qualifications for hiring tech writers

Subject: qualifications for hiring tech writers
From: Karen Otto <KAREN_OTTO -at- HP-SPOKANE-OM2 -dot- OM -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1996 10:35:28 -0700

Item Subject: cc:Mail Text
Like most things, qualifications for hiring tech writers will vary
from job to job. In some cases, a tech writing degree is the most
important aspect, in others, the technical knowledge may come to the

In my particular case (I was hired about a year ago from a design
engineering job into full-time tech writing), the ability to
understand technology was most important. This requirement went far
beyond the amount of technology a tech writing degree holder normally
has. So they advertised for an engineer who could write, and was
specifically interested in tech writing. The writing involved is
highly technical, and designed for technical users.

The interviews searched not only for the ability to communicate, but
also for the ability to understand in-depth RF communications issues.
They also looked very carefully for the ability to think logically,
organize, and handle ambiguity.

There were two job openings - one for someone with experience and one
for a new college hire. In both cases they hired electrical engineers,
and we have both been successful. They received many resumes from tech
writers without degrees, but found that none of them could effectively
grasp the technical end of the job to the hiring team's satisfaction.

My job encompasses more than just reporting on the functions of a
system. I am in the heat of feature definition, firmware and software
UI creation, and have even found and solved problems unrecognized by
the design engineers. I have even designed an antenna for use by the

My writing has been very well-accepted by customers and colleagues. I
have even won a small regional award at the STC. All this in my first
year of professional writing.

I think that anyone hiring for a job ought to understand the real
requirements, and search for the best candidate based on those
requirements, not on a piece of paper.

Previous by Author: Job posting: Boston area
Next by Author: qualifications for hiring tech writers
Previous by Thread: CBT on the WWW or Lotus Notes
Next by Thread: Re: qualifications for hiring tech writers

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads