Re: Tech Comm Portfolio

Subject: Re: Tech Comm Portfolio
From: ahowell -at- poolmail -dot- dolphinsoftware -dot- com
To: Shelley Hoose <shoose -at- mail -dot- metro -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 09:43:33 -0500

I made the same transition as you almost 2 years ago, and from experience I
would suggest that you downplay the design aspect. I didn't get an interview
right away with the company I'm with now because they thought I was too
marketing-oriented (even though I had written manuals and white papers for my
previous employers). I re-wrote my resume stressing the technical stuff, and I
got the interview.

I would shy away from terms like "information design" and "instructional design"
-- they're too fuzzy and likely to be misunderstood. If you stick to the tried
and true "technical writer" or "technical communicator" and then go on to
describe your skills in more detail, you should be on the right track.

Good luck!

Ann Howell
Dolphin Software Services, ULC

Shelley Hoose <shoose -at- mail -dot- metro -dot- net> on 11/06/99 09:25:31 PM

Please respond to Shelley Hoose <shoose -at- mail -dot- metro -dot- net>

To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
cc: (bcc: Ann Howell/Dolphin)

Subject: Tech Comm Portfolio

Hi All,

Oh wise techwhrlrs, give me your wisdom on this topic:

I am a newbie transitioning from marketing communications to tech
communications, and am creating a portfolio so I can get a job. (I do have
some tech writing samples to put in it.) I am wondering, however, what is
an appropriate term to call myself.

My generic resume says that I'm a "writer, editor, designer * print and
web." My tech comm resume inserts the word technical before "writer."

But is the word "design" appropriate for the tech field? I have not seen
it often used. Or would "information design" be better? Actually now that I
think about it, why don't technical communicators refer to themselves more
often as information designers -- I think it is a more descriptive term.
Does it sound too high-falutin? Not able to be understood by an average
reader? Because "technical communicator" also does not tell the story.

In any case, for those of us (and I gather it's most of us) designing our
docs as well as writing them, is there a common descriptive term?

And, another question: is an instructional designer a sub-category of an
information designer?

I await your wisdom.


Shelley Hoose
writer, editor, designer * print & web
821B Midpine Way
Sebastopol CA 95472, USA
Tel./fax: (707) 829-5753
E-mail: shoose -at- metro -dot- net

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