Re: Entry level??!!

Subject: Re: Entry level??!!
From: TechComm Dood <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 16:28:24 -0500

OK, no one's going to like this reply but I'm posting it anyway
because it's honest.

I developed those skills in 1-2 years. There is nothing all that
advanced about what they are looking for. They obviously are looking
for a candidate who will bring a lot to the table. Whether or not they
are going to rip that person off, I can't say, and I prefer not to
speculate so negatively about *a job opening*.

Further, I don't see this as an indication of why salaries are going
*down* for tech writers. As I've posted many times before, the scope
of our jobs is constantly evolving. These are the types of
requirements you can expect to see more of. This is what I look for in
candidates, albeit mid-level, but I expect an entry level person to
grow into this role within a year, else there's obviously a problem or
will be a problem with the person's performance.

Let's face it, the workload is rising for everyone, not just tech
writers. You need to be nimble to meet the demand. And, we don't know
what the pay scale even looks like for this position. For all we know,
they may pay handsomely and further reward people above the entry
level. They could have a strong preference for top-notch employees,
where the demands increase as you move up the ladder (with
compensation rising as well). Then again, they could be selfish,
freedy buggers who are bent on making an entry-level writer's life a
living h-e-double hockey sticks. We just don't know, and to speculate
negatively on the unknown is just wrong.

No, I'd say we don't have enough information to weigh intent. But
looking at the raw qualifications, I don't see anything that's out of
line for entry level:
· BS/BA in related field (English, Communications,
Technical Writing)
· 1-2 years experience (technical/professional
writing, financial software)
· Ability to learn and adapt in a fast-paced
· Excellent English writing skills and awareness of
industry standards in writing styles for technical and
professional information.
· Proficiency in word processing/office software
skills including MS Word, MS Powerpoint, MS Visio,
Adobe Acrobat
· Basic knowledge of HTML (document structure, links,
tables, graphics, frames, CSS) and Dreamweaver (or a
similar HTML editor).
· Experience with RoboHELP and design experience
creating usable online help
· Good teamwork skills

Again, I don't see this as super advanced or senior writer-level
stuff. I had these skills within 1-2 years on the job (actually, most
within the first 6 months). Maybe I'm just weird.

On Mon, 8 Nov 2004 11:11:00 -0600, Jones, Donna <djones -at- zebra -dot- com> wrote:
> I think what "L" was trying to convey is that this company claims to be looking for someone with 1 to 2 years of experience, but they describe required skills that would easily take many more years than that to develop. They're probably hoping to get someone who was downsized out of somewhere else and who is desperate for a job--ANY job.
> This is evidence of how and why many salaries have gone down for tech writers over the last few years. The job descriptions have changed so that they call you and pay you as "entry level," but you're expected to do intermediate- to senior-level work. That's why last year I was offered $17/hour for a contract job with a description much like that. They wanted top skills without having to pay much for them. (I politely turned down that job rather than telling them what I thought of their offer.)



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RE: Entry level??!!: From: Jones, Donna

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