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--- Herman Holtz <h -dot- holtz -at- worldnet -dot- att -dot- net> wrote:
> I am most interested in hearing the opinions of experienced tech
> writers. What say you about the requirement to be already an expert
> in the software an employer wishes you to use? - Herm
Well, Herman, as I'm sure you know...it depends.
I've successfully applied for jobs where tool knowledge that I didn't
have was 'required'. My standard comment is to point to the tools I do
know, suggest that I've learned several similar tools and don't think
this new one will be a problem. I don't think that answer got me the
job so much as it eliminated an issue (non-issue?) early in the
OTOH, I've NOT gotten several jobs because I didn't have the requisite
tool knowledge. In those cases, they needed someone who, they felt,
could hit the ground running more quickly than they felt I could. In
those cases, I also think that they had at least one other candidate
who was approximately equal to me in other pertinent areas but had that
In fact, I've done the same thing myself when time was of the essence,
and I had plenty of applicant/candidates who had the tool knowledge I
needed as well as other fitting factors. On one project, I needed three
writers. Two of those we hired had good looking backgrounds and
knowledge of our word processing tool of choice. The third one I knew
was a crackerjack writer who I thought could pick up the tool with
little trouble. All three worked out very well.
So I guess I understand where a legitimate tool requirement can be
coming from. I don't see it as a disqualifier, but I can understand why
project needs can make it one.
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