How to Write Cover Letters and CV for Tech Writers?

Posted in Technical Writing on 8/7/20184 min read

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It is quite clear to everyone that the actual first impression you make on your employer is not at a job interview. Your CV is your first impression. So, take your mind off the articles enumerating the tie colors that will help you get the job. There will be the right moment for this, but not quite yet. First, you need to make sure you are invited to the job interview.

In the article below, we will try to help you create a great CV for a technical writer.

Common Mistakes When Writing CVs

CV samples can be found all over the Internet. Which means you won’t be having any problems with structuring the content and placing general information like your name, date of birth, email address, education details, previous places of employment. It is the rest of the CV that can be tricky.

The idea behind creating a resume that catches attention (in a good way, of course) is to make sure the employer finds there the answer to the following question: why should I hire this person?

A woman talking on the phone

Mistake number one people make when creating CVs is they approach this very formally. So, they fill in the standard form we were talking about earlier, throw in a couple of details and that’s it. Ta-da! Another dull resume without any personality has been born.

This often happens not because people are lazy or don’t think that resumes are important. The common fear is to make a CV too long and detailed so nobody will read it. Well, as long as you are providing useful information, two sheets can be quite okay.

The thing is - your CV must be tailored for the job. If you provide just general info, it will be lost among thousands of resumes of the same kind.

A word cloud about job hunting

Try to think of what makes you special, what you have achieved throughout your professional life that needs to be mentioned. Keep reading to find out what technical writers should definitely mention in their CV.

How CV for Tech Writers is Different

On the Internet, you can find scary stories about technical writers who wrote resumes, put them out there and didn’t get any emails or calls whatsoever.

How can you make sure your resume for a position in technical writing is good? Just stick to the advice we are about to give you - the top 5 things every technical writer should mention in their CV:

  • Writing Skills - a crucial element. You can even provide a snippet of your writing or a link to some texts you’ve created. Remember, these text must qualify as technical writing, so, no poems, short stories, fiction, etc.
  • Knowledge of Tools - add a list of help authoring tools you have some experience with. If you don’t have any, consider gaining it. For example, ClickHelp offers a free 30-day trial with no limitations. Also, make sure to include some tools you have found useful during your technical writing process. Like, for example, software for making screenshots, graphic editors, etc.
  • Time Management - a very important skill for a technical writer as user manuals are part of a development cycle of any product.
  • Teamwork - technical writers collaborate a lot with their peers and members of other teams. Check out this article on technical writers cross-team communication to learn more.
  • Work Experience in Technical Writing - unless you are applying for entry level positions, you will need work experience. If you don’t think you have it - think twice. Since you are interested in a career in this field, you probably have some sort of experience like editing documents, creating descriptions, writing reports. If you really don’t, try to find a way to get it.

The points mentioned above are a must. Here are some additional follow-up points you should also consider:

  • Add you LinkedIn page (if it is worth checking out, of course)
  • Pay special attention to your grammar and spelling. You can be easily rejected as a tech writer if your resume has mistakes or typos
  • Don’t try to be a jack of all trades. We did mention that you need to add more details, but they need to resonate with your desired professional field

Conclusion

Writing a CV is nothing to be afraid of. What you are trying to do is basically take a job description and reflect it back and provide enough proof that you are fitted to do this job. Feel free to use our article as a reference for creating a new CV or as a checklist for your existing one.

Good Luck with your technical writing career!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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