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This is a tough one! When I started, all I had was my military
mechanical experience and my couple years in college. I passed their
blueprint reading test and started as a sub-contract worker. Three
months later, I was hired as a permanent writer. This was a large
company and willing to train the right person (someone with military
mechanical knowledge). I learned a lot and when I left, I was
considered a senior writer. I moved into software (of which I knew
little) and again was successful.
Nowadays, people expect a lot from an entry writer. A TC degree,
demonstrated ability to write to style (samples, please) and generally a
level of expertise that took me a couple of years to develop.
If I had to commit, I 'd say there is a skill range of entry-level
writers that encompasses the no-nothing with a willingness to learn all
the way to about 2-3 years experience. Salary DOE. If the company can
afford the training, there are serious benefits to hiring someone pure
and uncorrupted by external influences (like passive voice) ;-)
From: Hillary Jones
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Re: predicting successful writers
Date: Friday, October 24, 1997 4:46PM
Here's something related that I've wondered about: what do people expect
from entry-level writers and entry-level positions?
A couple of months back, my company advertised for an entry-level
writer, and we got an applicant who had no writing experience
whatsoever; when we asked him about his qualifications for the position,
he kept emphasizing that we'd advertised for entry-level! He took that
to mean that he didn't really need qualifications (other than a desire
to learn). Personally I didn't know what to make of that--*does*
entry-level mean no experience whatsoever? When people advertise for an
entry-level writer, what sort of qualifications are they expecting?
Also, the tasks we wanted the new writer to perform were editing and
writing user guides and helping us to implement online help. Are those
considered entry-level tasks? I'd be interested in what employees think
of as entry-level tasks, and what employers think of as entry-level
tasks. I sort of question whether the two would match up.
hillary -at- nichimen -dot- com