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.
Running a translation business is not easy. As small as the industry may be, we as business owners face a full set of business challenges: personnel management, sales and marketing, client relations, and the list goes on. Everyday, we go into work hoping to improve the business, to make it more successful. Sometimes we wonder, what is the killer factor? What makes some companies more successful than others?
Like many of you, each of us has played on both sides of the fence: We've worked as editors in the position of hiring freelance writers, and as writers on constant prowl for new markets and ways to make editors happy. Even if you've not strayed between camps, we're all communication professionals-so why does mutual disappointment or even frustration characterize the editor/writer relationship so often?
Expect anyone you're interviewing to try to control the interview, says writer/trainer Thomas Hunter. Anticipate special difficulties if that person outranks you. You must make on-the-spot judgments during every interview, but Hunter suggests steps to take beforehand, alternative approaches to consider during interviews and techniques to use after unsatisfactory ones.
The process leading up to your first faculty job is almost guaranteed to be a nerve-racking ordeal. Many applicants don't know how to make a good first impression. It is common--and reasonable--to question whether you have the right set of skills and credentials for a particular faculty job. Whether at a large research-intensive university on the West Coast or a small teaching college in New England, the recruitment process is much the same all across the country.
Neil Perlin, a renowned trainer, consulter, and developer, talks about how to implement single sourcing. He includes a discussion of tools, pitfalls to avoid, and practical steps to take.
Before you worry about interviewing, consider this: good interviewing does not make a good candidate out of a bad one. The higher the quality of the people coming in to your interviewing process, the higher the quality of those that will come out of it. Do not rely on HR or some other person to decide who enters the process. The more energy you, as a hiring manager, invest in recruiting, the better your results will be.
Jane R. in Texas asks for some tips on interviewing tech writers, especially when using assessment tests. Her company is about to hire their first full-time writer and they have not done this before. I’ve worked on both sides on the fence in the past, (i.e. interviewed and been interviewed) and picked up a few tings in the process. Hopefully, these will be of some help.
Jeff Parks talks with Indi Young about non-directed interviews. Indi shares the hallmarks of a non-directed interview and how to guide these conversations accordingly. She also shares the importance of understanding the difference between a screener and an interview; and the necessity to encourage interviewees to avoid statements of fact by focusing on verbs rather than nouns when sharing experiences.
Information gathering can be one of the most timeconsuming and potentially frustrating experiences when writing policies and procedures. Policy and procedure writers sometimes start from scratch and must investigate and research policies and procedures before the first word is ever written. Although there are many obstacles to obtaining accurate and timely information, there are also many avenues the policy and procedure writer can take to gather, utilize, and maintain information.
To invite users to provide knowledge that informs your readers, you can try different approaches. In a small company, meeting with users is more informal: you can stop by and casually ask a few questions, rather than hold a more extended interview. When you’re speaking with an expert, tailor your conversation to that person. To establish rapport with a reluctant or skeptical source, try asking a specific question about a certain computer function. Or ask a general question on a broad function. Once the expert is talking, then you can pose more specific questions.
There are four parts to any interview: Opening (small talk), information giving, information taking, and conclusion. Before you go into an interview, know your: job strengths (writing, media contacts); managerial strengths (organized); personal strengths (energetic); weaknesses.
When you sit down with the hiring manager, that's the point where you see if this is really what you want and they see if you are what they want. If you prepare yourself ahead of time, you'll do well. You can find a wealth of information on the Internet about interviewing. The following is a checklist of items to consider in preparing yourself, during the interview and follow up after the interview.
Making a hiring decision can be one of the most important decisions made by a manager. You have a technical job to fill that requires high level skills. You also have a group dynamic and corporate culture to consider. The interview process is a set of tools and techniques for gaining information about a potential hire and making an informed decision. This workshop provides a supportive forum for learning from each other’s hiring and job hunting experiences. We also have a wealth of resources to draw upon throughout the interview process. A bibliography will be available for all participants.
After you have narrowed the pool of applicants down to those with the skills, experience, and knowledge to do the job, ask each candidate one question: What do you do in your spare time?
I had a great talk the other night with a classmate of mine from graduate school, who focused on usability and now works on a web application development team as their user experience designer. He’s Tim Keirnan, and I asked him to explain some of his interview techniques that he uses for his Design Critique podcast. I also got great snippets about his user interviews.
An O'Reilly interview with Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld about their book, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, their work, and the field of information architecture.
Interviewing is an excellent primary source of information for any research project. Interviews with subject-matter experts can expose the most up-to-date information and introduce new material that may shatter your originally held ideas about a subject.
The author discusses how managers can best prepare for an interview to ensure that the perfect candidate for the job is selected. The article also includes charts that can be used to assess a candidateï¿ï¿ï¿s performance in key areas such as tool skill level, knowledge of online help, and analytical ability.
This article is based on a presentation I gave at the STC Career Day, held at Seneca@York, September 22, 2003. It describes the six basic principles to follow for job interviews and informational interviewing, including asking and answering the right questions, of the right people, at the right time.
This article is the last of three in a series. It’s based on my presentation at the STC Career Day and describes the six basic principles to follow for both job interviewing and informational interviewing.