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As I am pursuing the Technical Writer position, I will focus on the principles associates with editing technical documents.
During the prewriting process, I formulate an outline, determine my objective, and define my audience and then I write my inputs according to the outline established during the prewriting stage. I keep the introduction, summary, and abstract for last and write. My focus is to concentrate on getting the ideas down and I am not interested in correct my material as this is only the drafting stage for me.
Even while drafting I look for areas where I can clarify information with graphics or tables. For all references, I record the complete reference information. To write for maximum effect, and be as productive as possible, I concentrate first on content and meaning. Attention to spelling, grammar, and other details can wait for later. Document production is more effective if you use a simple format for drafting. I save time and money if you wait until one of the final production steps to format the document.
Next, I identify the graphics required for the documentation and either research for the graphics or generate them myself always ensuring that the graphics files are compatible with the software used to produce the end product. In many instances, it can save time in the drafting phase to place figures and tables together at the end of a document. There they can be renumbered easily as the draft matures, with no time spent positioning and repositioning them in the shifting text.
The next phase is reviewing
and rewriting the first draft. When the reviewing and rewriting phase starts,
the emphasis shifts from the content (i.e. what's communicated) to the clarity
of my message (i.e. how it's communicated). First, I review the draft for
incompleteness, gaps, and overlaps in topics, reorganizing, if needed. Then I
review the draft as regards writing issues, e.g. clarity, conciseness, and
cohesiveness. Next, I ensure that that the product complies with corporate and
legal guidance requirements for specific content. I then rewrite the draft and
confirm that it meets the objective established for the product.
I move on to editing the next drafts. Technical editing determines if my words convey the intended message to your target audience. Editing assesses how well my documentation conforms to style guides and client-specified formats. Before beginning an edit, I determine or find out how editorial changes/comments will be noted in the document file (e.g. redline) and before editing a hard-copy edit, I agree to use standard editing marks. Or in most instances with the advent of technology, I may use a word processing program's spell-checking function which provides word counts as well as verifying correct spelling of words written. Revising the document usually means reviewing, evaluating, and incorporating (as appropriate) the changes resulting from the editing function.
Lastly, I prepare the final draft. Final draft preparation may include formatting the document as it will appear when issued; finalizing the graphic illustrations and the tables; double-checking to ensure that all the components are included and in the proper order.
Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing
Of course, as a Technical Writer it is imperative that I ensure that all of my documents are grammatically correct, spelling error free, and reviewed for both content and format to avoid any unnecessary miscommunication. I make sure that my written words say exactly what I mean and have the ability to quickly analyze, organize, write, and revise any document. I use expressive words, keep sentences and paragraphs short, and keep thoughts simple. I format documents so that they are inviting to look at and easy to read. I use various techniques that involve the reader and create the feeling of personal communication. These factors alone contribute significantly to the influence of my written communications.
However, I also understand the importance of using methods of communication other than writing. Verbally, I have learned that whether I am speaking with staff, management, executive, internal/external stakeholder, or upper-level senior management, it is imperative that I always show the utmost respect for people. As a leader within my organization, it is not only important to know how to communicate orally with people, but also how to lead, train, and instruct people.
I communicate in a persuasive manner when convincing others of the validity of my points. It is with great tact that I handle the issues of clients offering concern and identifying the underlying issues before speaking. When training associates, I offer information in a clear and concise manner that does not leave room for ambiguity. My speaking voice is clear and I pronounce words accurately as to allow for complete understanding by all who listen.
When speaking with others my focus is to ensure that when speaking to others, I always take the time to understand the intended recipient s ideas and words prior to communicating my ideas in any format. I learned how to choose the most appropriate mode for communicating my messages and use effective language to express information clearly. As a result, I communicate in a persuasive manner when trying to convince others of the validity of my points. It is with great tact that I handle the issues of customers offering concern and identifying the underlying issues before speaking. When training other professionals, I offer information in a clear and concise manner that does not leave room for ambiguity. My speaking voice is clear and I pronounce words accurately as to allow for complete understanding by all my who listen.
I communicate the objectives, priorities, and deadlines for projects or assignments and assist others with unusual situations, problems, or issues that do not have clear precedents. I plan and carry out the successive steps of technical projects and assignments, and handle problems and deviations in accordance with instructions, policies, previous training, or accepted practices, with little or no supervision. Due to my extensive professional background, I possess excellent interpersonal skills. I consider and respond appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations in a tactful, compassionate, and sensitive manner, consistently treating others with respect. I interface with personnel from all levels of an organization as necessary and maintain an open door policy conducive to good communication with others. I know there are several key factors for successful communications including being an effective listener. I listen to others actively, critically, and responsively. This approach ultimately saves time and reduces costly mistakes and losses caused by miscommunication with both internal and external personnel.
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