RE: Why are companies now requiring techical writer candidates to be SMEs?

Subject: RE: Why are companies now requiring techical writer candidates to be SMEs?
From: "Lisa Wright" <liwright -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 12:25:55 -0700


The way I read this ad, they are looking for a writer who is skilled in
writing the types of documentation that they need. They are not asking
for SMEs. Note that they did not say, "Must have four years of software
development experience." The word "documentation" is attached to every
single technical area. They are asking for experienced writers with, as
you quote, "demonstrated experience in creating documentation for voice
self-service applications and visual configuration software." That's
asking for industry experience. They are also looking for a contractor,
so naturally they are not going to be interested in funding a lot of
professional development.

What on earth is wrong with that? I think this is a great job ad because
they're asking for skilled and experienced writers. And no, I don't have
the voice-app experience they're asking for. I don't think there's
anything wrong in applying for the job anyway, assuming you have some
cross-over. You may be able to capture their interest, esp if the
company really is making a wish list, or is comfortable taking the right
candidate who doesn't have perfect experience. I doubt it because they
are looking for contractors, but it could be worth a shot.

If you look at ads for product managers, business analysts, and other
areas, you will see similar demands for relevant experience. I don't
think QA and programmers fall quite in the same bucket, unless perhaps
they're more senior or more independent and need to solve specific
business problems.

Lisa


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