A couple of weeks ago, I met a friend from college. We met after almost 15 years, and did what such meetings usually end up in - reminiscing over coffee. Some time during the course of our conversation, the friend remarked,
[quote]My sister has decided to take up a full time career in technical writing. She is good in English and was a science student in her postgrad. What does she need to do?[/quote]
The following paragraphs are my answer to my friend's query. I am posting them here because a couple of days ago, I got a similar query from another wannabe technical writer, and today someone asked me the same question...
She could probably start applying for jobs (Naukri, Monster etc. are good sites). At this point of time, the "good" companies may not want to hire a fresher, but after a year's
experience, changing jobs should not be a problem. Some of the prospective employers may ask for writing samples - your sister could consider writing any or some of the following:
Some prospective employers may ask for knowledge of "tools" (I hate this question, but there's a world out there that worships tools). I suggest that your sister make herself familiar with at least the following tools (they are freeware), and then say that she can learn other similar tools because she already knows the basics...
This list still leaves out FrameMaker (about which interviewers will love to ask, just to scare you), but one can always say "I don't know". Alternatively, one can download a 30-day trial version of FrameMaker and play around a bit.
Some of the other things that one may be asked about in interviews are: structured authoring, DITA, XML. Your sister can read up on these things (Wikipedia is a good place to start), and answer these questions.
Additionally, I found the following to be useful:
These are my thoughts. Please don't use this blog post to advertise your training programs. There's a separate page for doing that: [url=http://www.twin-india.org/index.php?q=taxonomy/term/3]Training Courses[/url]. Thanks!