Technical writing has taught you so much.
You know when there’s unnecessary verbiage, you tackle redundancy, and “skillfully” avoid superfloud details.
Your management and your customers love your Technical writing skills.
And you’re proud of how you make everyone’s job so easy too!
But now you see that opening for Technical Writer in Microsoft’s Azure team. And you wonder if your Technical Writer resume is up to the mark or not.
The Technical writer in you contradicts with the long sentences you have and redundancies you’re building. But you know that missing out on them would get your resume rejected too!
That’s why we wrote this guide to help you take the perfectly balanced and well informed decisions to write the best technical writing resume.
What you’ll learn here?
- Go through job winning Technical Writer resume samples
- Learn how to pick the best resume format for your Technical content writer
- How to make your resume stand out with your resume experience
- What are some job winning skills to add to your Technical content writing resume
- How best to show your experience on resume
Before you create your resume, let’s get an idea of what your resume should look like.
Here’s an example that will easily make a grand entry to a recruiter’s yes list!
How to write a Technical Writer Resume?
Before we tell you what to add here, let’s draw the line between a good and bad Technical writer’s resume.
Bad Technical Writer resumes focus a lot more on:
- That they write documentation
- How they kept a documentation up to date
- How they do it using Microsoft word, Google docs, etc
- That they work in a team
- How they edit documents
A good technical writer resume on the other hand, would:
- Shows how many customers you helped
- Lists business goals you achieved
- Highlights what type of technical content did you produced and in what capacity
- Talks about what types of users you wrote this technical content for
- Emphasizes your specialization?
- Delight a hiring manager
And, we’ll show you everything that you need to do in order to reflect those six qualities within your resume. First let’s decide on design aesthetics of your resume.
One common mistake is writing your name in bold and very big fonts. Your name isn’t what you want to emphasize.
It’s the work that you want to emphasize, hence it is very important to choose the right fonts and formatting in your resume.
Best fonts and size for your resume Calibri- font size: 12, Cambria- font size: 12, Germond- font size 13, Arial- font size: 11, Georgia- font size: 12
Resume layout for Technical Writers
Now, comes the most important decision- what resume layout should you chose?
You have three options:
- Reverse Chronological
- Hybrid (mix of reverse chronological and functional)
Professionally, you’ve been fighting redundancy all of your life. But, there are upsides to redundancy when you’re selling to someone. Sales presentations for example, always repeat a few keywords in a consistent fashion.
Hybrid resume layout helps you precisely do that. Rather than being an arch enemy, redundancy is a leverage to writing a convincing resume.
Writing a Technical Writer resume header
First things first, remember to put across your contact information and who you are right. The later should be the first thing that comes to focus and the former should be next.
Your resume header should have your name and current designation at the top.
It is preferable to show your experience and any important certifications here as well.
Mention certifications of the sort of CPTC Foundation, Practitioner or Expert level. It will add weight to your resume and exhibit authority.
Next is your location and contact details- phone as well as mail id.
Technical Writer Resume Examples - Header
That certification above in the good resume header example exudes authority.
You can now be sure that the recruiter will review your resume further with more confidence.
Now comes the real challenge- writing a resume summary.
At every step in your resume, you’re trying to get the recruiters to put faith in your writing and impress them with your words.
Let’s do that further!
Crafting a Technical Writer resume summary
Ideally, this should be a brief of your experience. Since you’re a writer, your words should be powerful and the summary should be precise.
And these 3 lines will get you half-way through your selection.
If you can only write 2 lines here, it is better than the summary with an additional vague 3rd sentence. It only reduces weight.
And, this is what will help you stand out among thousands of ordinary and side hustle applications.
Let’s take a look at some good and bad examples of summary of Technical content writer.
Technical Writing Resume Summary Samples
Written 50,000 words worth of blogs for software industry to close information gap and drive 1 million views on 16 of 30 blogs. Currently leading content planning, scheduling and keyword research while continuing to write blogs and ebooks for end-users and clients.
Good resume summary example shares important information with the reviewer to help decide whether you’re another ordinary writer or you’re remarkably suitable for their job.
- It shows if you can impress with your words
- Whether your writing is professional, mature, yet friendly
- It also says what to expect from your writing
- Whether you can convince your readers with your words
If you impress the recruiter and sound convincing enough within your resume summary, you’re very close to getting that interview call.
Here is a checklist of must include information to make a positive impact and get shortlisted.
- Name & job title or position
- Years of relevant experience
- Important Certification in short form
- Contact address- mail id & phone
- Link to important books or articles published or publication name
- Awards for writing like the Pushcart Prize, Best Of The Net, Pulitzer awards and the like
- What you write about and what industry you write for
Now that you have convinced the recruiter that reading further is worth it, it’s time to talk experience.
Let’s first take a look at some entry level technical writer resume samples
Infusing power in your Entry Level Technical Writer resume experience
You’ve had a writing job for about a year so far and you need to write an impressive experience section to get this new technical writer’s job.
How do you make this small experience count as an excellent work?
You should be able to create a story around your writing work for it to be meaningful.
The story should say;
- What you were writing about
- Who were you writing for
- What were the goals to achieve via this writing work
- How did you achieve them
Since your experience is short, we recommend including part-time technical writing work too.
2 Entry Level Technical Writer Resume Samples - Experience
Writing Work Experience as a Senior Technical Writer
Before your write anything, keep the following in mind:
- You've got a ton of technical writing experience, not all of it would be relevant
- Some jobs demand an area of expertise, where broad display of knowledge can be negative
- Your hiring manager hates going through irrelevant resumes
- Relevance and scan friendly resume experience should be a priority for you
Let's make a framework for you to craft the perfect experience for a technical writer resume.
Your resume experience is good if you can check out x out of these y points(?):
- Initiatives listed
- Business metrics listed
- Scale of work is good
- Industry is relevant
- User roles that catered are mentioned
If you can check 3/5 that's a winner Technical Writer resume.
But, why talk when we can show you!
2 Senior Technical Writer Resume Samples
What else will help you show your relevance for the job of technical writer?
The skills that you’ve mastered throughout your experience- technical and writing and material presentation skills.
Listing technical writer skills on your resume
There are literally 100s of skills to list here. You’ll have to be specific based on what the job demands of your technical writing skills.
Add these research and writing skills if you’ve acquired them:
- Audience Analysis
- Proper use of search engine
- Analyse information and draw conclusions
- AP Stylebook
- Chicago Manual Style
- The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage
- Interpretation of Statistics
- Content Review
- Writing Style guides
- Develop and maintain SOPs
- Grammar, punctuation and proofreading
- Help docs and FAQs
- Create Diagrams, charts and infographics
Tools to mention in your technical writer resume:
- Microsoft Office- SharePoint
- Marking Color Breaks
- Marking Head Levels
- Working Sketches
Do you do technical documentation for any of these? Add them.
- Project Management
- Design Guidelines
- Marketing communications
- Software Development
- Quality Assurance
- Programmer Code Illustrations
- Process Improvement
- Legal Policy
- Business Development Initiatives
- Cloud-based content management systems
- Instructional documents
Education section for a Technical Writer resume
Technical writers are actually born out of a variety of disciplines.
Therefore, you may or may not have a writing specific degree.
But that is okay.
You can list your specialisation or highest degree with a certificate course in writing.
If none of your degree is of any relevance to your profession, you can skip it.
Here is an example of how most usually list their education on resume:
Masters in Economics, Texas University, 2018 Bachelors in Biotechnology, University of Michigan 2016
This does not help your technical writer’s job application. It doesn’t support your tech knowledge or your writing experience.
You can simply reduce the education focus to one that rather displays that you’ve undergone formal education in a technology field. And, you can rather do something like this instead.
CPTC Expert level certification, 2018 Masters in Computer Science, Texas University, 2017
Add value to your resume with Technical Writer certifications
Here are some important certifications that will show you’re investing time in your development and stand you as a serious and focused candidate.
- CPTC Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert level
- Technical writing course from OSU
- Technical writing course from Communicaid
- Certificate Course In Structured Writing For Technical Documentation
- Basic Certificate In Technical Writing (for freshers in writing)
Final takeaway for you
- Your resume header should follow the must have checklist above and look tidy
- Write a summary stating your industry knowledge and task scope within it
- Mention your best & relevant writing work in your experience. Add important responsibilities and link to work sample.
- Include your skills- writing, technology and industry specific and tools you’re familiar with
- Add education only if relevant. Include relevant certifications and writing awards if any