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A Career in technical writing- 5 steps to build a career in technical writing


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Title: A Career in technical writing- 5 steps to build a career in technical writing

A Career in Technical Writing
  • 5 Steps to Build A career in Technical Writing

Remember, your output is not a work of art its
a work product designed to help the customer
whoever the customer is.
  • ? Krista Van Laan, The Insider's Guide to
    Technical Writing

What is Technical Writing
  • Technical writing involves presenting technical
    information through writing. Technical writing is
    about effectively communicating the intricacies
    in an easily understandable manner.
  • It involves writing user manuals and online help.
    Technical documentation, however, is a much wider
    term and involves different technologies and
    genres. It also involves memos, business reports,
    product descriptions, resumes, job applications,
    etc. Not all types of technical documentation
    will require a technical writer however inputs
    are always helpful, especially if the technical
    writers are subject matter experts. If not, it
    can be reviewed by a subject matter expert to
    ensure accuracy..

Career In Technical Writing
  • No wonder a career in technical writing is highly
    sought after. The technical writers are much in
    demand in industries such as energy, finance,
    manufacturing, engineering, and medical business.
  • The list is not exhaustive and the technical
    writers are also in demand in fields like
    software, consulting academia, telecommunication
    to name just a few.
  • To tread on the technical writer career path, one
    has to plan ahead. Few of the career options are-
    Manual writers, Policy writers, Technical
    communications specialists, Technical
    communicators etc.

First Step - Learning
  • You need to have a systematic approach only then
    can you chart career in technical writing. First
    step is learning technical writing-
  • Getting certified in technical writing course
    Though it is not mandatory, getting certified
    does make your CV more impressive and helps you
    land a job easily, especially for beginners. To
    know the nuances of writing, a diploma or even a
    certification can go a long way.
  • With numerous courses for the content writing on
    offer, a good course can be of great help. You
    can choose the one that fits you best. Another
    good part of this field is that you can even get
    learn the skill sitting at your home. Hence,
    courses are available both online and offline
    i.e. classroom-based. There are weekends as well
    as weekdays batches available and they are
    flexible with the timings as well.

Second Step Practicing
  • Practicing before taking the plunge in the job
    market. Before applying for jobs or searching for
    freelancing gigs, it is highly suggested to have
    a minimum level knowledge. The heart of any form
    of writing is the skill to communicate the
    material in a crisp manner. Significant
    improvements can be made to the writing skill by
    delivering projects for friends and well-wishers
    can be taken up and completed with the
    seriousness of a paid project.
  • One can get a good following by writing
    tutorials on the preferred industry. This is a
    good way of catching attention. Since error-free
    communication is one of the cornerstones of
    technical writing it is highly recommended to get
    initiated in the field in a gradual manner.

Second Step Practicing (Continued)
  • Keep in mind the following core techniques for
    technical Writing-
  • Planning and Preparation according to clients
  • Audience analysis
  • Feedback of the user
  • Conceptualizing the document
  • Expert opinion
  • Finality on the document type

Third Step- Building a Portfolio
  • Maintain a body of work -where all your small and
    big project should be recorded to be presented.
  • It is recommended to take small projects at a
    nominal or no compensation and work on it with
    seriousness. The compensation aspect has to be
    overlooked initially. 
  • Restricting oneself to only one field restricts
    the job options too. The dynamism of the writer
    is reflected in how diverse topics he has written
  • The projects of friends, acquaintances,
    well-wishers, or offering less compensation
    should be immediately lapped up and a decent
    portfolio constructed.
  •  In a portfolio besides paying attention to the
    text if the visual effects and text formatting
    have also been taken care of, it greatly enhances
    the job prospects. 

Fourth Step-Developing Industry knowledge
  • Stay in touch with the latest developments in the
    medical world, new technological developments,
    and new RD being carried out.
  • It is advisable to be a part of a professional
    network as it can also lead to landing new
    projects, besides offering networking benefits
    like journals and articles.
  • go through and practice the tone, style, and
    content common to documents in the chosen field
  • Learn the various tools to aid in presentation,
    it would be a great asset if you possess develop
    web designing, page layout and document designing
  • The readability of the document can be maintained
    through visual media effect using videos, charts
    and infographics. They can add a new dimension to
    their skill. 

Fourth Step-Developing Industry knowledge
  • Since many technical writings are published on
    the web and online platforms, it would greatly
    help if a web designing course and certification
    is acquired.
  • A review of learning materials and resources also
    helps in gaining experience in writing and
    creating new followers.
  • Short videos on tutorials can also be floated on
    the internet creating followers and hence getting
  • Though coding is not a compulsion familiarizing
    oneself with coding nuances and applications
    helps especially for languages Java, HTML.

Fifth Step-Building the right resume
and Uploading on websites 
  • The search for a career in the technical writing
    industry begins with posting and uploading
  • Since the resume will be the first exposure to
    writing skills, great care has to be taken to see
    that it is error-free. It should be free of all
    grammatical errors, customized for job you are
    applying and contain all the relevant skills
    without exaggeration.
  • The resume should be uploaded on sites that cater
    to technical writing. Other professional networks
    should also be explored. Greater participation in
    seminars, workshops, and being an active member
    of social media groups also helps in getting
    noticed. Writing blogs, posting videos also
  • There are a lot of job sites like
    internshala.com, writerbolg.com, iwriter.com,
    upwork.com, where the resume can be uploaded to
    get project work. Besides, there are a lot of
    platforms like medium.com where the articles and
    blogs can be published to catch attention. Quora
    is another platform, which offers new writers an
    excellent platform. All such platforms should be

Some Helpful Tips for Drafting
  • Some dos of drafting which is useful to
  • Single words should be used and a group of words
    should be reduced.
  • Simple verbs are to be used for a group of words
  • Shorter sentences should be used
  • There should not be unnecessary repetition
  • Ideas should be expressed in as few words as
  • Active voice is preferred over passive voice.
  • The meaning of the words being written should be
  • The writer should put himself in place of the
    reader and satisfy himself about the sense,
    content, and the interpretation it carries.

Challenges in Technical Writing
  • Like any other profession, technical writing also
    has challenges. Some of them are
  • Technical writing involves jargon There should
    be a balance between the technical terms and
    colloquial ones. To make the writing informative
    and useful would involve inducing the jargon in a
    an easy understandable way.
  • It can sometimes be drab and dull- It involves
    facts and figures and gives lesser room for
    creativity as opposed to creative writing. The
    challenge is to make technical writing.
  • It involves responsibility- Technical writing
    involves hard facts about the subject and the
    techniques, any deviation from the set standards
    or wrong interpretation can be detrimental in
    many ways and can even lead to legal issues.

Why Choose Technical Writing as Career
  • Technical Writers Make Good Earnings- A technical
    writer earns 57,851 on average according to
  • Creative Job- Learning new things and the usage
    of visual tools make it an creative interesting
  • Hone expertise in a chosen field- Technical
    writing being a specialized field, you are
    involved in a constant research which helps you
    in widening your knowledge base which can further
    help y our career progression.
  • Up-to-date- You will be required to stay in touch
    with the latest trends and advances that the
    industry has to offer.
  • Different Projects- You will receive exposure to
    some really interesting projects in different
    fields through this career option.

  • Reference Five Steps To Build A Career In
    Technical Writing by Prabhat Sinha.
  • He explains in detail everything you need to know
    about technical writing as a career. From
    choosing technical writing course to job
    searching, he covers all the topics in his eBook.
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