Technical writers explain technically complex things in a simple human language that everyone can understand. They know how to write and, at the same time, are technologically savvy. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects technical writing employment to grow 8 percent by 2028. This growth is boosted by the expansion of scientific and technological products and increased web-based product support.
If you are wondering how to get started as a technical writer, this article is right for you. We will help you find out more about the qualifications and skills you may need to get one of the best technical writing jobs. Moreover, we will provide you with some ideas on where to search for jobs.
How to Get a Technical Writing Job With no Experience
Getting the first job is the hardest step for beginners. It is the same for technical writers. However, finding a job without experience is not impossible. As long as you have the motivation and desire to develop your skills, you still have a chance to land a technical writing job. Here are some tips that can help you.
Think about education
The requirements for candidates vary by employer and industry. Some companies recruit technical writers with a bachelor’s degree in English, writing, technical communications, or a specific technical area related to their company. Others may not require a candidate to have a diploma. However, regardless of education and practical experience, technical writers must be proficient in English and have excellent written communication skills.
Hone your skills
To become a good technical writer, you need to develop four essential characteristics: grasp of technology, ability to write with clarity, patience in problem-solving, and ability to interact with subject matter experts.
Our advice is to spend some time reading style guides to learn how to write documentation more clearly and follow a consistent tone and voice. You can take online courses on Coursera or Udemy, join Society for Technical Communication, and listen to podcasts to learn more about different technical writing types. And don’t forget to mention all this in your resume, cover letter, and interview to show you never stop improving yourself.
Craft a professional cover letter
Some people believe that a resume is enough to apply for a job, forgetting or ignoring the importance of a cover letter, especially for candidates with no experience. It is a handy tool when applying for an entry-level job since its goal is to help you make an excellent first impression, even if your background isn’t that extensive. Additionally, it can increase your chances of getting an interview.
If you don’t know what should be in your paper, you can check out thisgood sample of a technical writer cover letter and learn more about the best structure and ways to describe your specific knowledge and skills.
10+ Best Entry-Level Technical Writing Jobs
Technical writing offers various positions for beginners in different spheres, such as IT, engineering, science, healthcare, finance, etc. As a technical writer, you can get hired full-time, part-time, and even work from home, creating research papers, repair and programming manuals, technical documents, articles, and other works.
For those wondering how to become a technical writer without experience and what position to choose, we’ve selected some awesome and in-demand jobs. They vary in functionality but are still great for beginners.
1. Technical Copywriter
A technical copywriter creates content describing the benefits of a technical product. The main goal is to make the product easier to understand and, at the same time, attract customers and increase sales. Technical copywriters also create content for ads, web pages, and landing pages.
2. Technical Editor
Technical editors work closely with technical writers. Their responsibilities include grammar and spell checking, correction of punctuation, and syntax errors. The main task is to improve the text before it is used for its intended purpose.
3. Case Study Writer
Case studies are real examples of how companies apply relevant solutions to deal with some challenging tasks. The aim is not only to tell the story but also to show the approaches used and innovations applied to increase sales. Thus, case study writers need to combine science with marketing.
4. UX Writer
User Experience (UX) writers create content that the user sees when using the product. They make sure that the user does not need clues to navigate the website or application, but interacts with the interface comfortably and confidently. They can write instructions, navigation messages, error reports, menu buttons, call to action buttons, and other micro-text types.
5. End-User Documentation Writer
Almost every device has instructions that help users understand how to install and use it. Companies hire end-user documentation writers to create such materials. Their main task is to write a clear and concise document that can be understood by the average person easily.
6. Technical Proposal Writer
As a technical proposal writer, you create documents that give an overview of technical projects. Moreover, your texts should convince potential investors or partners to join these projects. During your work, you will cooperate with the marketing team to achieve better results.
7. Technical Creative Writing
A technical creative writer aims to entertain clients and inspire them to purchase products via descriptive essays, personal essays, short stories, novellas, etc. Basically, it is creative writing with technical features.
8. Technical Finance Writer
Technical finance writers prepare narrative reports and guides for banks, the global stock market, or insurance agencies. Usually, they write for commercial websites and presentations.
9. Technical Content Contributor
This person’s role is to collect and create technical content for publications that are not entirely technical. Technical content contributors can work for magazines, newspapers, or websites.
10. Technical Communicator
As a technical communicator, you will create simple and understandable documentation that explains the company’s specific products and services. Your duties may include research, collection of information, editing, and proofreading of the materials.
11. Assembly Guide Writer
Assembly guide writers create user-friendly step-by-step instructions and simple illustrations that show how to assemble the product physically. Often, it involves furniture or household appliances.
Where to Search For Technical Writing Jobs
If you like some of the careers we’ve mentioned above, start searching for opportunities. Some employers are willing to hire beginners, especially startups that don’t have a big budget.
There are many ways to find an entry-level technical writing job to suit your writing and technical skills. You can check out your local newspapers since many local companies still use them to promote jobs. Additionally, you can use job search websites and classic job boards which list hundreds of technical writing jobs.
If you’re interested in freelance technical writing gigs, check out websites, such as:
- We Work Remotely
- Tech Careers
- Just Tech Jobs
- Authentic Jobs
Technical writing is a promising career that offers different opportunities for professional growth. However, there is no definite answer on how to be a technical writer. You can start with coding or development experience, then switch to writing, or gain tech experience after starting your writing career.
Either way, the primary key is self-development. Read books, take courses, improve your personal and professional skills. And continue applying for the positions you like, even if it’s hard at first. Once you break into your first job, your further career path will become less complicated.
Authored by Yevheniia Khromova (Career Expert, Get Cover Letter)