Developing a Letter of Application

Question: I’ve developed my resume and will also likely be filling out job applications. Should I still take the time to develop a letter of application? And, if so, what should it include? A letter of application can be an important tool in helping you land an interview–and ultimately, the job you seek. Although resumes […] Continue reading ...

Your Own Best Ad: Promoting Yourself as a Contractor

Editor’s Note: The following piece by Bruce Byfield is part of our collection of “classics”–articles that stand the test of time no matter how many technologies come and go. Cattle die, kindred die, Every man is mortal: But the good name never dies Of one who has done well. –Havamal (Translated by W.H. Auden and […] Continue reading ...

Working Internationally: Advice and Thoughts

I’m an American technical writer working in New Zealand, and my jobs here have sent me to Singapore and Australia. When I told my friends and acquaintances that I was planning on moving to another country, their responses ranged from disbelief to envy. One person asked me, “Is that actually possible?” Others confessed that they […] Continue reading ...

Techie Technical Writer Series, Part I: Being a Techie Writer

What's the difference between a "technical" writer and a technical "writer"? Depends on who you ask, but it can often be measured in tens of thousands of dollars annually, dramatically reduced frustration in working with developers and engineers, freedom to work more independently, effectively, and efficiently than you thought possible, and even in the ability to telecommute or freelance more readily. Continue reading ...

Techie Technical Writer Series, Part II: Becoming a Techie Writer

Just for perspective, I'm writing this not as a techie who thinks he knows the secrets, but rather as an inveterate geek who nonetheless started his first technical writing job with minimal (inadequate) proficiency with Word Perfect 4.2 and his second with a hazy notion at best of what a network might actually be. As a matter of fact, in my first technical writing job, I spent hours reformatting text because I didn't know how to use table cells to make text align properly, and I had to be forcefully dragged into using styles rather than a simple formatting (Shift-F5, I believe) command. That said, I'm now a reasonably techie technical writer ... Continue reading ...