Monthly Archives: February 2016

Acing Your Interview – 3 Mar 2016 [Meeting]

So many jobs hinge on the interview. Learn what to do, and what not to do, in both phone and in-person interviews for technical communications jobs. From seemingly innocuous questions, to group interviews, to memorable ways to impress and guaranteed ways to bomb,

Andrew will share the insights you need to dispel the butterflies and start bidding wars. If time permits and there’s a willing volunteer, we’ll do a short mock interview and (constructive) post-mortem.

About Our Speaker

Picture of Andrew DavisAndrew Davis has recruited technical content developers in the SF Bay Area since 1995. He is a former software industry Technical Writer and has a reputation for both understanding and championing the role of content development.

Andrew enjoys helping those who communicate complex information get ahead by recognizing and refining their value to technology companies. He’s candid and connected and, just as importantly, he likes to help tech industry workers achieve independence from intermediaries.

Andrew ran Synergistech Communications during the Internet Gold Rush years and has recently returned to solo recruiting mode under the aegis of Tech Comm Talent, Inc. He remains focused on recruiting great technical content development talent for discerning local technology companies. Learn more about Andrew at www.linkedin.com/in/synergistech and www.synergistech.com.

Meeting Logistics

Date: Thursday, March 3, 2016.

Meeting Recap

by Liz Miller

In our March program, attendees gained expert interview tips from Andrew Davis, a well-favored recruiter of technical content developers.

Here are some tips we found especially helpful:

  • Videotape a mock interview. Use the video to see if you are making good eye contact and are leaning forward. Don’t fold your arms, sit back, or slouch. When interviewers ask you to tell them about yourself, they are really asking you to tell them what you can do for them.
  • Ask questions during an interview. Andrew gave a list of questions to ask interviewers. His top question is, “What is your leadership style?” Other good questions to ask are: What types of people are successful here? What types are not successful? How would you describe your culture? What is the rhythm to the work? The last question he suggests asking is, “What would stop you from hiring me for this position?”
  • Send thank you notes. Andrew suggests sending thank you notes to each interviewer individually (if possible), and to the internal recruiter.

Andrew also noted that compensation includes opportunities and circumstances in addition to a salary. We are sharing Andrew’s presentation especially for our DMV readers. Don’t miss his tips on building an interpersonal connection with your interviewers (such as opening your palm while speaking) as well as some definite taboos (such as leaning backwards).

Additionally, Andrew also gave us a link to his Jobs to Explore list of direct (non-agency) content-related job and contract opportunities. This frequently updated resource is a prize for job seekers.

Speaker Notes

Andrew shared his notes.

TC Camp Unconference 2016 [Meeting]

Come hear about what happened at TC Camp 2016. The 4th Annual TC Camp happened January 23rd. We’ll get together and share our experiences with each other and feedback with the TC Camp staff.

About Our Speakers

Everyone who attended got a chance to talk about their impressions and experiences in the different workshops. Moderated by Liz Fraley, TC Camp.

Meeting Logistics

Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016.

Meeting Recap

By Jillian Ogawa

What’s trending in technical communication in the Bay Area? As many as 140 attendees learned about the latest tools and top skills for technical writing professionals at the fourth annual TC Camp held January 23, 2016 in Santa Clara, Calif. The all-day event had five main workshops in the morning and 24 afternoon workshops that were run in an unconference format.

TC Camp website will soon have links to the workshop leader slides, to the panelist slides, the video playlist and the Scribe notes from the afternoon unconference sessions. Be sure to subscribe to the TC Camp newsletter for the links. At the STC East Bay chapter February program, TC Camp attendees and Liz Fraley, TC Camp Unconference founder and STC East Bay program chair, shared the highlights of the main TC Camp Workshop

Ambassador Workshop: “He (Dustin Vaughn, Solutions Consulting Manager, Adobe) was very personable; he was very knowledgeable; most of the people that showed up at the table were actually new to [Adobe] FrameMaker, so he basically showed the basic offering and basic tasks, such as the difference between InDesign and FrameMaker.”

Content Strategy Workshop: “They (Salesforce) were talking about keeping readers engaged and a lot of interactive, very non-standard ways, not just blocks of gray text to read. . Getting away from the traditional churning-out manuals and using new technology to keep the reader involved.”

Git-based Workflows Workshop:

  • “My impression was that they (GitHub presenters) should have one workshop for beginners and one for advanced because a lot of folks in the audience were asking a lot of really Git geek-type questions.”
  • “I found that their handouts were very helpful. I was able to create an account right there in the room. The things that they gave to us were very useful.”

Here is one of the handouts about GIT, the GitHub Cheatsheet.

Marketing Yourself Workshop: “I learned a lot from his (Andrew Davis, Tech Comm Talent, Inc.) talk; he had a lot of good information about what areas are hot and what are not. I got a lot of practical ideas about what to do about ‘kitchen sink’ job descriptions and having your cover letter show the classes you have taken to offset the things that you are not as knowledgeable about.”