Technical writers share a lot in common with their engineering and marketing counterparts. They have a passion for technology and creating new products and experiences. They also thrive in an environment that matches their unique workflow. Finding the perfect Technical Writing job is difficult.
Often, you find yourself in positions where you need a gig and are willing to accept work that sits outside of your scope of interest. Some require a workflow that doesn’t complement the one you’ve spent years becoming accustomed to.
So, how do you find the right fit for you?
Do Your Homework
Before going in for an interview, do your homework on the company you’re applying for. Look them up on workplace review sites like Glassdoor and gain a sense of how the company’s culture sits with you.
On a higher level: Take time to visit the company’s website and learn about their products and services. If there is a way for you to try them out for yourself or access a demo, do so. This will not only help you to get an idea of what is ahead for you should you get the job, but also to come up with questions to ask during the interview.
Ask Questions About the Job
It’s a common misnomer that the applicant is the only one being interviewed. You should consider your interview an opportunity to vet the company, as well.
Ask the interviewer about company culture. Find out how they approach problem-solving, and what kind of team (or teams) you would work with. This is a crucial moment where you can gauge whether or not you will be happy working there.
Interviewers also appreciate questions. If a candidate doesn’t ask anything at all, their interview is far less memorable. They also fall short of showing interest in the company as a whole. Candidates that ask good questions come across as more passionate about finding a business they can stay with for the long haul.
Let’s say you found a great company, and the position sounds perfect for you. There is only one problem: You weren’t hired.
This is another excellent chance for you. Ask for feedback. Find out if there was something on your resume or said during the interview that would have discouraged them from bringing you aboard. It might be something simple that you can fix ahead of your next opportunity.
Give Yourself Time
The first day at a new job is stress city! If things feel a bit too stressful at first, give yourself some time to get over the learning curve before calling it quits. Technical writing by its very definition is a series of crash courses and steep learning curves.
Once you build a rapport with your team and have established a grasp of what you’re writing about, you will be better positioned for success. You might even have the perfect job.