or learn them. You can always download a trial of Dreamweaver that is good
for a month -- long enough to create a static website. Websites are easy to
create, and can be hosted fairly reasonably (check out
www.1dollarhosting.com). Then, post your resume there. I have frequently
gotten calls from people searching the Internet for someone with the unique
set of skills that I have. My resume shows up on Google.
Watch the local newspaper. In my area (Seattle/Bellevue), it is not unusual
to see a tech writing job in the Sunday paper. I know two other tech
writers who got their jobs this way.
Most of all, keep your chin up. While you are unemployed, find every free
download or training site that you can to keep your skills current or
updated. Read a good book (lots of recommendations if you go through the
archives here), volunteer to help some agency with their documentation (lots
of agencies out there can use help), and keep busy. You will get a job
again -- it may not be at the wage you formerly had, or have the same
benefits, but any job is better than none at all. The economy will recover;
you need to protect yourself financially until it does.
If all else fails, buy a lottery ticket. Some lucky dog has to win.
(Neighbors of my husband's best friend just won $93 million this weekend.)
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Find out what all the other tech writers, including Dan, already know!
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