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Why is it on this list that the wording of some job postings get picked apart?
I think it's time to quit posting comments of any kind on job postings.
IMHO, it's a sad day for this list when a job-post contributor has to write
every sentence with the thought "how will this get flamed" in mind.
In defense of requesting "excellent writing skills" here's my two cents:
It is better for an employer to state exactly what they are seeking. Especially
in our field, where a lot of wanna-be writers respond. Their cover letters say
things like: "I've always enjoyed writing and wrote several papers in college."
Or, "In my last position, I wrote reports for upper management, and therefore
feel I would make a quick study as a technical writer." I've even seen this: "I
tried reading the manuals that came with my home computer, and believe that I
could do a much better job as a technical writer; therefore, I am applying for
the writing position you have available.
Being specific and asking for a portfolio of technical writing samples helps
employers weed out all the wanna-be writers and well-meaning folks from other
disciplines who think that since anybody can write, therefore anybody can be a
Lest I get flamed for the previous statement, folks with diverse backgrounds
*can* become technical writers, but they must have excellent, above-average
writing skills and writing experience to survive. Plust, they need a strong
portfolio to back their words, not just a "lifelong desire to be a writer."
As a tech comm manager, I want to bring in someone with proven writing
skills--not someone who needs training in the basic mechanics of a sentence.
Phillip C. Wilkerson
Technical Communications Manager
Allen Systems Group, Inc.
1-800-932-5536, ext. 2247
phillipw -at- allensysgroup -dot- com http://www.allensysgroup.com