Displaying Technical Writing Skills

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    If you are a beginning Technical Writer or an experienced Technical Writer, how do you, respectively, display your skills and find your first job or find more jobs in technical writing? Here are some tips:

    For beginners, write about your job – begin writing in your current job about all that you know, and make sure that it is on your resume. Write about your daily activities, or any instructions you’ve been given to perform a task. Record or document your knowledge. When review time comes up, make sure that your supervisor or manager knows what you’ve documented. You never know, maybe a new technical writing position will occur and you may be approached for it. Note: this also displays your detail documentation skills.

    As another example, you may have been assigned some detailed task that involves, e.g., ensuring that a document or product is tracked. For this task, or some similar task, you may determine you need to create a flowchart or a tracking module or check off list with adjacent initial boxes to certify nothing is lost in transit. List names, places, an event time table, accessories needed (how much and from whom), location, etc. Use your imagination and create some icons to indicate readers, edits, final edits, products, etc. Create a folder and document all this data so that you will have it ready for the next time you need it. Also note all unexpected incidents, such as delays, interruptions, and postponements. This way you will be prepared and know how to handle these problems the next time around. Note: this displays your organizational, research, interviewing, interpersonal, and analytical skills.

    For beginners and experienced writers, create a blog to showcase your work, ideas, workshops, training, etc. There are many free packages on the web to use; just Google ’open source blog software’ to get a listing.

    If you extensively use a particular manual, application, or package, write about your favorite features of, e.g., a word processing or spreadsheet package and explain how to use it step-by-step to perform a particular function like generating a report. Just remember to be clear, concise, and error free when explaining which steps to take to perform the specific task(s). Create a flow chart to depict the steps or create a diagram using another package and save it into your blog. Detail how and what package you used and include benefits, ease of use, etc. Or, you can just hand draw a picture to show what you mean. When others read how you explain steps, procedures or processes in your blog, they will see how professional you are.

    As an added note, see if you can guest blog, create a training manual or e book, teach at a local school or organization, join and participate within organizations, contract freelance work, tweet about your work, perform volunteer work, interview people, market and brand yourself, and definitely network.

    Following through with any of the above suggestions can show off your technical writing skills.

    Good Luck and please leave a comment about all your strategies to get into being a technical writer (technical communicator, technical editor, technical illustrator, technical trainer, technical translator, etc.). For more information, go to Steps To Become a Technical Writer (https://management.org/blogs/communications/2012/04/01/steps-to-become-a-technical-writer/) or see my e book on Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/213398).