Formal training required for entry-level tech writing job?

Subject: Formal training required for entry-level tech writing job?
From: "Ben Givens" <bengiv -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 21:59:34 -0700

After working fourteen years as a programmer, I'm now trying to switch
to technical writing. For the past two months, I've been applying for
tech writing positions in the Bay Area, but so far no luck. Although I
don't have any "official" tech writing experience or training, I was
basically doing some technical writing while I was a programmer (e.g.
database user guides, documentation of my code for other programmers).
I emphasize this writing experience in my cover letter and resume, but
no one seems to be interested.

I'm starting to wonder if I need some kind of formal training in tech
writing in order to get an entry-level job. Would formal training help
someone like me, or is it unnecessary?

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