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Annotated Bibliography

The entries in this annotated bibliography focus on STC content that would be of interest to new graduates and professionals that are considering changing careers and entering the world of technical communication. Note that online access to some of these articles may require STC membership. Articles covering the following topics have been included: Additional articles of interest may be found on the Eserver Technical Communication Library site.

Technical Communication Roles

Hayhoe, G.F. (2007). The Future of Technical Writing and Editing. Technical Communication. 54(3), 281-282.

This editorial takes a look at some of the changes to the technical communication field and the new direction it is heading. The traditional role of the technical writer has expanded and additional skills are required. Keywords: required skills

Lanier, C.R. (2009). Analysis of the skills called for by technical communication employers in recruitment postings. Technical Communication. 50(1), 51-61.

This research article reviews technical writer job postings from August 1, 2006 to October 31, 2006 to determine which skills are most in demand from employers. The job postings used in this research required no more than two years of technical writing experience and came from a variety of online job posting sites. Keywords: required skills, job search  

Myers, E. M. (2009). Adapt or die: Technical communicators of the twenty-first century. Intercom, March, 6-13.

This article looks into the past, present and future of the role of the technical communicator. The author interviews leading technical communication practitioners and discusses the future of the industry and how writers need to position themselves to succeed. Keywords: career strategies

Technical Communication Best Practices

Doyle, D.L.B. (2008). The magic three. Intercom, September/October, 10-13.

One of the foundations of DITA and content management is creating modular content so that it falls under a topic type; specifically, concept, reference or task. Even if you are not using DITA, creating modular content with a topic focus will help you improve your documentation. Keywords: writing best practices, audience consideration  

Frampton, B. (2008). Information management and hazard analysis. Intercom, December, 10-13.

One of the challenges a technical communicator faces is how to stay informed on changes to a project. The best way to know what is going on is to become a member of the project team and leverage your technical writing skills by managing the project documentation. By being involved at this level, you can keep track of the project, not have to rely on others to keep you in the loop and add value to your role. Keywords: writing best practices, career strategies  

Hughes, M. (2009). Users as decision makers. Intercom, February, 15-18.

Understanding user needs is a core component of effective technical writing. What information about a product would be most helpful to a user? In addition to documenting how a product works, writers should also provide information that help users make decisions on how they want to use the product. Providing domain expertise assistance in the documentation adds value to the product. Keywords: writing best practices  

Job Search Guidance

Kraska, C. (2009). Recruiting advice for new writers. Intercom, March, 24-55.

Finding that first job as a new technical writer is a daunting task. Most job openings require a couple of years of experience and new writers are lacking that qualification. The author looks into using a recruiter as a new writer to find a position and discusses the overall role of the recruiter. The information in this article comes from a series of interviews the author conducted with recruiters in Canada and the United States. Keywords: job search, new writer  

Molisano, J. (2008). Job hunting in a recession. Intercom, September/October, 19-21.

Part I of a two-part series on finding and securing a position as a technical communicator. This article offers advice on how to approach looking for a job in a harsh economic climate from an owner of a technical writing staffing company. The insight and strategies provided focuses on actions technical writers can take to put themselves in the best possible position to land a job. Much of this advice is helpful for anyone looking for a job. Keywords: job search  

Molisano, J. (2009). Recession-proof your career. Intercom, March, 14-17.

Part II of a two-part series on finding and securing a position as a technical communicator. This article focuses on ways a technical communicator can solidify their place in a company and increase job security. The author provides strategies on how to find a job that may not be in the field you have experience in and how to prepare yourself for the next possible economic downturn. Keywords: job search, career strategies  

O'Sullivan, R. (2008). Feast or famine: Employment 2007. Intercom, September/October, 16-18.

This article compares technical writer job statistics for 2006 and 2007 and looks at the current climate for job growth. Locations with the largest growth and decline are highlighted, as well as industries with greatest growth for technical communication positions. Based on the statistics for median salary, the apparent trend is to decrease the number of less experienced writers and hold on to more experienced writers to help weather the current economic environment. Keywords: job search, career strategies


This page was submitted by Monica Leggoe for the Linda Etesh persona.