I have had the pleasure of working with some really bright and professional writers over the years. I’ve worked at Fujitsu, Toshiba, Spherion, and Cisco. All of these companies had very experienced writers and most knew a good writer when they came across one and a good team player.
It is not an easy job to find just the right fit who can also write, edit, and format! If you’re the hiring manager you probably interview candidates with ease everyday, but do you know a good writer when you see one or the right fit for the team? Based on my experience the other writers on the team know best. They should have the opportunity to interview the candidates before management does.
Remember, your team members will have to work with this new writer. What is the feedback from the team? Did they feel any tension – not interview tension – cooperation, attitude, and knowledge tension? It can be impossible to know whether or not a new writer will fit into the team with ease. But there are some tips that a good writer will possess in any situation. For example:
- Do they learn concepts quickly?
- Are they good listeners?
- Are they curious about new challenges?
- Do they write concisely and accurately?
- Do they have a passion for reducing the complex to simple?
- Do they have good grammar and spelling skills?
- Can organize documents logically?
- Are they creative and not afraid to make suggestions to management?
- Are they good at formatting and designing documents and templates?
- Do they have industry-specific technical skills for the job (pharmaceutical, IT, manufacturing, defense systems, etc)?
- Can they sift through the “fluff” of feature descriptions and quickly break down topics by tasks and steps?
- Do they have strong computer skills for laying out the content in whatever application you use?
- Are they knowledgeable in version control, backup and restore of documentation files, etc.?
- Do they have integrity?
Good technical writers and team players have integrity, own up to their mistakes, and practice good planning techniques. They’re good writers because they write with:
- Active voice
Lastly, give your newly hired technical writer the opportunity become a great technical writer. A great technical writer is one who has been given the time to become great!
“Documentation can make or break your product, so it makes sense to give your technical writer/s the time needed to truly help your users understand what your product can do for them.” What Makes a Good Technical Writer Great? posted by bri hillmer on April 21, 2014 at https://www.knowledgeowl.com/blog/makes-good-technical-writer-great/.