This article originally appeared
in the Boston Broadside, a publication of the Boston Chapter of
the Society for Technical Communication.
JOB HUNTING TIPS
by Caleb Paul Stewart
Here are some job hunting tips and comments that we often share with documentation
and training professionals who are working with our placement agency:
- When you're working with
placement agencies, keep a detailed list of which agency has submitted
you as a candidate for each specific temporary or permanent position.
Don't allow duplicate representation for the same opening at a client
- Have a friend or colleague
(hopefully an experienced editor) review your resume for grammar, punctuation
and typos. It's easy to overlook a mistake in your own work, even if
you're a seasoned documentation professional. Remember...your resume
is almost always your first "introduction" to a hiring manager.
- Always be prepared to provide
recent professional references, and let your references know that they
might be contacted about you. Ask them what they will say, especially
in cases where there may have been personality conflicts or misunderstandings.
You should be able to provide a list of management and peer references,
including contact information, if asked.
- Bring examples of your work
to every interview. The manuals you wrote, books you edited (bring marked-up
samples, too), courses you developed, brochures you designed, or newsletters
you produced will give the interviewer useful insights into how your
background matches the job. Be prepared to explain your role in each
- Avoid offering derogatory
remarks about present and former employers. Even when these comments
are justified you take the chance that you'll be labeled a sorehead
- Ask for the job! The result
you want from a job interview is an offer. Unless you have no interest
in the position, be sure to close the job interview by indicating your
interest and availability for the job. Don't close the door on an opportunity
until you've had a chance to compare it with other positions and choose
the job you want.
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