The Technical Writer helps to prepare instructional manuals and other important supporting documents that are technically complicated for most readers and then communicates them into a much easier to understand language. They are also typically responsible for collecting technical data and information from customers or internal employees and disseminates that information for the companies use. The Technical Writer’s main process determines the end users need of technical documentation and then organizes and translates the needed information into an easy to understand manual that may include drawings, animation, photographs or charts to further describe the information.
Technical Writers, or technical communicators, have several very important job duties, which include working with other technical staff to understand the product and work together on deciphering the use to make sure there are less instructions for a user. They also must study the product sample in depth with the product designers and developers to understand the product inside and out. The information that they gather is then used to create operating instructions, assembly instructions, how-to-manuals, and FAQ (frequently asked questions) pages. The Technical Writer must also select the appropriate outlet for their instructions whether it’s an online video, graph, or paper manual. If the information is in more than one location, the writer must ensure that the content is standardized across all platforms and media. Once the information is released, it is also the writers’ responsibility to gather usable feedback from customers, manufacturers and designers and revise or correct any information needed to have the best usability across the board.
Technical Writer’s at an entry level, work in teams to gather information and create simple projects. Advancement in the field generally includes work on much more complicated projects as well as managing, leading, and training other staff members. This skill set is greatly sought after from companies large and small and many Technical Writer’s become self-employed and work as a freelancer for multiple companies.
If you are considering applying for a Technical Writer position, your resume should include your communication skills between technically savvy industry employees and the manufacturer or consumer with little technical knowledge. It’s also important to be detail oriented so be sure to include any manual you’re created in the past or any documentation that supports your detailed instructions.
You must also be knowledgeable in technology, adding any technology you are fluent in, understand, or work with daily is the best way to show your knowledge of technical field work. Lastly, you must have excellent writing skills. This may come from an English major, Journalism degree, or from past work experience you can add to your portfolio.
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