Re: TWs and Core Competencies (long)

Subject: Re: TWs and Core Competencies (long)
From: doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2007 13:49:43 -0800

On Wed, 26 Dec 2007 11:00:16 -0800, in bit.listserv.techwr-l you

> I see no reason why writers who have done this
>should not say so if they think it will enhance their
>resumes. Personally, I prefer to leave these
>"augmentations" unmentioned unless they come
>up during an interview, as I have no desire
>to do most of them again unless absolutely necessary.

This is a provocative--it illustrates the conservative view of
technical writing, as opposed to the monster truck view (e.g., we
tread in many other defined roles too).

I agree with the OP that tech writers can find themselves working with
upper-level technical and management people, especially in the
development arena where, in my experience, "the vision people" and the
analysts sometimes do a lot of technical writing as way of handing off
their designs to the teams that will execute them. Some of these
analysts and vision people will blindly ask HR to get them a technical
writer, and that's when the fireworks start--if you've been the tech
writer who gets tapped to document the new development project, and
you awoke one day with an ulcer from trying to document their
knowledge and designs without having their expertise, then raise your
miserable hand. You probably should not add their job titles or
descriptions to your tech writing resume until you can do them
without bringing shame and disgrace to the technical writing
profession, and without ruining your health.

More to the point, I agree with Gene and the conservative view of our
role. In my resume, I manage expectations by providing a couple of
dozen keywords without context, and declaring that I am interested in
certain advancements and career goals. This opens the door for
employers looking for someone like that, but does not cast me as an
analyst or any of the things I am working to become. Agencies respond
to this--I get calls about opportunities that they think will work out
for me in this regard.

But so far I've never taken a chance by choosing to work out of my
depth--I'm a strong swimmer, but I owe that to the past employers
who've thrown me in and said "Sink or swim". I don't want to
encourage employers to do that to me--the temptation to advance by
working extra hard always beckons, but the risks are real and
employers don't take much responsibility when they let you do that--so
my resume is carefully conservative, sticking pretty much to tech

Happy midwinter pagan celebrations on you and you and you and ....

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com

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TWs and Core Competencies (long): From: jobs @ ProSpring

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