Advice on Tech writing jobs

Subject: Advice on Tech writing jobs
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 19:47:59 -0500

lj wright <lwrigh00 -at- NIMBUS -dot- OCIS -dot- TEMPLE -dot- EDU> wrote;

>I have worked as a Project Manager, coordinator, inventory >analyst, and am currently working in Technical Support. In the >past two years I have written several newsletters, ISO >procedures, currently do a bi-monthly tip sheet, and have 3 >sets of user docs that I am rewriting and writing. I am >familiar with HTML, and a broad variety of software from Adobe
>products, database products, and the usual word processors and
>spreadsheets etc. . . .Do I qualify as a Tech Writer?

Linda, you have FAR more experience than I did when I started out in the
field 18 months ago. If I can make a living at technical writing, I
don't doubt that someone with your experience can.

>I think I do, but I have a difficult time reflecting that on >my resume, mainly because writing has not been the main focus >of my jobs.

You seem to be thinking the way that I did until six months ago. I used
to think of a resume as an objective description of my employment
history. Then, a head-hunter told me the obvious: it's not. He made me
re-write my resume so that, without in any way lying, it emphasized what
I had done in each position that would be useful in a tech-writing job.

For example, I have seven years' experience as a post-secondary
instructor. In listing that, I emphasized such things as my creation of
courses, my design of handouts, and self-organization. I even included a
section under each job entitled "Skills Relevant to Technical Writing."

The change in my resume seems to have worked. Within two months after I
started using the revised resume, I started getting steady work. And the
reason, I think, is that the revised resume told employers the sorts of
things they wanted to know.

Bruce Byfield (bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com)
Technical Writer
Burnaby, BC, Canada
h: (604) 421-7189 o: (604) 293-5781

"Doubtless a distrust of human reason is reasonable, but
few adventures are more honourable than an attempt to
live by it."
--Eric Gill, "An Essay on Typography"

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