TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Thanks to all who kindly answered my plea for job search help.
I used several of the tips summarized below to land the very next
available job in my preferred geographical area (Twin Cities). The job is
at Technology 80 -- designers of PC motion-control peripherals.
Some of you wondered what a degree in STC is. The University of
Minnesota is one of a handful of institutions that offer M.A., M.S. and
Ph.D. degrees in Scientific and Technical Communication (STC). The
degrees are offered under the Department of Rhetoric. If you're
interested in the programs, see this URL <http://rhetoric.agoff.umn.edu/>.
Shelley advised me to list the degree on my resume but not to act like a
stereotypical PhD (i.e. arrogant). If they are worried about whether they
can afford me, negotiate well.
Kathryn advised me to structure my resume in a way that emphasizes my
clear objective and deemphasizes education (as all resumes should).
Betsy told me to listen well in the interview to make sure I fit what the
company is after; also to emphasize the benefits of my education and to go
for jobs above entry level.
Mike said I should emphasize skills rather than education and to translate
education into demonstrated skills.
Jane told me to let them know that despite all my education, I'll be easy
Win advised me to structure my resume functionally rather than
Karen told me to disarm interviewers of their ideas about academics,
especially that we can't deal well with deadlines.
Dave suggested that I apply at AT&T Bell Labs.
David proposed that I leave the extra degree off the resume.
LaVonna suggested the opposite.
Jan told me to consult with at least three HR representatives.
Jay suggested I look for work in academic settings.
John said I really don't want to work anyplace where knowing more is
considered threatening. He also suggested I debunk the stereotype of
academics as poor communicators by making my communications "effortless
to understand". And he said I should emphasize the point that technical
communication is really applied philosophy. (This went over big at Tech80.)
Marta suggested I leave all my education on my resume but to make it
relevant to TW.
Thanks again everyone, you made a big difference in my life.