Danielle M. Villegas, who blogs as TechCommGeekMom, shares the steps she took to make herself into a brand in order to successfully gain a position in technical communications. This presentation was delivered to the STC-PMC Mid-Atlantic Technical Conference in Willow Grove, PA on March 8, 2013.
Danielle M. Villegas• Currently a Web Publishing consultant at BASF• 2012 Graduate of the MSPTC Program at NJIT• Part-time instructor for World Learning• Part of the Thought Leadership for Adobe Technical Communication group
Employers may be aggravating the skills gap Employers having difficulty finding qualified people Millions of small- and medium-sized employers are unwilling or unable to spend $ to bring new hires up to speed; training often the 1st thing cut; question of ROI (Source - NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economywatch/employers-may-be- aggravating-skills-gap-1C7450821)
Specialist or Generalist?• Generalist= Multi-Specialist• Most employers are asking for specialists BUT...• Multi-Specialists have more value; can grow & adapt with changes. Promote your specialties!
Examples of Multi-Specialist skills Sure, you can write, but do you know… • SEO? • Use Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn)? • Web design? • Instructional design? • Content management?
Create an E-Portfolio of Your Work• This impresses employers!• Provides PROOF of your skills• Update regularly• If needed, "sanitize" in-house documents as needed. http://techcommgeekmom.businesscatalyst.com
Get an education!• Take a course--any course! Learn a new skill or update one you already have• Grad certificates, Masters degrees available• Also courses, course certificates, and professional certification through STC• Learn new software - use Lynda.com
Get Involved in Social Media• Helps to stay on top of trends in the field and what technology• Connect with experts and other tech comm pros• Start a blog to share ideas and viewpoints
This Company Will Only Accept Twitter Resumes For A Six-Figure JobFebruary 20, 2013 - from Business Insider: Enterasys — a wireless network provider — will be considering applicants for a six-figure senior social media position, but no paper résumés will be accepted. Instead, the company has decided to recruit solely via Twitter. Jennifer Grabowski, a spokesperson for the company, tells us that candidates need to have a minimum Klout score above 60, a minimum Kred influence score of 725, a Kred outreach of at least eight, and more than 1,000 active Twitter followers in order to be considered. Enterasys is hoping to fill the position by April.http://www.businessinsider.com/your-tweets-are-more-important-than-your-rsum-2013-2
Get a Part-Time Job in the Meantime• Helps to gain new skills or keep current skills fresh• Often pays better than unemployment and helps build employment credibility as well
Network, Network, Network!• Get involved in STC activities• Keep in touch with people you meet at conferences• Use social media! Start with Twitter and hashtag #techcomm
Create a Functional RésuméInstead of a Chronological RésuméImprove your chances--show off your skills, not your history!
Why We Should Ban Resumes!The idea of matching someone’s skills and experience on a resume to ajob description consisting of an arbitrary list of skills and experiencesseems rather archaic to me. Some people actually defend doing thisfaster as a major advance in modern HR practices.--Lou Adler, The Original Headhunter and Author: Hire With Your Head and The Essential Guide for Hiring andGetting Hired (February 21, 2013)http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130221192310-15454-why-we-should-ban-resumes?_mSplash=1 Social Resumes Increase in Recruiting and Job Seeking [infographic] http://www.recruiter.com/i/social-resumes-increase-in-recruiting-and-job-seeking-infographic/
Summary: Create Your Own Brand!• Become a multi-specialist• Create an e-portfolio of your work• Get an education• Get involved in social media• Get a part-time job in the meantime• Network with other tech comm professionals• Create a functional résumé instead of a chronological one