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Highlights from Career Day 2015
2015, Q3 (June 06, 2015)
By Sheila Loring, Associate Fellow

Sheila Loring
Sheila Loring
What an amazing Career Day! Engaging speakers provided practical advice for job searching, networking, interviewing, building your social media network, and writing effective resumes. I was impressed with the audience, so full of enthusiasm and probing questions. STC Carolina once again served the technical writing community with a unique educational and networking opportunity.

If you couldn’t attend, peruse my Tweets at @sheilaloring, or read the highlights here.

Networking 101 with Professor Susan Katz (NCSU)

  • Stay in touch with your professors. As Associate Professor in the NCSU English department, Dr. Katz also manages the internship program. Dozens of employers contact Dr. Katz with job openings, which she forwards to a listserv of students and alumni. Anyone interested in the field may join the listserv.
  • Update your portfolio: Fix a non-profit organization's web site or volunteer to edit their newsletter. The work demonstrates your skills to potential employers and also lets you network. Include this volunteer experience on your resume.
  • Don't just put someone's business card in your pocket. Read it, ask a question, and make notes on the back.

For details about Dr. Katz, visit fivestepstotherightjob.com.

First Impressions: Tips for Before, During, and After Your Interview with Rebecca Cooley (Catalyst Career Coaching)

  • Avoid emailing thank you notes to interviewers. Mail a short written note instead. It's more personal and memorable.
  • After an interview, write down the interviewer's questions to create a question bank for yourself.
  • What do you offer a potential employer? Find inspiration in past performance evaluations.
  • When you’re nervous about an interview, focus on the breath to quiet your mind. Unhelpful thoughts are overly emotional.

For details about Rebecca Cooley, visit catalystactioncoaching.com.

Personal Branding through Content and Social Media with Mark Traphagen (Stone Temple Consulting)

  • Personal branding through social media is a lifelong interview. Write Tweets, Facebook posts, etc. that demonstrate your expertise and convey your areas of interest.
  • On Twitter, use popular hashtags to increase your visibility. Learn which hashtags are most popular by visiting ritetag.com.
  • Don't have a business card with you? Build on online presence so you can say "Just Google me".
  • Ask questions on social media. Smart people love to answer good questions.

For details about Mark Traphagen, visit stonetemple.com/about-mark-traphagen.

Writing a Better Resume with Christina Mayr (Extreme Networks)

  • Technical writers, explain on your resume how you helped the user. Don’t just recite your skills.
  • Remove anything from your resume that sounds like it came from your job description.
  • Include continuing education and the completion dates on your resume. These activities demonstrate your desire to develop skills and remain relevant in the industry.

For details about Christina Mayr, visit twitter.com/cseftekhar.

Many thanks to TEKsystemsfor hosting the event. Recruiter Ronda Jackson shared a bit about the state of the industry.
  • 50% of contract jobs that she's seen require DITA or XML experience.
  • Most contracts range from two months to a year.
  • Don't despair if you lack the exact experience required for a position. Related experience can get you in the door. For example, you might not have written in DITA, but you're a pro with Structured FrameMaker.
To learn more about STC Carolina events, subscribe to the chapter announcement list at http://stc-carolina.org/Subscribe.

Sheila can be reached at sheila dot loring at gmail dot com. Read more articles by Sheila. End of article.

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