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.