End-of-Year Networking Event and Annual Business Meeting

Please join us on Tuesday, June 21 to celebrate the end of our successful 2021–2022 program year!

During this networking event, we’ll share our chapter highlights and accomplishments, discuss chapter finances, and introduce you to the 2022–2023 STC Michigan Great Lakes chapter executive council!

When

Tuesday, June 21

7:00–8:30 p.m.

Where

Virtual using Zoom

Registration

Please register for this event on Eventbrite.

Upcoming book club: Heroic Technical Writing

Our next virtual book club is coming up on Thursday, June 16 in the book_club channel in Slack.

During this event, we will discuss Heroic Technical Writing: Making a Difference in the Workplace and Your Life by Bart Leahy.

When

  • Thursday, June 16
  • 7–8:30 p.m. EDT

Where

Book_club channel in Slack

Registration

Registration is available on Eventbrite. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, May 17!

About the book

Bart Leahy uses his blog, Heroic Technical Writing, to help technical communicators navigate the working world. His book by the same name summarizes his decades of experience into six categories: Product, Process, People and Politics, Professionalism, Pursuing Work, and Protecting Yourself.

In his words, “I can give you first-hand accounts of what the day-to-day life of a professional technical writer is like—the awesome stuff you can look forward to and the stuff that sucks that English professors won’t tell you about.”

While this book is invaluable to those who are starting out in the field, more experienced writers will recognize their own experiences in Leahy’s anecdotes. His advice on dealing with the non-writing aspects of the job is particularly insightful and pragmatic.

The special topic, “What Should You Learn to Work in the Space Business?” breaks down the subject areas typically encountered when writing for the space industry. Leahy even includes a bibliography of his favorite books and other resources to help technical writers get familiar with writing and space-related concepts.

About the author

Bart Leahy is a self-described space geek and notes he is an “English major through and through.” He earned a B.A. in English Literature from Northern Illinois University and an M.A. in Technical Writing from the University of Central Florida. Leahy has worked for Walt Disney, the Department of Defense, and NASA. Freelancing and instructional design experience give him a unique view of the professional opportunities for technical writers. Find him on his blog, https://heroictechwriting.com/, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BartLeahyHeroicTechWriting/, and Twitter @WritingGopher.

April 28: Tech Comm Panel Discussion

At some point in your life, you were probably asked what you wanted to be when you grew up. Maybe you answered firefighter, teacher, astronaut, police officer, or veterinarian. Although all honorable professions, perhaps you (like many others) were drawn to the field of technical communication.

Join STC-MGL on April 28 for a tech comm panel discussion. Come listen to current technical communicators describe how they discovered their careers and how STC supports them now. Joining us on the panel are Wes Schoenherr, Alison Phillips, Maryann Bowen, and Joana Donovan.

Continue reading “April 28: Tech Comm Panel Discussion”

Get That Interview! How to Beat the Dreaded Applicant Tracking System: A Recap of Molisani’s Presentation

Jack Molisani, professional recruiter and STC Fellow, provided information about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). An ATS, driven by artificial intelligence (AI) looks for wording from your application that matches the company’s job description and requirements.

Jack’s biggest tip was to stop applying through an ATS, but rather make connections directly with people. Start building your network before you need a new job. Here are some ways to connect with others:

  • Volunteer with your local STC chapter and/or SIGs
  • Run for office or volunteer at the Society level
  • Speak at the Summit or write for Intercom magazine
  • Local meetups groups (e.g., groups that need technical writers or JavaScript groups)
  • Build your virtual networks by joining LinkedIn or Facebook groups and posting in them
  • Speak at conferences, start a blog, post on social media

The goal is to be visible and memorable in your industry so that people want to hire you.

More information about ATS:

An ATS is driven through artificial intelligence (AI). The wording of your current and previous job titles must match the job you’re applying for. If applying through the ATS is your last resort, keep the following in mind:

  • Use short phrases
  • Keep verbs and objects in close proximity to each other (i.e., “wrote training materials”)
  • AIs can’t read tables, text boxes, icons, headers, etc. Make your resume as plain as possible. Keep your formatted version for the interview.

In short, people connections are better than relying on the ATS for a new career opportunity. They are long-lasting and will benefit you for years to come as you navigate through the industry.

Alison Phillips Awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award

Alison PhillipsThe Distinguished Community Service Award recognizes STC chapter members who provide exemplary support, commitment, and service to their local STC chapter. This is the highest level of recognition of all STC community chapter awards, and to receive the award is the utmost honor. This year, our dedicated member Alison Phillips was awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award. Her citation reads as follows:

“For your exceptional contributions to the Southeastern Michigan chapter; leadership in establishing the Michigan Great Lakes chapter; and for continuously exemplifying professionalism, kindness, and concern for all members.”

In 2019 and 2020, Alison led the effort to combine the Southeastern Michigan and West Michigan Shores STC chapters, establishing the STC Michigan Great Lakes chapter (STC-MGL).

The STC-MGL council extends our hearty thanks and sincere gratitude to Alison for her unceasing commitment to our community. We deeply appreciate her and her service.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Alison. Please continue reading to learn more about Alison, her role in the community, and the motivation behind the chapter merge.

Continue reading “Alison Phillips Awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award”

Virtual Lunchtime Meetup: December 16

Our next virtual meetup is tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 16. We’ll be meeting online from 12 to 12:40-ish ET. Grab your favorite beverage or your lunch and join STC-MGL members to discuss tech comm, STC, chapter events, and more. This is a great way to network with other technical communicators across southeastern Michigan in a relaxing and peaceful setting. We hope you will join us!

Register on Eventbrite here.

Three Steps to Successful SME Interviews

Learn how to interview Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) like a pro!

Please join the STC-MGL and STC Ohio chapters for our next collaborative program “Three Steps to Successful SME Interviews” presented by Nicky Bleiel, STC Fellow.

Interviewing subject matter experts is one of the most important skills needed for success as a technical communicator. During this program, Nicky will discuss how to cultivate sources, write questions, and keep cool during an interview. You’ll learn what to say and what words to avoid–and how to conduct an interview asynchronously. Nicky has interviewed many SMEs, as well as tech comm luminaries (including David Pogue, Dr. John Carroll, and Kathy Sierra), and she will share her experience with you.

When

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

7–8:30 p.m. ET

Where

Online

Registration

Eventbrite

Cost

  • STC-MGL or Ohio STC Chapter member: $0
  • STC student member: $0
  • STC member: $10
  • Honorary organization members (e.g., UXPA): $10
  • Non-member: $15

About Nicky

Nicky

Nicky Bleiel is a Lead Information Developer at Innovative Systems. She is a Fellow and Past President of the Society for Technical Communication and has more than 20 years of experience writing and designing content for software products in a variety of industries. She has interviewed a number of experts in technical communication, including John Carroll, David Pogue, Kathy Sierra, and Nancy Duarte; and was Guest Editor of the all-interview “Legends of Technical Communication” issue of STC’s Intercom magazine. She is a popular speaker at many conferences, including the STC Summit, tcworld, WritersUA, CIDM, CPTSC, IEEE ProComm, and LavaCon; and has been published in STC’s Intercom, tcworld magazine, ISTC Communicator, and more. See nickybleiel.com for a list of her talks and articles.

Leading Successful Succession

Join the STC-MGL and the Ohio STC chapter for Leading Successful Succession, featuring Jennifer Goode, Ph.D.

Is a coworker changing jobs? Is a team member taking leave? Did you get a promotion? Is the boss retiring? Team member change is inevitable in the workplace, and you shouldn’t be ill-prepared. Proactively thinking about regular activities, standard approaches, and common resources can reduce ambiguity and provide clear direction when team member change actually happens. Come learn how to apply your technical communication skills to draft a succession plan for your own role in a hands-on workshop. Then, learn strategies to foster successful succession in your organization, no matter what your position or role.

Jennifer GoodeJennifer Goode is a senior STC member and instructor of technical communication at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where she is the director of the online master’s program in technical communication management. With over 20 years of professional experience in government, non-profits, and for-profits, she also consults in the areas of instructional design and strategic human capital performance, measurement, and improvement.

When

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021
  • 7–8:30 p.m. EDT

Where

Zoom

Registration

Eventbrite

Cost

  • STC-MGL or Ohio STC Chapter member: $0
  • STC member: $10
  • STC student member: $0
  • Non-member: $15
  • Honorary organization members (e.g., UXPA): $10

Fall 2021 Virtual Open House

Welcome to the 2021-2022 STC-MGL program year!

Join us on Thursday, September 30 for a virtual open house. The virtual open house is a great opportunity to learn about our incoming council, get an overview of our upcoming program plans, share ideas for the direction of our STC-MGL chapter, and ask questions. Anyone is welcome to join.

We look forward to this year ahead, and we hope you will join us!

When

Thursday, September 30, 2021

7–8 p.m. EDT

Where

Virtual using Zoom

Registration

Please register for this event on Eventbrite by EOD Wednesday, September 29.