Telling Your Story in Business Language Webinar
Registration for this webinar is included in your Spectrum registration.
Technical communicators are highly skilled in translating the language of one group into something another group can understand. However, few think of themselves as knowledge specialists—people who can capture, preserve, and present the cognitive content of an organization as no one else can. Few take business, management, or leadership courses that would provide a better understanding of the roles they can play in helping organizations achieve their goals. When it comes to writing a resume and cover letter, those who pride themselves in being great communicators often fall short when it comes to stating what they offer in terms that hiring managers and recruiters can appreciate.
These are just a few of the reasons we are offering this webinar. Come learn how to translate your skills, knowledge, and competencies into a value proposition that makes clear to an organization what you can offer that can help it achieve its business goals. Learn how to find and use available resources to speak to an organization using language it understands, how to find its pressure points and offer relief, and how to align yourself with its mission and values. Learn how to liberate yourself from a narrow definition of what you can do and expand your expertise into roles and capacities that enable you to step up to the plate and offer solutions when leadership doesn’t know who to ask, what to ask for, or how to ask for it.
Conference Chair Notes:
Bettie’s topic is the perfect introduction to Spectrum 2012’s conference theme Knowledge, Expertise, Leadership. Our conference format and presenters are dedicated to empowering techcomm professionals with the necessary skills to be change leaders in their companies and in their lives. Join us to learn business skills, technical skills, and soft skills that will help you create opportunities and enhance your career.
Talk about how to talk about “you”
- Skills – specific work you have practiced over time and that are now quick and easy for you
- Knowledge – education and training you have completed (including self-directed study)
- Expertise – areas of knowledge for which you are an acknowledged expert (people come to you when they have a question)
- Competencies – broad skill sets developed through application of skills, knowledge and expertise (see list)
Kinds of organizations (for-profit/nonprofit, large/medium/small, conservative or agile)
Industry/sector (education, health care, software, etc.)
Product/service provided (courses, documentation, online support, etc.)
Management structure (flat/matrix/hierarchical)
Talk about how to frame your work
- Projects/Teams on which you work (how many people, what do you do) and the value they represent to the organization
- Products you help make or services you provide and the value they create for the organization or customers
- The types of people you work with or help (engineers, teachers, software developers, etc.) and how that contributes to the organization’s goals
- Systems/Technologies you use in your work (hardware/software/Web tools, etc.) and how you use them to derive the most value from them
Talk about how to represent your accomplishments in business terms
- Changes you introduced or processes you improved and their estimated resource impact
- Problems you resolved and their estimated resource savings
- People at the organization you helped (names and titles)
- Risks you anticipated and avoided through your actions or precautions
- Opportunities you identified and motivated others to pursue (with profitable outcome)
Talk about how to present yourself in terms of what you can do for them
- Describe the needs of the business (read, read, read all about it) that you can address
- Describe how your particular competencies can best address those needs
- Predict some of the outcomes you believe you can help the organization achieve in terms of value to customers, profitability, risk avoidance, etc.
- Ask for an opportunity to help
Talk about how competencies can be defined as sets of behaviors, skills, knowledge and abilities. Describe the need to tie them to the value they have for your organization, using the terms and language unique to the organization. Talk about how the organization’s competencies are (or should be) related to its ability to deliver its product or service, or to its profitability, agility, image, or other organizational mission, attribute or goal. Advise determining what competency map or set of competencies are used in the target organization for your target occupation.
- Lanier, Clinton R. (2009). “Analysis of the Skills Called for by Technical Communication Employers in Recruitment Postings,” Technical Communication, Vol. 56, No. 1, pp. 51-60.
- Rosengren, Curt (2011). “How to Market Your Skills in Your Job Search.” U.S. News Money. Available: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/04/21/how-to-market-your-skills-in-your-job-search.
- Stanford Business School Alumni Association (2011). “Job Search.” Available: http://alumni.gsb.stanford.edu/career/resources/jobsearch/index.html.
- State of California (2009). “Competency Dictionary.” Available: http://www.dpa.ca.gov/hr-mod/competency-dictionary.htm.
- The National Institutes of Health Office of Human Resources (2011). “NIH Suggested Competency Models.” Available: http://hr.od.nih.gov/workingatnih/competencies/occupation-specific/1085/default.htm.
Contact InformationBettie Hall, Ed.D. Hall Associates 9256 Village Green Dr. Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 513-706-5695 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bettiehall.com