RE: Internships (was: Breaking into the tech writing job market)
So the question about my "experience" seems (to me) to be a bit irrelevant.
Obviously I'm not an engineer or scientist (if I were I wouldn't be looking
for a job writing). My experience is in writing.
Your experience is very relevant, because it's very relevant to landing that first job. And, while technical writing may be a style of writing, it's not just about the writing. Most employers also want to see some experience in user analysis and the other things that go along with technical writing.
I landed my first job where my official title was technical writer about 7 or 8 years ago. It took me about 18 months (or maybe a bit more) to find that first job. I had writing experience that wasn't technical writing, some in-house training and support experience for lawyers (although I was a paralegal at the time), an English degree, and some experience from about a decade earlier that had been technical writing.
It was the middle of a tech boom and people were still looking for proof that I could handle technical writing. So during that 18 to 24 month job hunt, I kept my day job to pay the bills and I turned the job hunt into a part-time job. I took continuing education courses in technical writing. I volunteered at a local library and wrote their policies and procedures manual. I joined the STC, regularly attended meetings of my local chapter and volunteered to be part of their website crew. I also joined this list.
I applied for many jobs, came close to a few, and didn't even rate an interview for most of them. Eventually, as the result of a discussion I had on this list, I was invited to submit my resume and was eventually hired by someone on this list.
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RE: Internships (was: Breaking into the tech writing job market): From: Bonnie Granat
RE: Internships (was: Breaking into the tech writing job market): From: Vincent Marianiello
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