Re: What employers want (WAS grammar... etc.)

Subject: Re: What employers want (WAS grammar... etc.)
From: Rebecca Merck <Rebecca -dot- Merck -at- ONESOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1999 15:38:55 -0500

The employer quiz:

-university education
** No.

-6 years experience
** No.

-TW degree
** Absolutely not a requirement when I'm hiring.

-American citizenship
** Depends on the circumstances of the job. If it's on a government
contract, it may be required. But in general, no, it's not something
I'd require to be able to write.

-eager to please
** No -- but eager to do good work, which is similar, is a must.

-works well under pressure
** Yeah. Gotta have that.

-skilled with PageMaker/FrameMaker/MS Word/COBOL Programming
** No -- I think that's something that can be learned. The ability to
distill the information is much more important to me than the ability to
use the tool. It's a little like asking a programmer if he's good at
using the text editor he uses to write the code in as a prerequisite.
Or better, asking a mechanic if he's good at using a wrench to determine
whether he knows how to diagnose the problem with your car.

-sunny disposition
** Believe it or not -- NO! Socially acceptable is one thing, but I
haven't ever met a techwriter who was just always cheerful. There's too
much to get depressed about some days. :)

** Here are the two that I think missed the list, but are my ABSOLUTE

1) The ability to digest complex information into easily-explained
patterns. If given specs full of seeminly disparate information, can
this person see the hierarchy and order in which the audience needs to
understand them, and can they categorize them and present them
effectively? Even if they can't TYPE, and they have this skill, the
rest can be taught.

2) Curiousity. Does this person want to learn about the topic? Are
they willing to search web sites, read books, and actively engage in
their own learning in order to better present the information? Are they
hungry to understand what they're documenting? Again, I'd rather have
this and typing skills.

Those are mine. Interesting question! I look forward to seeing the
other answers!


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