Re: Value of Certification

Subject: Re: Value of Certification
From: Janet_Swisher -at- trilogy -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 10:46:45 -0600

"TechWriter" <techwriter -at- tfr-cape -dot- com> wrote
>I've got lots of industry experience but new to the Tech Writing field -
>transitioning to this area as we speak.
>I was wondering if people have any thoughts - pro or con - on the value of
>getting vendor certifications in some key areas as a means of building
>credibility. For example - the various MOUS certifications can be gotten
>the Office Products and, similiarly, Adobe offers ACE certifications in
>Acrobat, Pagemaker, etc.
>Do these really add value?

For me, in looking at job candidates, certification in tools like these
would probably only make a difference if I were looking for someone to be
the resident "tool wizard". What would be more likely to impress me for
most tech writer positions would be certifications in the technical domain
in which you will be working; for example, A-Plus for PC hardware, Sun
Certified Programmer for software developed in Java.

You would still need to demonstrate adequate technical knowledge in the
interview, as well as a portfolio that shows excellent writing, and a
personality that fits with the corporate culture. But technical
certifications would definitely help put your resume in the "pursue" pile
rather than the "discard" pile to get you the interview in which you could
demonstrate your knowledge.

Given that you are transitioning into techwriting from another role, you
may already have technical knowledge that would enable you to easily get
certification in your technical domain.

Janet Swisher
Documentation Lead


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