New job opportunities

April has certainly been busy on the jobs front. We have opportunities for 13 technical authors in the East Midlands (12-month contract), 8 freelance trainers throughout the UK, a permanent account manager/project manager for a documentation role in Herts and for a systems administrator in Cambridge. We also need a training project manager in Bristol.

Starting a career as a Technical Author

We are often asked for advice on how to start a career in Technical Writing. As with many jobs, it’s hard to get a job without experience and it’s hard to get experience without a job.

Here are some tips that might help:

1. Join the professional bodies for technical authors and writers. In the UK, they are the Institute for Scientific and Technical Authors and The Society for Technical Communication. This action shows intent, and it can help you spot career opportunities.

2. Look for hybrid roles that need your existing skills as well as writing skills. Think about how you can find a job that would use your existing skills as well as technical authoring skills. Examples are: trainer/writer, tester/writer, programmer/writer and translator/writer.

3. You could also gain experience by volunteering to document something. Look for Open Source software application that need technical writers. You won’t get paid, but you will be able to show some experience of technical authoring on your CV/Resume.

Documentation Specialists

Cherryleaf: Documentation specialists, information designers, technical authors, technical writers or technical communicators?

There are lots of phrases used to describe our profession. We tend to focus more on the problems we solve and the benefits derived, because people tend to understand these more easily. We also deal in other areas, such as copywriting and Web development and online communities.

Will the profession ever settle a definitive description of what we do?