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Subject:Breaking In From:"Leona L. Magee-Dupree" <leona -dot- magee-dupree -at- CCBCC -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 9 Dec 1998 08:41:40 -0500
I know it is very hard to get into the field, but it is also hard to stay
in the field. Employers want to see proof that you have experience as a
technical writer. You have to show them hard copies and soft copies of
your work. If you don't have anything to show, then the likelyhood of
getting the job is slim. Contracting firms expect you to have at least 2
years of experience in technical writing before you will ever be considered
entry level. The reason they do this is because they need to be very sure
that you have the capability to do whatever the client asks. They need to
be sure you don't walk off the job before it is finished. If a client asks
you to document a system and they won't train you, you need to be prepared
to take the software program, handheld, system, or whatever and learn it
inside out by yourself and produce the documentation requested without
error. This is not an easy thing to do. A lot of entry level technical
writers crash and burn because they don't have the experience or are afraid
to complete projects without someone to hold their hand. Don't look for
employers to train you because they have to and most of them don't want to.
You have to get out there and research as much as you can about the field
and freelancing is great. This is one of the best ways to prove yourself,
market yourself, and network. This is a start. Good luck!