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Job Alert: Save Time In Your Technical Communication Job Search

Posted by | September 6, 2012 | Job Search

Create Customized Technical Communication Job Alerts

Undertaking a job search in the technical communication industry often means managing a delicate balance between time spent on the current job and with family and friends,  and looking for a new job.

One tool to help manage the time balancing act is  job alerts.  You can use them to keep up with new opportunities from online vendors such job sites, technical communication recruiters/head hunters and company web sites. Each online vendor allows you to customize searches based upon the specific job criteria you provide and email you the results on a regular basis.

Plus, you will save time wading through notices that don’t really match your skills and interests, since only jobs matching your criteria are emailed to you.

Here are five easy steps to creating your own job alerts:

1. Outline your Job Search Criteria

Before you start creating your job alerts, put together between two and five different job searches.  Make sure you create easy-to-remember names for each search to avoid confusion when you receive results.  For example you could name your search “Technical Writer New York” or “Senior TW  Software.”

For each search, list out all the criteria that make that particular search unique. The job search criteria should include the job title, specific key words, skills, location (consider how wide you want to make the radius of your search), employment type (full-time, contract, etc.), industry and salary.  Depending upon the site you using, you may be able to include all or only some of these criteria when you create your alerts.

So if you’re a technical writer wanting a job in San Francisco, CA with a salary of $80,000, this would make up the core of your job search criteria. You might want to add keywords such as software, agile, or usability if those areas are your specialty. Then, based upon the frequency of emails you select you would be emailed a list of job openings for technical writers with experience in agile development environments in the San Francisco area with a minimum salary of $80,000.

2. Target relevant web sites

In my last post I talked about targeting your job search using the three different online vendor sources: job sites, recruiters/head hunters and company web sites. Make a list of the sites that are most relevant to your career goals. Perhaps you’re more interested in technical writing for proposals, or in the manufacturing world. may not be as relevant to you as websites for professional associations or specific manufacturing companies.

3. Input Your Job Search Criteria (aka Data Entry)

Now comes the repetitive part—doing the data entry to set up job searches on each of your selected web sites.  Unfortunately, since each online vendor has its own way of collecting and displaying job listings, there’s no consistent data entry process. Yes, you will need to type in Technical Writer a number of times, so be patient, and use the type ahead capabilities of your browser where you can.

So for example, if you use you will need to login to your MyDice account, go to Search Jobs and run a search with job title, keywords, etc.  (e.g. Technical Writer New York).  After you run the search and get the results you want, click on Save Search as Agent. Then name the agent, select the format and frequency, and save it.

4. Review and Tweak Job Alerts

Schedule specific times to perform your job search, and use some of that time to review the quality and quantity of your job alerts.  This helps reduce the distractions of reading descriptions for technical writers in Austin when what you’re really looking for is a Business Analyst/TW position in New York.

If the job alerts aren’t producing the results you are looking for, it’s time to go into the relevant job alert and alter your search criteria. Remember, you can modify your  job search criteria as frequently as necessary to get the results you want. .

5. Apply for the Job

You have found the perfect job. What’s next? Well, that’s pretty obvious—you apply for the job, taking care to read the requirements for resumes, cover letters, samples and so forth. And you keep applying to jobs using your now established job alerts.

Manage your technical communications job search wisely by using job alerts. Good luck in your job search.

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