Tech Comm Café: Oct. 14 recap

Tech Comm Café: Oct. 14 recap

We held the October 14 meeting of the Tech Comm Café at Allegro Café, Cambie Whole Foods, Vancouver.


— STC Canada West Coast chapter event: “How to Create and Deliver Effective Presentations,” October 24.

— Communication Convergence, October 18: to celebrate International Plain Language Day.

After introducing ourselves, we discussed the recurring topic of effective job searching. It can be a struggle to find the right type of job by looking at postings online or in the newspaper. A few of the writers present expressed frustration with this method and said they often find themselves looking at postings for other types of jobs, because writing jobs don’t seem to exist.

One suggestion was to use LinkedIn for networking. But how do you use it effectively, other than connecting with people you meet in person? One option is to read articles by people you want to connect with or find interesting. One of the attendees mentioned J.T O’Donnell as a person to follow who has some good job-search suggestions. Check out

This led to chatting about how unnatural it can feel to initiate contact with someone you haven’t met in person. For example, what do you do if you see that someone who would be a good contact has looked at your profile, but hasn’t connected? One person suggested that you do some research about that person’s company or what they’re working on. Then send a message asking a well-thought-out question, without acknowledging that they viewed your profile. Also, if the person writes an article relevant to you or your work, click Like or share it with others. If they start to see your name, you become more familiar to them and your message is less of a cold call.

We also discussed the upcoming features LinkedIn is working on, such as the ability to enter references, which are different from recommendations.

Summary: If you’re a tech writer currently looking for work and you haven’t checked out LinkedIn in a while, it’s worth another look to see which features might help in your search.

Many thanks to Krista Soderlind for moderating the meeting.

Next Tech Comm Café: It’s a busy time of year — STC Canada West Coast has scheduled five events in a five-week period in October/November. We’ll skip the November Tech Comm Café so people can focus on our seminars and meetings. Watch for an announcement of the next TCC soon! If you’d like to be added to the mailing list , contact volunteer (at) stcwestcoast (dot) ca.