Resume Building Webinar with Pamela Paterson

Positive Engagement & Advice

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018, Pamela Paterson, BJ, MS, the bestselling author of “Get the Job: Optimize Your Resume for the Online Job Search” and the founder of the Pamela Jean Paterson bursary, gave a compelling webinar at a deeply discounted rate for student and STC members. The webinar was graced with positive engagement, interaction and questions, and all attendees gained valuable, personal advice and insight into Pamela’s unique methodology.  

About Pamela Paterson’s Job Market Conquering Methodology

Using business analysis techniques, Pamela analyzed the HR system to create a unique step-by-step methodology for conquering the job market. She has been teaching this methodology to HR professionals and job seekers across Canada and the U.S. for over 15 years.  Pamela claims a 90% success rate in helping her clients find jobs through her innovative methods that have been reported in the national media. Pamela is a long-time mentor and supporter of people who strive for positive change in their lives.

STC Toronto Annual General Meeting

Thanks to everyone who attended STC Toronto’s Annual General Meeting!

Meeting summary

  • Reviewed our finances, accomplishments, and challenges from the past year.
  • Shared our approaches, goals, and priorities for the year ahead.
  • Shared the results of our salary survey.
    • These will be distributed to the rest of our chapter members in the future.
  • Welcomed new community council members.
    • More details to come; we’ll be featuring our new members at future brunches.

Thanks to Beth Agnew for her keynote presentation! Beth shared her personal journey through tech comm and offered advice to fellow technical communicators, “the Swiss Army knife” of employees. Some of her key takeaways are summarized below.

Advice for Technical Communicators

  • Align your interests and actions with those you enjoyed as a child.
  • Be malleable—adapt to the company you work for.
  • Be confident—you have somewhat of a sense of even the most unfamiliar things (and can learn the rest through research).

When selling yourself, remember that you possess valuable skills and abilities. Never underestimate the value of understanding users. Good user experiences lead to satisfaction, loyalty, and sales. The ability to increase sales is valued by all employers. 

Skills:

  • Multi-stage thinking.
  • Curiosity and research.
  • Writing, editing, and communication.
  • UX Design.  

Abilities:

  • Learning quickly.
  • Breaking stuff (usability testing).
  • Solving problems.
  • Asking questions.
  • Spotting trends.
  • Making suggestions.

When faced with a new task, ask yourself what:

  • What you know.
  • What you sort of know.
  • What you’d like to know.
  • What you’re learning.
  • What you’d like to try.

Dashboards for Technical Communication

On October 10th, we joined Elia Scher of Dundas Business Intelligence to learn about using dashboards as a medium for technical communication.

Information is valuable only when it’s understood, and making it understandable is a role for technical communicators. Dashboards captures the big picture of critical information on one screen, is the online equivalent of a one-page document, and eliminates scrolling.

Elia describe the stages of a dashboard project and the many ways in which we can convey information. Dashboards must use the concept of key performance indicators, use the principles of visual design, and be interactive to provide the maximum amount information in a small area.

Attendees at this event found the information valuable and timely. We look forward to hearing from Elia Scher again!

Get Certified – What and How

Professional certification sets a standard for skills, knowledge, and performance across the industry. STC’s Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) program can help you validate your skills and knowledge, differentiate you from others in the hiring process, be a method of advancement, or allow you to command higher pay. The annual training ensures you stay current, learn new skills, network, and stay engaged in the field. Why do employers look for professional certification in their current and potential hires?

  • Professional certification provides a hiring baseline.
  • Employers want their hires to stay current and continue to grow in the profession.
  • Employers can use achievement of professional certification as a requirement for advancement or pay increases.
  • Certified professionals with proven knowledge and competency contribute more to an organization.
  • Certified professionals provide evidence that an organization’s technical communication team is more qualified than that of its competitors.
  • Knowledgeable workers result in better communications.

The CPTC is a rigorous three-tiered certification program, and many successful certificants have taken training from a CPTC Accredited Trainer. The first tier is the Foundation Certification, where you must pass the exam. Once you have passed, you qualify to apply for the second tier (Practitioner Certification) and the third tier (Expert Certification). Here is what you need to know about the exam:

  • The test is 50 questions, closed book.
  • Test takers will have 40 minutes to complete the test under a proctor.
  • STC is working with a U.K.-based firm, APMG International, that specializes in professional certification administration, following ISO 9001 standards.
  • The textbook you will require: Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today, Fifth Edition (ISBN-10: 0134419391)
  • Upon passing the exam, you will be issued a certificate and entered into the STC certification database. Your name will also appear on the STC and APMG websites.

We had the opportunity to join accredited trainer Beth Agnew on September 30th and October 1st for a CPTC Foundation exam prep class at Seneca College.

Chris Hester and Alan Houser taught the exam prep class online on October 12th and 13th. Exam prep courses focuses on the nine core skills of technical communication, topics in the exam, the exam format, and sample exam questions.

Below are upcoming training courses offered by our accredited trainers. All courses include an opportunity to take the exam at the end of the course.

November 7-8, 2017

Online: CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class with trainer Jamie Gillenwater.

November 13-14, 2017

Toronto, Canada: CPTC Foundation Exam Prep Class with trainer Alan Houser.

Visit STC – Certification for more information about the STC Certification program.

Past Presidents’ Panel: Seven Habits of Highly Effective Technical Communicators

STC Toronto past presidents Carolyn Watt, Rob Hanna, Bernard Aschwanden, and Anna Parker had an open, insightful conversation about what makes technical communicators successful over the course of their careers.

They focused specifically on seven core habits of highly successful technical communicators, and used the linked slideshow as their starting point.