Re: Advice on Tech writing jobs

Subject: Re: Advice on Tech writing jobs
From: Janet_Valade -at- SYSTECH -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 08:55:43 PST

>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.

I think you have a background that can get you a tech writing job.
Perhaps because this background is very similar to my own (13 years in
user support at a University). I see a lot of writing there, whether
you were called a tech writer or not. Also, your experience with users
is an asset which you can emphasize in your cover letter. As well as
problem solving and meeting deadlines.

>Do I qualify as a Tech Writer? 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.

I think you just need to reconsider your resume. Perhaps organize it by
skills, rather than by time. Elaborate on your writing tasks, while
just briefly summarizing other tasks. List all your software tools;
these are searched for in resume databases.

In my resume, the first thing the reader comes to is: Skills Summary;
Technical Writing, 15 years of experience writing user guides,
newsletters, policies, procedures, planning documents, proposals,
reports. It is totally true, although it is not the only thing I did
during those 15 years. In my skills summary, I also list: training,
project management, coordination, user support, problem solving, etc.

Also, you might want to consider putting your job title as: Technical
support/Technical Writer. This seems to be true, whether human
resources knows it or not.

>Also, how important is that undergrad degree - does it count that I am
>working on it?

By the time they get to this section at the end of your resume, they will
be so excited by all your experience that they won't even notice your
degree status;)


Janet Valade
Technical Writer
Systech Corp, San Diego, CA
janet_valade -at- systech -dot- com

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