Technical Writer Recruitment
If you are looking to recruit a technical writer but are not sure what they can do or are interested in becoming a technical writer, the summary below will give you a good idea of what you can expect.
A technical writer (technical author) has a mix of language and technical skills that enable them to take complicated technical information and translate it into a form suitable for the intended audience, whether that be on paper or in an electronic format. Think of a technical writer as the bridge between production and users, and not as the subject matter expert. For example, a software user needs to know how to use it, not how or why it works.
Technical writers document things in a clear, concise and consistent format that makes it easy for the user to find what they want and understand it when they do. The documentation will also have a structure that enables documentation to be maintained quickly and efficiently.
Examples of technical writer documentation that you see regularly are your local and online help files supporting your Microsoft Office applications (assuming you use MS products) and all the manuals you see for that brief moment when you buy something new whether it be a car, kettle or an iPod.
A specific technical writer will usually have a certain specialist field within their remit whether it be industry specific e.g. software house, medical, military, electronics engineering etc. or for a specific type of documentation output such as:
- User Guides/Manuals
- Processes & Procedures
- Sales Enablement Tools & Marketing Materials
- White Papers
- Start up & Installation Guides
- e-Learning Courseware
- Quality Documentation
- Support Manuals
- Online Help
- Training Material
- Compliance Documentation
- Health & Safety Documentation
Typical Tools used in the production of documentation:
- Microsoft Word
- Adobe FrameMaker
- Adobe Acrobat
- Epic Editor
Some technical writers have specific industry experience and have transferred internally to a technical writing role so do not have any specific technical writing qualifications but plenty of on the job training and are very adept. There are however a number of technical writing courses (technical communications) that are very effective in instilling the methodology and knowledge of the latest writing tools and techniques.
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