Re: Breaking In
I have worked as a writer for years. I only worked as a technical writer for a very brief time (about one year out of nearly 20). I see ads for technical writers all the time but each job I see listed states you must have experience with the program or application they are using.Do you have experience with Word or any Desktop Publishing Program other than MS Publisher? Do you know any HTML? Have you ever done a web page, even a simple one. Ever teach a seminar on writing to junior high students? Are there any volunteer/non-profit newsletters in your background? Know your way around Excel or some other spreadsheet? Any database experience...FoxPro, Access, FileMaker? Ever use Quicken or MS Money? I say this because I spent part of my career as a business journalist, freelance writer, videographer/editor, operations manager, marketing manager and managing editor. I learned a lot of tools and discovered that a lot of what I learned in one profession was useful in other professions. If you see where an opening requires someone with RoboHelp or Doc-to-Help experience, download their demo, create a fake project and use it as part of your portfolio. It's better than nothing and shows initiative. You may have to work as an entry level writer for a short while, but that's the price you have to pay when changing fields. If you're good and learn fast, you won't stay entry level for long.
How can i break into the technical writing field if every job lead specifies you must have experience with the program or system they are using?
BTW...what type of writing have you done? It may give you an idea of which technical writing "field" you may want to enter....microelectronics, manufacturing operations, pharmaceutical, agriculture, food, hardware, software.....there's a lot to choose from.
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Breaking In: From: Harry Husted
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