Have you thanked your technical writer today?

The Mojo of technical communication and writing as mused by Dr. Lu Kondor

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Moving on to technical communication jobs

This post was motivated by my thoughts as the end of the semester comes around. In the program I teach, I get a lot of questions on what to do next when students graduate with certificates. I was reading a creative writing blog the other day and it provided the motivation to think about technical writing and how to be successful.

In examining the next step for new writers, I think they must consider that there is no easy way to get a job or magic bullets of getting out there. Instead, everyone has their own set of skills they bring to the writing table as well as unique portfolio. I am frequently asked plenty of questions on resumes and how to deal with interviews. Well that too is unique to you. Other than emphasizing that the mechanics of your docs are polished (grammar, look, structure etc.) we are all unique. In my courses I provide some basics for portfolios and resumes but honestly they are all about the person who the story is about. The background, skills, education, and work history makes each person interesting and talented in their own right as a technical writer and communicator.

Some students ask if they should go on and get an MA or other such degrees. While nice I think getting a higher degree is a personal choice and again decisions all come down to the individual, their background, and their motivation. In technical writing, as in other forms of writing, there is no magic bullet or steps to follow to get a job. Just self-motivation to improve one’s own skills and knowledge. The lessons we learn, training we get, and writing we do are the individual steps to a successful career, especially in technical writing.