A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

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Build Your Writing Inventory

Want a professional writing secret? Build your writing inventory. Unless you have an inventory, you have nothing to sell.

Booth, Angela. Digital-E (2003). Careers>Writing>Business Communication>Blogs


Business Correspondence and Resumes

This chapter focus on business correspondence-general format and style for business letters as well as specific types of business letters.

McMurrey, David A. Io.com. Careers>Resumes>Writing>Business Communication


Business Objectives: A Key Tool for Demonstrating the Value of Technical Communication Products   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Little has been written for technical communicators on how to identify the business goals of the projects we work on, or how to write those goals in observable, measurable terms. When we prepare goals in observable, measurable terms, we call these goals objectives. This article is intended to fill that gap. It first describes the challenges of setting business objectives for a project, next describes the three ways that a performance improvement program can contribute to the business performance of an organization, and then explains how to write a business objective. Finally, this article describes the benefits of writing business objectives.

Carliner, Saul. Technical Communication Online (1998). Careers>Writing>Business Communication


Business Plans Build Good Business   (PDF)

Developing a business plan—without it, your independent practice will flounder.

Frick, Elizabeth G. 'Bette'. Intercom (2004). Careers>Management>Planning>Business Communication


Client Buy-In

It's not about what software you use, or how you organize your document, or how big the document is; but about whether the expectations the client has set, have been met. The question is, then, how do we assure we're meeting all the client's expectations? The answer is client buy-in.

Mink, Don. BA Collective (2007). Careers>Consulting>Business Communication>Collaboration


Code of Ethics for Professional Communicators

The IABC Code of Ethics is based on three different yet interrelated principles of professional communication that apply throughout the world. These principles assume that just societies are governed by a profound respect for human rights and the rule of law; that ethics, the criteria for determining what is right and wrong, can be agreed upon by members of an organization; and, that understanding matters of taste requires sensitivity to cultural norms.

IABC. Careers>Business Communication>Ethics


Dealing with Discriminatory Questions in Interviews

This handout illustrates problematic questions that may come up in an interview and suggests ways of dealing with them.

conneXions (2008). Careers>Business Communication>Interviewing>Professionalism


Developing a Personal Tagline

Part of professional development involves recognizing your strengths and learning how to express it to others. It is a helpful exercise to develop a tagline for yourself, in the same way that professionals in a previous generation were encouraged to develop a mission statement. With shortening attention spans, today's professional needs only a few-word tagline to fit in the sound bite of management's smaller time slots. Beyond what Chris Benz would call shameless self-promotion, having a personal tagline keeps your career development focused and on track.

Albing, Bill. Carolina Communique (2007). Careers>Business Communication>Workflow


Directives Do Right: Writing for the "Mounties"   (PDF)

Coates's job as a senior writer and editor for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is full of variety and challenges.

Coates, Melanie. Intercom (2006). Careers>Business Communication>Case Studies


Exit, Voice, and Sensemaking Following Psychological Contract Violations: Women's Responses to Career Advancement Barriers   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Much of the theory guiding career development research is grounded in studies of men's careers in professional positions. In addition to largely ignoring the career experiences of women, the career literature pays little attention to overcoming barriers to career advancement in organizations—a challenge many women and men both face over the course of their career development. Using survey data, analyses of in-depth interviews, and a focus group discussion with female executives in the high-tech industry, this study finds variations of three responses: exit, voice, and rationalizing to remain are used by women in response to career barriers. These responses form the foundation of a career barrier sensemaking and response framework presented in the study. Findings indicate that perceived organizational sanctioning of career barriers and the organization's commitment to the career advancement of other women also influence participants' responses to barriers and their strategies for sensemaking, respectively.

Hamel, Stephanie A. JBC (2009). Careers>Business Communication>Collaboration>Gender


Finding Proposal Money for Nonprofits   (PDF)

Offers tips on how nonprofit organizations can search for and attain funding.

Munger, Roger H. Intercom (2001). Careers>Business Communication>Proposals>Nonprofit


Finding Your Way: John Deveney, ABC, Discusses His Views on Consulting

Natasha Spring talks with John Deveney about the success of his consulting firm, client relationships, technology, and the challenges he has faced.

Spring, Natasha and John Deveney. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Careers>Consulting>Business Communication>Case Studies


Five Tips for Developing the Soft Skills IT Pros Need   (members only)

As an IT support pro, you not only need to be able to diagnose computer problems, you also must be able to effectively communicate the problem to the user. Use these tips to develop your soft skills, become a star player, and move up the IT ladder.

Firey, Carla. TechRepublic (2003). Careers>Business Communication>Technology


The Freelance Copywriter's Six-Pack   (members only)

This 24-page e-book is a compilation of six articles, all focused on starting and growing a successful freelance copywriting business. In addition to the articles, there is also a resource page with suggestions for courses and further reading.

Usborne, Nick. FreeIQ (2007). Careers>Freelance>Writing>Business Communication


Freelancers: Do You Need a Business Plan?

Is it really true that a freelancer shouldn’t bother with a business plan? There are thousands of freelancers, after all, who started taking on clients without even thinking about writing a business plan. Nobody seems to have suffered from that approach. However, there are a few steps along the way that are significantly easier when you have a business plan in hand.

Bram, Thursday. FreelanceSwitch (2009). Careers>Freelance>Management>Business Communication


Freelancing From Home: Don't Interview Folks in Your Pajamas

Have you ever considered breaking out of your nine to five and 5-by-5-foot cubicle to become a full-time freelance writer?

Hartsock, Nettie. WhitePaperSource (2006). Careers>Freelance>Business Communication>White Papers


From Sentence to Bullet: How to Style a One-Page Résumé for Traction   (PDF)

The one-page MBA résumé has become, in graduate management education, the self-representational document of choice. Sentences are out, bullets are in, details remain. The key is how to detail the bullet to describe, define, and deliver, in non-narrative form, professional achievements and accomplishments. In this paper, I examine samples of raw quasi-narrative descriptions and suggest restyled improvements for single-line bullets that more clearly, precisely, and effectively represent how authors describe their achievements. The raw data come from a data set of some 400 résumés submitted as a task in a studio-based broadcast course on business communication. The authors are mid-level managers in Latin America enrolled in a global MBA program. The paper examines the content and form of the objective, summary, and professional experience sections of the résumé and provides a set of tips for written language use in the résumé.

Staczek, John J. Association for Business Communication (2005). Careers>Resumes>Management>Business Communication


Fundamentals of Leadership: Communicating a Vision

Great leaders are not always born that way. Unfortunately, many management training programs don't sufficiently emphasize leadership development, but instead focus on fundamentals and the day-to-day tasks that confront managers within the organization. This article takes a look at how having vision and then communicating it is the foundation of leadership and contributes to the makeup of a truly great leader.

Harris, Kerri. Writing Assistance (2006). Careers>Management>Collaboration>Business Communication


Getting Started on Your Assignment

This is the first of a series of articles on BA consulting. This is some of my perspective on starting your consulting assignment as a BA, and understanding the organization that you're working with. This first article: Start your BA assignment with a bang and will be followed by two additional articles discussing requirements basics, followed by closing the project.

Furey, Jim. BA Collective (2007). Careers>Consulting>Business Communication


Great Consulting Starts with Skills That Matter

Many organizations are looking to communicators for a different set of services than those traditionally delivered. “Teach our managers to communicate better,” leaders say. “Help us make smarter decisions and be more efficient,” they plead. “Help me deliver messages better in front of our audiences,” they implore. At the same time, communicators work tirelessly to get to the leadership table, stay there and have real influence. We’re all working toward the same end: strategic thinking and implementation that truly impacts the business. For some, operating more like a consultant, even while continuing to work inside the organization, makes more sense. But how do you transition to such a model?

Wilson, Stacy. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Careers>Consulting>Business Communication


Hate Selling? Try Helping!

You cannot succeed in any business without selling. Delegating or ignoring selling skills is one of the worst things you can do. How to develop your sales skills, even if you think you hate it. Wendy Peck explains.

Peck, Wendy. Wise-Women (2004). Careers>Business Communication>Marketing


How to Break into Marketing Communications   (PDF)

Many technical writers, editors, illustrators, graphic designers, managers, and others would like to break into technical marketing. But how to do it? This mini-workshop gives technical communicators some practical tips for making the transition without the requisite “experience required”. As an added bonus, it shows that marketing jobs in general pay more than similar ones held by traditional technical communicators.

Vaughan, Caroleen L. STC Proceedings (1995). Careers>Business Communication>Marketing


How To Create A Great Web Design CV and Résumé?

The economy is bad. No one’s job is really 100% safe, so it’s time we all bucked up and got our recession bags packed (just in case!). Your portfolio is already gorgeous, but have you created a drool-worthy résumé? This flimsy one-page document is more important than many people think: the résumé is the first portfolio piece that potential employers see, and if they’re not impressed, chances are they won’t look at the rest of your portfolio.

Neville, Kat. Smashing (2009). Careers>Web Design>Business Communication>Resumes


How to Start a Business: Five Key Steps to Getting on Track

I received a slightly panicked call the other day from a colleague who had recently ventured out on her own after many years of working for others. She had been lured into self-employment by an opportunity that matched up her passion and her skills—but it wasn't going to pay all the bills. So she needed to get serious about starting up some kind of freelance business. But where to start? Although my colleague had taken the necessary legal steps in her state (notably, applying for a business license), she didn't know what to do next. She was, in her own words, paralyzed.

Steigman, Daria. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Careers>Freelance>Business Communication



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