Technical Communication

Career Competencies:
What to Emphasize in Your Career Search

Career Competencies

English 362 Index


Assignments List



Web Links

Scoring Checklist

Measures of Good Technical Communication

Technical Communication Defined

About McKitterick

In the class session I call the "jobs talk," we discuss the key individual competencies and success factors that employers, clients, and collaborators look for when seeking a new employee, consultant, or partner. If you want to convince someone you are the right choice, you need to demonstrate these attributes in your cover letter, resume, phone conversations, email or text communications, and in-person interviews. Be prepared to provide examples that reflect how you possess or embody these characteristics and capacities.

Here's the listing I used, broken into a set of categories. Check back over time as I update this page:

Individual Excellence Teamwork Passion
for What You Do
Strategy Self-Development Drive for Results Customer Focus

Self development

Building team spirit and collaboration

Technical, scientific, or creative passion and drive for the organization's goals, mission, and vision

Strategic thinking

Owning responsibility

Decision making

Focus on the audience, customer, client:

Understand who are you working for and deliver the best product, service, or ideas specifically for that audience.

More than anything else, this (combined with individual excellence) predicts career success.

Self confidence

Communication skills

Drive for innovation

Strategic leadership

Representing your team

Drive for results

Intellectual horsepower

Fostering and appreciating diversity

Understanding possible effects and consequences of products, services, or whatever else you do

Managing change

Customer focus

Managing systems and processes (a.k.a. project management)

Integrity and trustworthiness

Open and respectful communication

Technical or professional expertise

Developing and growing people

Analyzing and acting on feedback for constant improvement

Planning, organizing, and coordinating

Representing your organization

Dealing with ambiguity

Interpersonal skills

Functional or technical knowledge and skills

Long-range vision


Problem-solving skills

Ongoing research into audience and its needs


Conflict management


Setting goals

Courage and conviction

Cross-group collaboration


Managing time


Negotiation skills






Last updated 9/14/2015.