A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Technical writers have no formal professional certification to demonstrate their expertise. If you need a position as a documentation specialist, how do you present yourself as a qualified, quality applicant? Here are a few articles that should help you.



Top Ten Interview Tips

As an interviewee, these actions might give you a competitive edge. As an interviewer, they might help set your standards on how you rate potential candidates.

O'Keefe, Karen. Writing Assistance (2006). Careers>Interviewing


The Twelve Laws of Media Relations

How you treat and respond to reporters, editors and analysts can greatly affect how your company is perceived in its marketplace. The relationship between “you” and “them” is so important it has its own name (media relations), its own experts (PR pros and firms that specialize in media relations) and its own set of rules. Below are 12 laws of media relations. Follow them, and you’re well on your way to gaining for your company the positive visibility you desire. Break them at your own peril.

Buchanan, James. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Interviewing>Public Relations>Business Communication


Urban Legends of the Job Search

While it is true that employers far prefer electronic submittals to paper CV's, if you rely exclusively on the 'net for your job search, it will tank. Here's the trap: It feels like you are really accomplishing something by filling out online job applications, with very little risk. But you are just scattering seeds, few of which are likely to grow. While there is the possibility that someone will look at that package you've attached and call you for an interview, a great deal of your time is wasted.

Jensen, David G. Science (2005). Careers>Unemployment>Interviewing


User Interviews - Analysis Simplified

You’ve conducted your user interviews, but now you need to make sense of all that information you’ve gathered. These best practice tips will help you analyse the results.

Gray, Alistair. Webcredible (2009). Articles>Usability>Interviewing>Methods


User Interviews: A Basic Introduction

A basic introduction to user interviews, a great way to build research on your users and help improve the usability of your site.

Gray, Alistair. Webcredible (2008). Articles>Usability>Interviewing>Methods


Using a Bookstore to Land a Job   (PDF)

Discusses how technical writers can prepare for new jobs by focusing on potential employers' needs and upgrading their writing skills.

Bush, Donald W. Intercom (2002). Careers>Interviewing>Writing


Watch Out! Ten Interview Questions Designed To Trick You

Getting an interview in today’s market may feel like a win in itself. But once you’re in the door, interviewers often put you through an obstacle course of deceptive questions with double meanings or hidden agendas. Do you know how to read the subtext?

Goudreau, Jenna. Forbes (2012). Careers>Interviewing>Advice


Weingart: A Craftsman to the Core

Experience with Wolfgang Weingart during his last year before retiring from the HGK Basel, Switzerland.

Rotmil, Adam M. AIGA (2004). Design>Typography>Interviewing


What is a Behavioral Interview and Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

What is a behavioral interview? Behavioral based interviewing is interviewing based on discovering how the interviewee acted in specific employment-related situations. The logic is that how you behaved in the past will predict how you will behave in the future i.e. past performance predicts future performance.

Doyle, Allison. About.com (2007). Careers>Interviewing>Methods


What Makes a Great Entry-Level Candidate?   (PDF)

There is a shortage of experienced technical communicators in many places. This often forces Tech Pubs managers to hire and train entry-level (or change-of-career) candidates who have no portfolio, related work experience, or references in the field.

Sakson, Donna M., Leah Guren and Shirley Hancock. STC Proceedings (1999). Careers>Interviewing>TC


What Makes Experts Expert

how should we interview SMEs and then what is our role to our readers as surrogate SMEs?

Hughes, Michael A. Humane Experience, The (2010). Articles>Collaboration>Interviewing>SMEs


What Questions You Should Ask at a SOW Meeting

At times, though, a writer is a bit overwhelmed at the start-of-work meeting. He becomes passive and takes in everything the client lays out without asking for more. That can result in some information that’s very important to the writer being missed.

Adar, Bryan S. Technical Communication Center (2009). Articles>Collaboration>Interviewing>SMEs


What to Look for When Hiring Technical Writers

Many articles about how to hire technical writers are paint-by-numbers affairs that focus on basics like good writing ability, tool knowledge, industry experience, and design and organizational skills. Not that these things aren’t important, it’s just that when you’ve winnowed down to a small group of candidates where each has the same or similar qualifications, you need to start focusing on other more subtle, subjective characteristics.

Peruzzi, Brett. TechCom Manager (2009). Articles>Interviewing>Management


When Interviews Go Wrong

Despite our best efforts to prepare for and run an interview smoothly, there are often challenges that crop up in the heat of the moment. Ideally, our interviewees are cooperative, well motivated, eloquent, knowledgeable, truthful, consistent, concise, precise, and coherent, states Steinar Kvale in his book InterViews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. However, like the typical user, the ideal interviewee does not exist. Some people are harder to interview than others, and sometimes, interviews drift off into unproductive territory due to factors beyond our control.

Northrop, Mia. UXmatters (2011). Articles>Interviewing


When You're Shy, All the World's a Stage

Over the years, I've come to realize I'm just one of many people who are "hardwired" to be shy, and that there are ways to tame this monster so it doesn't interfere with your work and productivity.

Levine, Irene S. Science (2005). Articles>Presentations>Interviewing


Where To Go To Become a Tech Writer or To Find One To Hire?

Finding a single place to learn about Technical Writing is not the easiest task. Because of this, it is even trickier to find a good source for locating potential candidates for the job.

Guarnera, Tom. Your Writing Dept (2009). Careers>Interviewing>Writing>Technical Writing


Who Should You Hire to Design Your Web Site?

You need to hire someone to design your Web site. What should you look for before signing on the dotted line?

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1995). Design>Web Design>Interviewing


Words With Punch

It has always amazed me how much advantage a scientist gains from the ability to speak positively and succinctly about his accomplishments. It's amazing how much more buy-in a job applicant can get from a potential employer when she knows exactly how to summarize her fit with the company and the position at the end of an interview. Words make a huge difference. And although I've never subscribed to the philosophy that you should be primed with prepared answers to interview questions, such as those espoused in books with titles like 100 Snappy Answers to Tough Interview Questions, there are a few areas of career development where word-craft should be an essential part of your preparation.

Jensen, David G. Science (2011). Careers>Interviewing>Diction


Write Stuff: Hiring Winners   (PDF)

You can take the subjective guesswork out of hiring by carefully analyzing a job’s tasks and creating a structured interview. With a consistent interviewing style and the use of good evaluation tools, you will be able to find the best candidate for the job. This progression topic will provide you with some tools to use for job analysis, interview development, and candidate selection.

Jensen, Susan M. STC Proceedings (1995). Careers>Interviewing>Management


Writer and Subject-Matter Expert: Establishing a Positive Relationship

In a typical documentation project, the writer's role is not to express his or her own thoughts on paper, but rather the knowledge, plans, or ideas of someone else (usually a 'subject-matter expert' or SME). This article suggests ways to establish good working relationships with SMEs.

Zvalo, Peter. Writer's Block (2000). Articles>Interviewing>Writing


Writing the Teaching Statement

Take pity on me and my colleagues. As a faculty member who serves on faculty search committees and a frequent reader of job applications, I dread reading teaching statements. I have even considered asking search committees to stop asking for these essays (in which applicants discuss their teaching philosophies and their anticipated approaches to teaching) because they are so often insipid and painful to read. I've never actually made that suggestion, though, and for now, at my institution (and many others), teaching statements remain a required part of an application for a faculty position. So for every permanent-faculty search I'm involved in, I end up reading as many as several hundred insipid teaching statements. Have mercy.

Austin, Rachel Narehood. Science (2006). Careers>Interviewing>Academic


Your Rights When Being Interviewed

Journalists are bound by federal and provincial laws on privacy, trespassing and defamation. They also have to follow a set of journalistic ethics and codes. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters and the Radio and Television News Directors Association, for instance, have developed several industry codes of ethics to deal with disputes and complaints. As well, media outlets may have their own formal or informal rules or conventions that their reporters must follow. The journalistic standards and practices of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), for instance, can be downloaded from the CBC-Radio Canada web site. Here, we outline: what your rights are, under the law and according to common journalistic standards; what your options are when the law doesn’t protect you; and what to do if your rights are violated.

Media-Awareness.ca. Articles>Interviewing>Regional>Canada



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