Re: Need some advice

Subject: Re: Need some advice
From: "Bernard A. McCann" <bi975 -at- FREENET -dot- CARLETON -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 20:27:38 GMT

Alan Roy (Alan -dot- Roy -at- freenet -dot- hamilton -dot- on -dot- ca) writes:
> Hello,

> although I don't have any professional experience in the field, I'm trying
> to get a job as a technical writer. I have a degree in Industrial
> Engineering and I do some technical writing as a volunteer for the
> Hamilton Wentworth FreeNet. I honestly feel that I have a knack for it.
> I was wondering if I could get a little advice from some of you.

> What skills (besides the obvious) are needed to get hired in the field?

Ah! "besides the obvious" Now there's a comment! ;-)

> Are there any platforms or software packages that I really MUST know?

No, but dtp skills with SGML would be useful.

> How about a certificate or degree? Is it necessary? Will it help?

Yes, a BSc Communication or Tech. Writing Diploma would be useful.

> Should I put together some sort of "portfolio" to show at interviews? If
> so, what is an acceptable format?

A difficult question. When you show me your "writing" portfolio, how will
I know that it hasn't been edited by a language graduate?

> Is there a professional association in Ontario or Canada for TWs?

Yes, but not Canadian exactly. If you are a member of the IEEE they have a
very good Professional Communication Society with Canadian chapters, or
you could try the Society for Technical Communication, I suppose. ;-)

> What cities in Ontario are the best for TW jobs?

Oh dear! Toronto, or Ottawa (the latter if skilled with software).

> What is typical for an entry level TW's starting salary?

You name it (sorry).

> And finally, realistically, what do you think are the chances of someone
> like me getting a job as a TW?

Good (as a junior engineering writer).

> Thank you in advance for the help.

You're quite welcome!


_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/ "Caesar had perished from the world of men
_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ Had not his sword been rescued by his pen."
_/_/_/_/ _/ _/ _/ _/_/_/_/

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