RE: What is our art?

Subject: RE: What is our art?
From: "walden miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 12:54:16 -0700

Rev said:

It's obvious that recruiters don't understand it since
they think in terms of tools: Word, Visio, Frame, Robohelp. Yet a
guru of all those tools isn't necessarily a good tech writer.

I add:

Recruiters are not the problem. They think in terms of tools, because that
is what they see a lot of in adds and on resumes. Additionally, Corporations
don't know what they want and don't communicate well to recruiters.

I had the chance to speak to a group of recruiters (they are often
"recruiting arms" of regional software organizations). The questions were
well intentioned but were really surprising. Starting with, "what do
writers do?" (subtext: anyone can write, so what makes you different) and
ending with... "so (given everything I talked about) what makes a good tech
writer?" (subtext: how can a recruiter differentiate writers to their
corporate clients).

I spoke about design, process participation, project management, printing,
typography, and all the associated fields which color tech writing. Of
course I talked about the tech in tech writing as well. I don't know how
much I helped, but I did become clearer on the problem.

Recruiters need information in order to place writers and need even more in
order to find people for corporations. Most H-R departments haven't a clue
about what a tech writer does and consequently provides a lot of lousy
resumes. If you want results, you have to educate the pipeline.


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