Re: Am I a Senior Technical Writer?

Subject: Re: Am I a Senior Technical Writer?
From: Jim Grey <jimgrey -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 12:21:00 EST

Matthew Danda <dandam -at- 1STNET -dot- NET> tells a tale of potentially mistaken identity:
>During the most recent management reshuffling and hierarchy rebuilding, I was
>listed on the org chart as a Senior Technical Writer. I protested this title,
>citing the fact that I have only 2 years professional experience, but the
>head honchos weren't very interested in changing the sacred chart. So the
>title remains.

Title superlatives such as "senior" (and its cousins "junior" and
"associate") do not hold any firm meaning across the technical communication
field. I was Senior Tech Writer at one company simply because I had been
there longer than any of the other writers. Here, I'm not Senior; this
company has certain criteria I must meet before I get to add that word to my
title, and longevity has little to do with it. So, if they want to call you
Senior Technical Writer, so be it.

>On my resume, should I list my title at this company as Senior Technical
>Writer? Even though I know that, by experience, I should be a staff Technical

You should tailor your resume to match the job you're going after. There is
no rule that says you must use your official titles there. Don't hesitate
to devise a title that best describes what you do, or best matches the
target company's expectations. In this company, I'm an "Author/Developer,"
a somewhat unusual title. When I look for my next job, if I feel that
calling myself a "Technical Writer" better describes my job function to the
company I'm targeting, that is what I will call myself.

jim grey |beebeebumbleandthestingersmottthehoopleraycharlessingers
jimgrey -at- iquest -dot- net|lonniemackandtwangin'eddiehere'smyringwe'regoingsteadyta

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