You've gained experience in technical fields, taken classes and written a few manuals, now it's time to search through the best places for technical writers to find jobs, and land the job (or jobs) of your dreams.
Where to Look for Technical Writing Work
Some of the best places for technical writers to find jobs are found online with some simple job searches. Here are a few of the better places to land technical writing jobs:
- Writer Find - This site lists many different freelance and telecommuting positions with a wide variety of companies. You may have to search through the listings a bit to find the technical writer jobs, but there are several available at almost all times.
- Freelance Writing Jobs - Search by writing job type, location or even telecommuting technical writer jobs. A simple search for "technical writer" turns up thousands of matches across the United States.
- Poe War - Although this site lists many different freelance writing jobs, there is a special section that focuses exclusively on technical writing. Search by area or browse all the listings.
- Indeed.com - Browse through many different positions for technical writers. Choose by location or browse all over the country to find the perfect position for you.
You may also want to check online job search sites, such as Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com.
Seeking Opportunities with Local Companies
Another important aspect of freelance technical writing is developing a relationship with local companies, so that you have regular clients. Although the Internet is a good place to start when looking for technical writing jobs, you should also actively seek jobs by sending a letter and brochure of services to local potential clients. Seek out companies that focus on your specialty technical knowledge and target them first.
Create an online and hard copy portfolio to show potential clients when they call for additional information. Your portfolio should include:
- A bio
- List of references
- Samples of any editing work
- Samples of writing (technical writing would be preferred)
- Sample book to show you know how to use specific software, such as Word and Adobe
Since many companies will request that you sign a confidentiality clause to protect their sensitive information, it can be difficult to come up with the samples you'll need for a portfolio. Instead, choose a topic and create mock sample copies (let the client know you've done this). You might choose to write about how to build a submarine sandwich, for example. Show how you understand the detailed part of technical writing as you complete this sample.
You may also want to write some training guides for software that you commonly use or everyday electronics you use around your home. The more samples you are able to complete the better idea the client will have your abilities and writing style.
Final Tips for Finding Technical Writing Work
There are a few final things that may help keep your writing schedule full or help you land that job you've always wanted:
- Join Society for Technical Communication (STC)
- Ask happy clients to tell others about your work
- Devote a few hours at the start of each week to seeking new leads and technical writing jobs
Different fields in technical writing pay more than others. Most of all, be open to trying new forms of writing on a wide variety of topics. If you want to break into a new area, you may need to do volunteer or intern work at first to gain the experience you need.