Watts (chipotle) wrote,
Watts
chipotle

Late-night postscript

...although not as late night as I've often been pulling. I've adjusted to my roommates' relatively nocturnal schedules and have frequently found myself up past 2 or even 3 in the morning--a shift for someone who's been using midnight as the start of "up too late" for the past few years. I'm feeling a little run down and more sniffly and congested than normal, which suggests I'm catching the cold that Garth has. If so, hopefully I can medicine-bomb it before it gets too settled in. Tomorrow morning, off to buy decongestants and vitamins, perhaps.

I've been spending the week poking at my "technical writer" résumé. In theory this shouldn't be a stretch for me but in practice, I don't have the titles required and often don't have specific skills being looked for. Framemaker is the most lamentable absence. I've always come at desktop publishing from a layout and graphics standpoint, where PageMaker was the old standard, QuarkXpress has been the standard for years and InDesign is the up-and-coming tool of choice. Framemaker was either belittled or actively loathed in that community; nobody uses it for desktop publishing. Well, that's absolutely right, but it's not a sign that Framemaker is dying or obsolete--it's a sign that it's not in the DTP market at all. It's being used for end-to-end technical document production, which is something quite different.

Nonetheless, I worked on getting a credible résumé together and then did an abbreviated version of it for posting on Craig's List. It started out like this:
Me: A former web designer and coder with an extensive earlier history in writing, editing and publishing looking to move into a full-time writing position. Willing and able to take on a "multiple hat" role with a group that needs both content development and more general technical support, and willing to accept lower pay rates for cool work with cool people.

You: Looking for an entry-level to mid-level writer capable of producing documentation, articles or other content--specifically, someone comfortable with both "techspeak" and plain English, who can bridge the gap between technical and non-technical audiences. Willing to take a chance on a career-changer who has the core skills you need.

I got contacted by a recruiter within two hours of posting it, which certainly sets a personal record.

I have no idea if anything'll come of this, but maybe there's a certain value in being brazen after all. I'll have to apply this approach to another posting or two when I redo them. (My plan, such as it is, is to buy a style manual so I can add "knowledge of style manual X" to my skill list--yes, in some positions I've seen listed it does indeed count--and then to investigate what certifications I might be able to get relating to tech writing and communication through Brainbench. And, meanwhile, to try and get my Java skills up to a demonstrable level.)
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