Technical documentation and content development are growing in size and scope as a profession. New software and content methodologies are making the technical writer's job more complex yet easier at the same time. The changes are most visible in the general technical writer resume of today.
Hopefuls looking to take on the job description have a variety of technical writer resume samples at their disposal.
However, when it comes to this field, it's best to know how your professional technical writer resume should look like to impress recruiters. If you're looking to learn via video, see this resource:
If you're looking for the perfect technical writing resume template that shows off your technical skills and work history in the best light, look no further. Here's a complete breakdown of the ideal resume format, complete with a style guide.
Let's get started.
The Technical Writer Resume at a Glance
Most companies with a technical operations department hire someone with excellent writing skills to create technical documents for their employees and clients to use.
The term 'technical writer' includes a lot of technical writing sub-categories that are divided by the industry they are active in.
Some of these subcategories are:
- End-User Documentation Writers: Develop user manuals for technical support, product descriptions/tutorials, as well as B2C user guides/literature.
- Medical Writers: Create clinical journal literature, magazine articles, medicine analyses, regulatory guidelines, quality assurance rules, RN training manuals, and other healthcare-specific content.
- Academic/Analytical Writers: Write case studies, white papers, academic sub-dissertations, research papers, and similar documentation.
- Corporate Copywriting Specialists: Craft employee management guidelines, onboarding documents, human resource literature, and various high-quality training materials.
- Science and Technology Writers: Write articles on the latest innovations and products in computer science, AI, machine learning, and the cloud computing realm.
Technical writers use a variety of tools and content management systems to develop technical content. These range from the Microsoft Office suite, to more advanced platforms such as InDesign and XML.
Depending on the candidate's expertise, work history, and years of experience, their resume could be aligned with any of the aforementioned technical writing areas.
As for the qualifications, most technical writers have either a Bachelor of Arts degree in the English language and/or some official qualification in the genre of writing they are pursuing.
Some of the typical qualifications for the technical writer role include:
- Bachelor's degree in a relevant (linguistic) faculty
- Diploma or certification from an accredited source like Technical Writer HQ
- High-school diploma or GED with extensive work experience as an in-house writer
- Master's degree in linguistics, computer science, medicine, or any relevant discipline (for senior technical writers and subject matter experts.
As far as special skills are concerned, the candidate should have exceptional attention to detail, high-level research skills, and a knack for aligning complex concepts and technical information in engaging, meaningful, and valuable content.
If you're interested in adding to your resume to ensure you land your dream technical writing job, then check out our Technical Writing Certification Course.
Building The Ideal Technical Writer Resume
Success in the technical writing field is based on the professional's own technical communication skills, previous training, and accumulated professional experience gained in content writing internships or past relevant jobs.
All of that should then be put together in a resume and further explained in a cover letter to enhance the candidate's appeal in front of recruiters and help them negotiate a better, more lucrative contract.
In case you are currently looking for a writing job in one of the four technical writing areas discussed earlier, here are some resume examples that you can follow in your own job-hunting efforts.
1. End-User Document Writer Resume
Developed technical manuals for on and off-site production machinery and handled data entry for maintenance logs. Worked in a technical support capacity with senior maintenance engineers and field technicians.
- Wrote step-by-step machine maintenance manuals based on complexity tiers
- Created workflow management guides for technical trainees and junior staff
- Researched streamlining techniques for standard operating procedures
- Generated user guides for each new piece of production equipment acquired by the
In addition to that, oversaw the development of maintenance management plans and inter-departmental newsletters.
2. Medical Writer Resume
Worked as part of a content development team at a major government-managed healthcare facility. Worked on all outgoing literature on clinical techniques and new developments in the healthcare industry.
- Wrote scholarly pieces and edited incoming content for the facility's monthly medical journal
- Researched developments in the biomedical community, with a focus on new clinical equipment and procedures
- Created training materials for nurses and registered on-call healthcare staff
- Assessed all journal content before sending it off to the publishing department
Basically functioned in an editorial capacity for the facility, while also developing procedural guidance material for visiting staff.
3. Academic Research Writers
Worked in the content resource department at a major accounting and business analysis firm. performed extensive research on corporate accounting case studies for both the firm's own blog and its clients.
- Looked at previously solved cases of disputed estate ownership on the and state level as part of ongoing accounting strategy
- Performed in-depth research on accounting theories as part of internal brainstorming for process improvement
- Wrote detailed treatises and white papers for all internal accounting pitches, stakeholder involvement, and client outreach
- Developed relevant case studies to aid accountants on all levels
Additionally, maintained primary editorial authority over the firm's blog and served as a content manager for a team of entry-level research writers.
4. Corporate Copywriters
Created the majority of internal usage documents for multiple SMEs across several industries, ranging from food and beverage to marketing. Was responsible for assisting human resource managers in coming up with better, more efficient training literature.
- Wrote contracts, nondisclosure agreements, and employee responsibility documents for all new hires
- Created training and onboarding manuals for both new employees and those being promoted to senior positions
- Developed operational strategy presentations (using Visio) and steps for improvements for the monthly business reports
- Researched optimal management case studies to develop the ideal management guidelines for current managers
Furthermore, assisted the head of marketing in developing promotional material for the company, including product specifics and marketing leaflet copy.
5. Science and Technology Writers
Worked at a cloud processing software development firm as a content development head and lead generation expert.
- Maintained regular content output on the ’s blog and created content publishing guidelines
- Researched discussions and opinions related to artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Wrote usage guidelines and marketing material for each new cloud software product
- Created technical content for marketing campaigns and online product demonstrations
Additionally, wrote content as part of a guest posting and social media outreach strategy while also creating blogging guidelines for external guest posters.
Technical Writer Resume Formatting Tips
The layout of your technical writer resume completely depends on your professional preference and the specific skills you bring to the job.
However, there are a few ways to improve your technical writer resume and make it that much more attractive to potential employers.
Here are the top resume crafting tips for writers in 2021 and beyond:
- Focus on Key Job Components: Technical writers are recognized by not just their skills, but the variety of tasks they undertook at their previous workplaces. Make sure to have your former responsibilities the highlight of your resume.
- Insert Only the Relevant Experience Points: Recruiters are only interested in knowing which of your experience makes you a valuable candidate for a job at their company. Make sure to list the experience that's valid to the position you're applying for.
- Proofread Your Resume: Nothing will kill your chances of landing the perfect technical job than errors in your resume. Ensure that all of the content is grammatically correct and that there are no spelling or formatting errors.
- Highlight Editorial Skills (if applicable): Effective editing skills are generally considered a major asset for technical writers due to the fact-heavy nature of the genre. Make sure to highlight any and all editorial experience you have, to improve your chances.
- Mention Relevant Software: These software tools include FrameMaker, Microsoft Office- SharePoint, Flare, RoboHelp, Acrobat, Visio, Captivate, Camtasia, SnagIt, CMS, Mark-ups, Document360, Hemingway and Grammarly.
Additionally, if you have any online certification in your chosen technical writing genre, make sure to briefly expand on that.
Accredited technical writing certifications (on top of general credentials) demonstrate a candidate's advanced and up-to-date knowledge of an industry. If you have any, highlight them.
In a job as linguistically-inclined as technical writing, you need to make a good first impression on employers.
An impressive set of skills will obviously do that for you, but a powerful resume will amplify the effect to a point where the job is almost guaranteed.
There is tons of online help available to you in case you need help building the perfect resume. Make sure to use all the tools at your disposal for greater chances of approval.
If you are new to technical writing and are looking to break in, we recommend taking our Technical Writing Certification Course, where you will learn fundamentals of being a technical writer, how to dominate technical writer interviews, and how to stand out as a technical writing candidate.