Re: Am I qualified to be a Technical Writer based on my knowledge ---?

Subject: Re: Am I qualified to be a Technical Writer based on my knowledge ---?
From: "Jeff Hanvey" <jewahe -at- lycos -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:23:54 -0500


Such a dead horse.

It's a company decision to hire the best writer for the situation, and
determine the level of knowledge necessary to complete the job. For that
reason, you need to evaluate the job details to determine how well you fit
the needs - and if you choose to apply to the job, face the fact that you
*may* get rejected for not having the right background.

I have repeatedly advised people that the best way to get into technical
writing, if those people are actually planning to get into the field, is:

1) Take plenty of writing courses - and not just English literature courses.
Look at what's being offered in rhetoric, communications, business, and
other non-literature areas.

2) Research the jobs in your target location (where you'd like to live) or
your targeting field. Determine what skills are repeatedly asked for, and
*get* those skills - whether it's understanding computer networks, medical
terminology, banking, or mechnical engineering. Get the certificates to
prove that you have those skills, if any are offered.

I stress that there is no magic formula to success in this field. There are
writers who are successful with limited subject knowledge; there are writers
who fail with a great deal of subject knowledge. Sometimes one is an asset;
sometimes the other is a liability. I'm sure you people can come up with
plenty of examples of both, and those anecdotal examples are enough proof
that neither side of the debate has a lock on success, except to say that
you should target your audience and follow through with meeting *its* needs.

Just end the argument. I'm tired of hearing it.

Jeff Hanvey
Augusta, GA
jewahe -at- lycos -dot- co -dot- uk


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References:
Re: Am I qualified to be a Technical Writer based on my knowledge ---?: From: Andrew Plato

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