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Technical Writing: What is it?
Technical writing is one of the most difficult forms of writing. To be a technical writer you need to be able to convey a technical message in a concise and effective manner. Technical documents must be created using comprehensive and precise information in a brief and understandable style. You will need the ability to be able to correspond with technical experts and have the understanding of all technical terminology. You are the middleman between the designers, engineers, or scientists and the audience of the technical writings. You have to have the ability to under stand what they are saying and the turn it into something that can be understood by someone else.
Simply put it is writing that designs, creates, and upkeeps any kind of technical data such as user manuals, how to guides, and online help just to name a few. To be able to achieve a career in technical writing you must be able to write complex data in a straightforward, easy to understand and articulate fashion. You must be able to word step by step instructions in a way that seems effortless to a consumer.
While doing technical writing one of the most important aspects of your job will be creating for an intended audience. So not only must you understand and convey what you are writing, you must understand whom you are writing it for. In most cases, you are generally trying to explain complex technical information to the average person. But with the diversity in the world today and having such a vast potential audience you must understand the meaning of the words you use and what they could mean to someone else.
Some technical writing projects may also include magazine and newspaper articles. These articles will probably be focused on new technologies and products. In some cases this may be in the form of an advertisement. Or it could just be an introduction to a new product saying hey this is what we have and this is what it a can do.
Although a formal education is always a plus, if you have experience and successful past ventures in technical writing it isn?t always necessary. Knowledge into the multiple components needed for technical writing is required. They key components to what you must know is an in depth knowledge many software programs. These applications can include Visio, Quadralay Web Works Publisher, Microsoft Word, and HTML script writing. Proper formatting, style, and organization of writings are what make them easy to follow. Correct wording, clear sentences, and easy terminology make your technical writings easy the read and comprehend.
If you are employed as a technical writer with a company, you will most likely be working with a team of other writers. You writings will be reviewed for content efficiency as well as any grammar and spelling errors. Depending on the structure of the team they may be working on the same project as you or they may be working on separate projects. Either way the team is assembled as a support group to help make your technical writing be as accurate, effective, and as simple as it can be.
To succeed in technical writing these are the simple rules to follow. Keep it as simple as possible; no one wants to read four pages to find a simple one word answer. Understand the people you are talking to and what you are telling them. If you don?t understand, neither will they. Make sure you get your work proofread or read it aloud to make sure it makes sense. You know what you are trying to say, but your reader does not. You are the carrier for getting information from point A to Point B.
The Makings of a Magazine: Do They Include You? (writing magazine articles) Magazines are everywhere. They are published on nearly every subject you can imagine, in duplicate and triplicate and more. All that a start-up magazine needs is a niche and an audience. While there may be hundreds of cooking magazines out there, a new one could come up if it should cover cooking for your pets. In fact, there may already be such a magazine in existence. The niche is cooking for pets. The audience is those people who want the healthiest foods for their pets and are willing to put the time and effort into making it for them. If you are interested in writing magazine articles, you?ll be sure to find one that is perfectly suited to your interests and abilities as a writer. Because there are so many magazines, it won?t be difficult to find one that you will enjoy becoming a part of. What You Should Know Magazines survive on advertising. The advertisers pay because the content is good enough that readers will invest in the glossy covers again and again. The best way to find a healthy magazine is to look through the racks for thick publications. They will only be full of content if they are full of advertisements. The big magazines can afford to pay their writers more, but they can also afford to pay only the best writers. Even though there is quite a lot of space to fill with content, you may have a hard time getting published in major magazines at first. Smaller magazines do not have quite the readership and so they also do not have quite the advertisement content. The space will be limited and the pay will be lower, but these magazines will be more open to new writing talent nonetheless. The More You Know, the Better When it comes to a writing career, the more you know the better off you will be. It is not hard to figure out that you will have the best chances for publication if you can write on a variety of topics. You should not limit yourself to a small area of expertise. Work to become an expert in every topic you come across. There is no possible way of course to be an expert in every area of human knowledge, but it will help you in writing magazine articles to learn every new piece of information that you can. For example, if you were to send a query to a health and fitness magazine about writing a short piece about general mountain biking tips they may accept it. They may also then request additional information about the pros and cons of using a road bike on mountain trails. If you only know about mountain bikes, you?ll be stuck. If you have worked on broadening your horizons though, you?ll be able to produce the work that the magazine editor requires. Getting On Staff Querying magazines is a way to get published, but if you need a more stable job, you may be interested in getting on staff with a magazine. Writing magazine articles is a talent. If you can consistently bring an editor what he is looking for, you might have a chance. To improve your chances, in addition to writing effectively, it will help to have some significant education behind you. If you are serious about making it to the masthead of your favorite magazine, it?s time to go to school. A degree will help your credibility as a writer and will help you open doors into the magazine publication world. Writing magazine articles takes a special kind of writer. You have to have a feel for what people are interested in reading about. The magazine content will help you understand how to write for a particular magazine and audience. You can also improve your chances of writing accepted articles by improving your knowledge base. Don?t be picky about what you?re willing to learn and you could go very far in the writing business.
Let your Resume Speak Volumes for that Next Big Job Before you even get through the door of any job interview, there is already one document that has done the talking for you ? your resume. A good resume can mean the difference between getting the call of the interview and waiting by phone, and a well written, thoughtful resume can make you stand out over and above other applications with similar skills and work experience. Let your resume give you the edge on that next big job by following a few simple tips. When you sit down to write your resume, you need to plan it out before you start typing. There are two main formats for a resume: the chronological format, in which you simply list your job history, starting with your most recent or current job and moving backwards, and the functional format, in which you highlight your skills and experience rather than specific jobs and specific employers. The chronological format is definitely the most common, and many employers prefer this kind of resume, but choose the format this is going to show off your skills in the best light. If your work history is a choppy and a chronological format resume would only draw attention to that, use the functional format. The key is to choose the format that will give you the best chance of getting noticed for the job and to stick with the format throughout your resume. No matter which resume format you choose to use, the top of your resume should always include your name, contact information and work objectives. Name and contact information is pretty straight forward, although experts do recommend that if you have a ?gender neutral? name that you include a helpful ?Mr.? or ?Ms? to clear up any confusion. Your work objectives should be your career goals. For instance, if you want to manage a small team of sales people, then say that, so your potential employers know that you are moving in a certain direction with your career and not simply apply for jobs willy-nilly. After your work objective comes your work experience. List your jobs in reverse chronological order. Instead of simply creating a bullet pointed list your work related tasks, look for a way to frame all of your responsibilities so that they sound like you showed leadership and problem solving capabilities. For instance, if you were in charge of keeping the expensive accounts in order, say that you were in charge of troubleshooting monthly expense account records, saving the company hundreds of dollars every month. If you have a few blips in your work history, be clear about what you were doing in the downtime. If you were raising children, traveling, or in school, say that you were. If you weren?t really doing anything, put as positive a spin on things as you can without lying. Never leave gaps in your work history unaddressed on your resume. After your work history, it is time to list your education credentials. If you didn?t finish a degree, say how much college work you completed and highlight any coursework relevant to the job. If your college degree or post grad work is in progress, say when you expect to be finished. This is another place where gaps matter. If there is a gap in your education history, again say what you were doing in that time, referring back to your work history where appropriate. You can overcome these gaps as long as you don?t pretend that they don?t exist. Round out your resume by listing any awards and professional memberships you may hold. Don?t get into your hobbies unless they are specifically related to the position for which you are applying. Personal details like religion and race have no place on your resume and you are not required to disclose your age. Instead, let your experience do the talking.
How to Work the Internet to your Advantage in a Job Search Are you on the hunt for the perfect job? If you need a new job and you are spending every day running out and buying a paper and flipping through the classified ads, you are way out of date. The newest way to find a job is to use the Internet in your job search. After all, nearly everything else people do these days is done online, so why not looking for your next job. The best part is that the Internet is much better than the classified ads in your local paper when it comes to finding a job you love. When you search for a job online, you have a world of employment opportunities right at your fingertips. There are many ways you start your search for jobs online. There are several websites that are dedicated just to job hunting. On these kinds of sites, you can search through a database of literally thousands and thousands of jobs until you find some that appeal to you. Most of these websites let you search for jobs using many different criteria, from job location to job field to starting salary to jobs that let you work from home. These websites can be a wonderful way of getting a feel for what kind of jobs are out there and what the going rate of pay is for any job in any industry, and how that pay fluctuates regionally. In addition, these sites are also ideal if you are thinking of moving, and want to move to someplace you can find a job. If you don?t care where you move, you can look for cities where the job market is hot. If you know where you want to move, you can look for jobs in your desired city and get the inside track on the job market from no matter where you are. Additionally, on these job listings websites, you can upload your own resume to the site. That way, you can apply to jobs through the website with the click of a button, and potential employers can find you when they are looking for someone with your skills. Another way you can use the Internet to your advantage when you are hunting for a job is to build your own job hunting website. Create a website that showcases your resume and all of the work experience you have. You can set out your career objectives and show off any special skills you have. Having your own website is a great way to direct potential employers to where they can find more information about you and is a handy way of getting the message across about skills or achievements you have that may not be right for inclusion on your resume. If all of this sounds like casting the net a little too wide for your tastes, the good news is there are now local job listings websites in most towns. These websites work in much the same way was the larger job hunting websites, but they only list local jobs and only allow local workers to upload their information. Remember that the Internet cuts both ways when looking for a job. Just as you might Google a potential employer, so they may Google you. Be thoughtful about what you post about yourself on the Internet. If you don?t want your potential boss to know about that time you had too much to drink and passed out in your friend?s front lawn, don?t post the picture online. Likewise, be careful when blogging about political, religious or off-color topics. Almost anything you say online can be traced back to you, and may be used against you in a job hunt.