RE: Business Analyst vs. Tech Writer

Subject: RE: Business Analyst vs. Tech Writer
From: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>
To: <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 11:18:31 -0700

Hi Jim,

What's wrong with you? I was reading this post and thinking, wow half of
these disciplines and the analyst issues sound like my resume. Then I read
"Pop-Tart." Who sent this post? It's Poptard! Go away you freak! But

My resume has "Technical Writing" positions, although these are mostly
business analyst positions. Since I work short term, "hurry up and fix it,"
contracts, I expect a higher rate than a full-time employee because I do not
get benefits and I may or may not work a full year.

Now, these days, the rate is getting lower and the requirements are getting
higher. My last contract was for a friend and she commented about my rate,
"That's almost as much as an employee." Well, duh. She only wanted
processes documented, but she got a lot of business analysis and

I had another contract with the State, where I was hired for one project and
the manager for the group that was completing the project left. Then her
manager reallocated my time to her FSR. FSR writers make a lot more than
technical writers, but my rate didn't change and I didn't contest it because
I wanted more FSR work on my resume. I don't know how to sell my plethora
of writing skills, but I am getting good at being ripped off by technical
writing positions that require more than just technical writing.

> How often are tech writers responsible for driving the requirements
> gathering *and* documentation? How often are we tasked with
> designing formal
> software systems analysis and design methodologies? How often must we
> understand underlying business drivers and organization
> imperatives so that
> we ask the right questions to ensure the complete discovery of product
> features and requirements?

Okay, um, maybe I'm not a technical writer. Are there really technical
writing positions that do not require what you mention? Maybe all three
responsibilities at once would be excessive, but for each contract that I
have had, I have had at least one of those responsibilities.

> I'm tempted to contact previous supervisors to see if I can
> add 'Analyst' to
> my job titles.

I've written a lot of resumes for myself and others. The job title that you
put on your resume is not necessarily the job title that you were given at
the job, it is more of an umbrella for the disciplines of the job that you
want to highlight. You can also call yourself a Technical Writer/Business
Analyst If you complete an application for a full-time job, then you need
to put the actual job title on the application. If you feel compelled to
list your actual job title on your resume, then let the first bullet point
be the actual work that you did.

Technical Writer, XYZ Company, etc.
* Business Analyst for process re-engineering project.
* Derived business rules from current methodologies to define new system
* Completed <whatever> documents in support of project.

Lauren, oh wait...



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