Inside this issue:
Technical Communicators of Florida and Beyond,
Long time, no see! It’s been about a year since the last time I had a hand in the publication process of Memo to Members.
I’m just stopping by today to help out with this month’s edition and drop a little shameless self-promotion while I’m at it. In addition to a fantastic recap of our March Employment Panel by STC Student Writer Shawn Menard and some promo materials from our recent chapter meeting, I’m here to hype up a chapter-sponsored workshop this Saturday!
Said workshop is titled Visualizing your Career in Tech Comm, and is totally free to attend either in-person at the University of Central Florida or online from the comfort of home. Yours truly will be co-running the event alongside our chapter’s president Bethany Aguad (hence the shameless self-promo). I share more details about this workshop in the article below.
Onward and Upward,
Workshop: Visualizing Your Career in Tech Comm
By: Nick Ducharme
Florida Chapter, STC
One of my goals as VP this year was to help bring about at least one Saturday workshop with both virtual and in-person attendance options. The results of our summer 2018 survey have driven several of our initiatives this year, and a lot of you demonstrated a particular interest in workshops. Some of you have also stated that a long Saturday workshop can offer a compelling incentive for people from outside the Central Florida area (people we normally do not get to network with in-person) to drive out our way. More bang for your buck in a single visit when compared to an hour-long chapter meeting on a weeknight. And we agree! It makes perfect sense.
So here it is: a workshop titled Visualizing Your Career in Tech Comm! Please join us this Saturday, April 27th from 9 am to 12:30 pm EST.
This workshop session, hosted by the University of Central Florida, is free for both members and nonmembers to attend either in-person or online. It is designed not only for newcomers to the technical communication field, but also established tech comm professionals thinking about that next big career step. We will be covering:
Those who attend in-person will also have access to water, coffee, and donuts on us. And for those so inclined, we will be having a social after the workshop at Bahama Breeze in nearby Waterford Lakes.
Please click here fill out the Tech Comm Career Interest Assessment, which will be driving part of the workshop discussion, and also upload your résumé when prompted if you would like to take part in the optional Résumé Peer Review.
By: Shawn Menard
STC Student Writer
Florida Chapter, STC
To those who were unable to attend the meeting on the 19th of March, our STC chapter hosted its Annual Employment Panel at Perkins Restaurant and Bakery. The atmosphere was lively with attendees engaging in intense mastication and conversation before the scheduled beginning of the meeting.
The meeting followed a question and answer format with online and in-person members contributing technical communication employment questions and concerns to the eager and knowledgeable panelists. The panel consisted of professionals who interact daily with Technical Communicators: Scott Dorsett, Jeff Wayman, Stephanie Young, and Andre Evans. You can read their bios on the chapter website: Meet the Panelists.
The purpose of the Q & A session was to dispense advice regarding how to present yourself through your resume and subsequent interview. There were various responses from each panelist, reflecting their experiences, but my main takeaway from the employment panel was to be yourself during an interview. Never lie about your abilities and accomplishments. However, you must be able to sell yourself. To do so, learn how to have a good conversation. Interviewing is storytelling, and you must be able to tell a good story.
When it comes to your experiences and skills, you must be able to speak clearly with confidence about your role. When asked about your work, you should be able to articulate how you did you do something and why you did it that way. To demonstrate your visionary skills, be prepared to respond to hypothetical situations and describe your solutions. They are looking for applicants who can consume content, form an opinion, and clearly explain it.
Outside of the actual interview, there is more work to be done. Research the company you are applying for, understand the role you are applying for, and become familiar with tools the role requires. You should have familiarity with similar technology required for the role you are applying for, but you can also be adaptable. Do not worry; they will give you time to learn the tools.
When it came to the actual resume, the quickest way to get rejected is to have a single misspelling. I found this bit of advice fully understandable as we are writers and it is our role to clearly and effectively communicate. Errors lead to miscommunication, which is a waste of time, energy, and money.
The last message was one of comfort and reassurance: Your path will be long and winding. Have the courage to step outside your comfort zone and take chances.
FORMER EDITOR’S NOTE: You might notice this promo is being posted after its subject meeting has already occurred. Feel free to skip it! This article is mostly for archival purposes. 🙂
STC Florida Chapter Open Forum on Technical Communication
By: Nick Ducharme
Florida Chapter, STC
Sometimes in technical communication, as in life, less is more. I will be following that philosophy with this description of the April chapter meeting.
Simply put, this month’s topic…is up to you!
On Thursday, April 18th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm EST, we will host our first fully online chapter meeting. We call it the STC Florida Chapter Open Forum on Technical Communication. The goal is networking. The goal is also to facilitate discussions about whatever tech comm topics and questions are on your mind. Please seize this golden opportunity to shape the discussions we will be having.