RE: % of time technical writers spend on core tasks?

Subject: RE: % of time technical writers spend on core tasks?
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: William Sherman <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2013 14:01:01 -0700

William Sherman wrote:

> He wanted information like:
> - How many years formatting?
> - How many years using Excel?
> - How many years diagramming?
> - Ability to write technical documents and end-user documentation
> - How many years using Visio?
> - How many years creating PDFs?
> - How many years of Office Experience?
> - How many years of MS Office - Expert Level? -- OK, so does the Office
> Experience above mean Microsoft Office or sitting in a building at a desk?
> But he really wanted to know how much time I had actually spend on each type
> of task. It wasn't good enough I have done 20 plus years of technical
> writing. How much of that was formatting? How much was using Excel? How much
> was creating and working on diagrams? How much was creating PDFs?

I think either you're misunderstanding the recruiter or the recruiter is misunderstanding what information is needed. For all the questions above, I think what's called for is the number of years of experience, not the cumulative total number of hours spent. E.g., if you began using Visio in 1995 and used it off and on since, except for 3 years in the mid-2000s, then you have 10 years of experience with Visio.

I think the repetition is a standard questioning technique for tripping up liars.

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom

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