Summer Supplement: Exploring a Career in Technical Writing

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By Kai Heath

Summer has arrived - a time for relaxation, vacations, fun and exploration.  In search of fresh perspectives in the field, our virtual travels here at TimelyText™ landed us in Ireland on the blog of Patrice Fanning.  Patrice is founder of Technically Write IT, an Irish-based company that offers high-quality writing, editing, and documentation solutions to both large multinational and high-potential SMEs operating in the IT space.

As a community of writers, TimelyText™ values the opinions and personal experiences of our counterparts.  Patrice shares her tips for embarking on a career in technical writing. Here are a few insights gleaned from her post that we have experienced with our communications professionals and that will resonate with our corporate clients.

Resume and samples should be top notch

It seems like the most obvious advice in the world, but you would be amazed at how many people submit applications for technical writing jobs that are poorly written and include typos and grammatical errors.  If you can’t do a good job of writing and editing a CV and cover letter, it’s unlikely any employer will trust you with their technical documentation. As a TimelyText™ recruiter, I immediately weed out poorly written and edited resumes. Check your work, folks.

Understand the importance of team

As part of a technical writing team, you’ll have to work closely with developers, designers, engineers, managers, translators, sales and marketing people, etc. If you can demonstrate a positive attitude towards teamwork during the recruitment process, you will enjoy considerably more success.

Focus on tool features rather than a specific tool

Real technical writing skills are more important than knowing how to work with Adobe Framemaker, Wordpress or any other tool du jour.  However, spending some time researching what functionality the leading tools offer so that you understand how they can help you to do your job can give you a leg up.

Patrice’s full post can be found here:


  1. Howard Goodman's avatar

    Howard Goodman

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    I heartily agree with your sentiments expressed in the fifth paragraph of this article. In fact, one of my slogans over the years has been, "Technical Writing: It's not about whether you know MS Word, or Adobe Framemaker, or Darwin Information Typing Architecture; it's about 'Can you write?'
  2. Kai's avatar


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    Thank you for commenting Howard.It is somewhat of a balancing act in our business. Some people can just, write. Does raw talent trump formal training? Depends on the situation and what the person on the other end is looking for.

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