How to prepare a technical writer’s resume?

You have decided that you want to start your new professional chapter as a technical writer. Great! It’s time to find your first job in the exciting world of IT!

It’s important to remember that very often, you don’t need any professional experience to get your first job as a tech writer. All you need is good English, a passion for technology, and… a resume.

But… how should you structure your CV if you have no prior experience, but still want to show yourself as the right person for the job?

There are some things you can do to make your resume fit the job description.

Think about your ENTIRE experience

We often don’t realize it, but many jobs require documenting on a daily basis. For example, when I worked as a process specialist in a bank, I had to write instructions on how to correctly process the payments in a banking application. I wouldn’t normally put that in my resume if I applied for different positions (for example, in another bank). However, when applying for a tech writing position, it was an extremely important piece of information.

Think about your previous jobs, projects, or any other activities. Did some of them require writing instructions or describing some technical stuff? If yes, great! Put that in your resume.

Use your interests and spare time activities

Think about what you do in your free time.

Do your write a blog? Great! If you write it in English or it’s related to technology (even in your native language), put the link to it in your resume.

Do you play computer games? Put that in your “Interests” section.

Do you love photography? Don’t forget to mention which tools for photographers you are familiar with.

Basically, try to think of anything that is related to either writing or technology.

Take into account ALL your skills

If you are good at Excel, don’t hesitate to put it in your resume. It might not seem related to tech writing at first, but on the other hand, it shows that you are good at using complex applications.

Additionally, if you know a couple of applications or technologies, group them together in your resume and use progress bars to show how advanced you are in a given technology.

Don’t omit learning “in progress”

If you already know that you lack some skills required for the position, but you are in the process of learning it, write that information in your resume anyway. In the IT world, you need to learn constantly, so it’s normal that you might be in the middle of learning some new things while applying for the job. Put this skill or technology in your resume and write “in progress”.

Spend some time on design

Right now even Microsoft Word offers enormous possibilities of organizing your resume in a graphically stunning way. I use Canva, which offers many free templates for resumes. Remember that recruiters receive a lot of job applications and sometimes it’s important to stand out from many others that are so similar.

Make your resume clean and simple to follow. For this position, it can actually tell an experienced recruiter a lot about you and if you are the right person for the job. If the content of your resume is disorganized, there are language errors, or formatting mistakes, the recruiters may not be willing to contact you. It’s possible that you’ll make the same mistakes when creating documentation, so pay extra attention.

Once you have your resume, spend some time creating or improving your LinkedIn profile.

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