Re: What sort of experience would be better?

Subject: Re: What sort of experience would be better?
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 23:55:32 -0700

On 9/12/2010 3:06 PM, Jimmy Breck-McKye wrote:
> I'm a recent graduate looking to enter technical writing, and I need to
> make a choice. Quickly.
> On the one hand, I'm being offered a dedicated, but unpaid twelve-week
> internship at a national charity. ...

The internship is only 12 weeks, so the experience could just be a blip
on the resume, anyway, unless you are a contractor with many short-term
jobs. Short jobs, regardless of whether they have a lot of experience,
seem to raise more questions than longer term jobs with not much
experience in the targeted field.

> On the other, I'm offered a paid position with another company in
> London. I would be a "Business Support Manager", something between IT
> sales and generic tech support, occasionally drafting training materials
> and documents for an online application. This would be paid ~ £20,000
> (around $30,000 USD) annually. I'd be able to live in London, though I'd
> have to scrimp and save here and there.

You can tailor your resume and highlight your writing experience, but
try to get some writing projects that will provide you with writing
samples for your portfolio.

> The question is, when taking a trainee / graduate, which experience
> would hold the greater sway with you? Or, more to the point, would the
> advantages of the dedicated internship make up for the amount it will
> cost me? Would you take much heed of a candidate who offered generic
> technical support experience (considering this will include second /
> third tier support)?

In my experience, when reading a resume, hiring managers look at the
work you did, buzzwords, and the length of the jobs.

> If it helps, my background is a B.A. in English Literature (Cambridge).
> I've produced documentation for my own software, but don't have any
> formal training in either technical communication or software development.

Do you have samples for your portfolio? Even the docs you do for
yourself will help in this.



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What sort of experience would be better?: From: Jimmy Breck-McKye

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