At 12:40 -0700 15/5/07, Rene Stephenson wrote:

>I have had secretaries apply for tech writer openings in my group. Internal 
>candidates always get phone screening, so I'd have to call them. I always 
>asked what they felt were their qualifications, and they all responded that 
>they had "good English" and were experts with MS Word. They wrote lots of 
>corresondence and updated their draft letters with the "edits" from their 
>bosses, so they "knew" how to handle document review. We had to start posting 
>BA or higher in English or directly relevant field as a minimal requirement 
>with no "equivalency" allowed.

I think if I were in that position, a screening question I would ask would be 
'Do you think that Word is a suitable tool for technical writing: discuss'. ;-) 
I'm sure the answers would be quite illuminating.

However, about half the tech writers I know never formally trained as tech 
writers - although all are of graduate level. One reason for this is that for 
my generation there wasn't much in the way of formal courses for tech writers 
when we were at college - I only first heard about the profession in the late 


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