Technical writers are currently in huge demand in the job market. More professionals are learning technical writing to upgrade their skills and increase their value in the industry. If you are one of such people who wants to find a place in the industry, the first thing that you will need to prepare is your resume as a technical writer. Your resume should reflect the skillset, experience, what you can offer, etc., and should be designed carefully to appeal to employers. This article will tell you 10 top tricks to make your technical writing resume stand out.
Your resume should be appealing to the recruiter if you want to be employed in the job market for technical writing. Your skills will be assessed right from the texts and structure of your resume. As a result, you should draft your resume based on the job you are applying for and the skills necessary for the position.
To make your technical writer resume proper, it should cover the following factors:
- The information in your resume should be accurate and contain all the necessary details.
- Your technical writing skills should be highlighted properly.
- You will be assessed even based on the simple texts in your resume. Therefore, your text itself should reflect your writing skills.
- Your work experience should be mentioned. Experience is one of the first categories that an employer will look into to see the credibility of your work and to see what areas you have expertise in.
- If you have specialized in a field, mention them.
- Use the right and appropriate technical writer resume template.
- Information that does not contribute to your application will result in a waste of time and space. This will add to a decrease in the quality of your resume.
To further enhance your resume, you can enroll in one of the technical writing courses available online to develop your technical writing skills. This will help people who are making an entry-level technical writer resume.
Tips To Improve Your Technical Writer Resume
1. Use A Suitable Resume Format to Build Your Technical Writer Resume.
A recruiter will first assess your value to their company based on your resume. Since technical writing requires both technical savvy language and good communication skills. You have the option of presenting your technical writing resume in three formats: the reverse-chronological layout, the functional layout, and the combination layout.
The reverse-chronological layout: This is the most preferred layout for technical writer resume out of all the layouts. The most recent experience is highlighted first, and your skills and other information will be presented later in the resume. This will work in your favor most times as recruiters look for your recent works first.
The functional layout: This layout will be least preferred for the resume. Your skills will be listed down first instead of experience in this layout. It is often used to cover up your lack of experience in the industry and gaps in your career. This can prove to be disadvantageous to your job application.
The combination layout: In this, parts of the reverse-chronological and the functional layouts are applied. This is accepted by job recruiters. This layout highlights your experience in the industry and your skills. But it will be appealing only when you have a long work experience.
To present the best resume for technical writing, it will be ideal to use the reverse-chronological layout. You can use existing templates from platforms like Canva and Indeed.
Here is a guide to the fundamentals of Technical Communication Skills
2. Mention What You Specialise In
Technical writers can be hired based on their specializations. Technical writing can be of three types:
Traditional Technical Writing: This type of technical writing involves writing for a specific target audience. In this type of technical writing, the content needs to be simplified for readers to understand. For this type of technical writing, the writers are usually specialized or have expertise in a particular field. This category includes white papers, medical writing, research papers, and repair manuals.
End-User Documentation: A product or service is marketed to an end-user in this type of technical writing. This category includes user guides such as operating and maintenance manuals.
Technical Marketing Communications: A technical writer uses this type of writing to communicate and market the product to the users. The technical aspects of the product or service will be translated into user-friendly formats so that users can easily understand and make use of them. Customers can use these guides to understand a product better and develop an interest in them. This type of technical writing includes emails, sales pitches, and flyers.
Specifications can help a recruiter understand if you are fit for the position. It can also help increase your appeal to the companies/firms. You can make your specialty clear in your resume by stating your skills, relevant work experiences, projects, certifications, etc.
Recommended Read: Online Technical Writing Courses
3. Mention Relevant Skills
While producing your technical writer resume, you might get confused on exactly which skills to mention. There are hundreds of skills that you can write in your resume, but selecting a few relevant skills can help you gain that job position. It will be best to use suitable keywords listed in the job description. You must showcase your technical skills and soft skills.
The most common and relevant technical skills that you can use in your resume if it applies to you are-
- Technical writing strategies
- Product documentation
- Research analysis
- Formatting and style guidelines
- Content review
- Development and maintenance of SOPs
- Grammar and punctuation
- Help documents and FAQs
- User and maintenance manual formats
- Search engine usage
- Create diagrams and infographics
- Instructional documents
- User persona targeting
- Knowledge of technology
Soft skills that you can use that will help your resume includes-
- Interpersonal skills
- Organizational skills
- Time management
- Oral and written communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Critical thinking
- Ability to grasp technical content quickly
4. List Tools That Are Relevant for The Position
The process of technical writing will require knowledge of various tools and plugins. These tools will either be a requirement or a perk in your skillset. If you are making an entry-level technical writer resume, learning and listing down the knowledge of relevant tools can make you more hireable.
The basic tools that a technical writer should know includes:
- Adobe FrameMaker
- Adobe RoboHelp
- Text Editor for HTML
- Microsoft Visio
- Windows Snipping Tool
- Microsoft Office- SharePoint
- Marking Color Breaks
- Marking Head Levels
You can mention the tools you know based on what the job demands.
5. Attach A Link to Your Portfolio
Having a website containing your writing can be advantageous in your job search. This gives job recruiters or teams the to look at the works and skills in detail. It also lets them know about your knowledge and experience in the industry. Many recruiters request a portfolio or personal website before hiring you. Your website can be listed along with contact information.
6. Provide Links to Other Personal or Relevant Projects
In most cases, relevant external works can increase your chances of getting hired. Writing personal blog posts, guest posts, and other work can demonstrate your expertise and interest in the field. Your resume will be more appealing if it matches the interests of the recruiting company or firm.
In your resume, you can emphasize and mention posts you have written about technological aspects. Articles or writings in the field of medicine, gadgets, and more can prove to be advantageous to you. You can link these under a category called others.
Even if you have not worked for a firm or company as a technical writer, it is a good idea to include your other writing experience in your resume.
7. Highlight Your Relevant Work Experience
It is without a doubt a fact that your work experience is the most relevant information that you can put up on your resume. Your work experience should be listed down crisply and concisely. Your work experience speaks about your skills and experience in the particular sector.
It can also show your consistency and loyalty to your work and institutions. While skills and certifications are relevant, your work experience will play the most crucial part in the selection process. So you can highlight your work experience according to relevance.
Formatting your resume in a reverse-chronological layout is a good idea to highlight your work experience as it will be listed down first. If you are building an entry-level technical writer resume, filling in work experience might be difficult.
Recommended Read: Technical Writing Courses in India
8. Mention Important Certifications in Your Resume
Relevant certifications can add value to your resume. These certifications can be used to vouch for your technical skills and additional skills which can add to your hiring value. There are many reputed online courses for technical writing that you can use to receive certificates. You can also enroll in programs to improve your other skills such as knowledge of tools, software, and types of writing.
This can add to your skillsets. These certifications can also be used to fill in your gap time or to cover your inexperience in the field. Certifications and skills like technical writing, WordPress, and Adobe are highly valued. Certifications can be a plus point, especially while making an entry-level technical writer resume.
9. Use Keywords Mentioned in The Job Description
A great idea to appeal to job recruiters is to use the keywords mentioned in the job description in your resume. Companies and job recruiters often filter resumes according to the keywords they search for. If your resume covers their keywords, chances are that your resume will be selected for the second round of analysis.
10. Make Sure Your Word Choices and Structuring Are Good
Your writing will be judged right from the start when your resume is opened. If you make a blunder or use a less appealing word, your chances of getting hired can decrease. Your resume should be appropriate and engaging. It will be more attractive to the company if your resume is appropriately structured.
Your skills will be evaluated, and in case of inappropriate wording or structuring, it may lead you to be disqualified. Using words in the job description can help guarantee the quality of your resume. This will be important both for people who are making entry-level resumes and people who are making experienced technical writer resume.
Recommended Read: Content Writing Courses in India
11. Edit And Proofread Your Resume
Editing and proofreading are crucial tasks in all forms of writing, including technical writing. If your resume contains misspellings, grammatical mistakes, or punctuation errors, it will reflect on your quality of work. It will be perceived as your inability to do correct writing, editing, and proofreading.
The best method would be to structure the resume and then edit the content and proofread the content. This will make sure that there are no mistakes. Even if you are an expert and skilled writer with a lot of work experience, you must edit and proofread. Mistakes while writing is natural for everyone, but not correcting it will turn an unfavorable to your chance of getting hired.
12. Revise For Each Job Application
Each job will have different requirements. So it will be a good idea to alter your resume to fit those particular job requirements. You have to read the job listing thoroughly and mention the skills and qualifications listed in your resume. This will help you get recruited. Using the skills and qualifications that they have listed exactly can work in your favor.
Companies and firms often look for the exact keywords and skills mentioned in the job description. People are hired accordingly to fit the company or firm requirements. People building an entry-level resume will have to revise resumes for each job application.
Frequently Answered Questions
1. What are the technical writing skills?
A technical writer should have various technical and soft skills. Technical writing majorly involves converting technical information to comprehensive and readable content. Therefore, the primary skills required are good communication skills, good language skills, and technical knowledge. Other relevant technical skills include proofreading, product documentation, research analysis, formatting and style guidelines, content review, development of SOPs, grammar, and punctuation, and proofreading. Soft skills required for technical writers include teamwork, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, multitasking, time management, oral and written communication skills, and leadership skills.
2. What does a technical writer do exactly?
A technical writer explains or translates technical aspects of a product or service in a way that is understandable to the average person. It can be challenging for the customers’ community to understand the technical aspects of products and services they consume. In this type of case, simplifying it for end-users is best. This will also prove beneficial to the sale of said product or service. The primary responsibility of a technical writer is to simplify complicated technical aspects of a product or service for easy comprehension by readers or users.
3. Do technical writers work from home?
The job of technical writing can be done both from home and in the office. Many offices and companies offer full or part-time technical writing opportunities. As technical writing mainly involves understanding the technology and writing, many tasks can be executed at home. Occasional meetings could solve most other communication gaps. One can also work as a freelance technical writer. In such a case, an office is not required.
4. Is technical writing a dying field?
Technical writing is not a dying field. It can be considered a progressive field. Technical writing is being expanded to many industries, and it is a skill that is in high demand right now. Technical writing is expected to survive as long as there is a need to bridge the gap between technical and readable content. Since communication with customers is significant for brands, companies, and firms to promote their products or services, technical writers are always in demand.
5. What qualifications are required to be a technical writer?
Technical writers benefit from degrees related to technical writing and science. There are many degree programs, such as Master of Science and Master of Arts in Communication. Many technical writing courses provide you with certifications. Besides these courses, many companies will provide you with training when you first join them. This will ensure that you are completely equipped to do the work.
In this digital world, technical writing has grown to be a skill that is highly desired and demanded by all companies and firms. With the increase in job opportunities, you can always find jobs suited for you via many platforms. A resume is a tool that will help you apply for jobs and get hired. For each job application, a company will be receiving hundreds and thousands of resumes. Hence, you should draft your resume in such a way that will stand out and will filter through the different selection processes.
Both experienced and fresher technical writers will need to optimize resumes accordingly. Being honest and concise in your technical writing resume will go a long way and make an impression on the jobs that you apply for. If you are a writer hunting for a job opportunity, the strategies listed in this article will help. If you exercise these strategies and tips, you can be definite that your resume will stand out and make you a valuable candidate.