I recently applied for a technical writer’s job. Technical writing is simply telling people how something is done. You consider who uses the product and what tasks they will be doing with it. You then use the product yourself and talk to the people who produced it, and write down what the users need to know. It is a simple process.

While I have not written technical manuals as such, I am a non-fiction writer and in previous jobs have written instructions for various procedures – all of which information was to be found in my job application. Having read these documents, the advertisers wanted to interview me. I didn’t get the job. Their explanation was that I’d never done technical writing before.

Have people never heard of transferable skills?

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