Alpha Bits

Information, insights and advice regarding today’s IT and pharmaceutical recruitment landscape. 

Critical Skills of a Good Technical Writer

Whether you’re looking for your first technical writing contract position or have an established career that you’d like to take to the next level, acquiring the correct skills is a must. Fortunately, it’s easy to focus your efforts in the best direction by understanding which capabilities are on hiring managers’ radars. Here is a look at critical skills that make a good technical writer and turn you into a stronger job candidate.

Writing Skills That Can Make a More Desirable Candidate

Written Communication

First and foremost, technical writers must excel at written communication. This includes basics like having exceptional spelling and a solid grasp of grammar, as well as the ability to express complex concepts in ways that are easy for the target audience to understand.

Technical writing differs from other writing skills. It embraces brevity and simplicity, ensuring the core message is clear without any fluff. Plus, technical writers are adept at making sound word choices to enhance the accessibility of the content, particularly for any materials that target the general public or individuals with limited industry knowledge.

Industry Expertise

Without industry expertise, technical writers can’t effectively take complicated ideas and make them simple. As a result, most technical writers concentrate on a specific industry, such as the technology, healthcare, pharmaceutical, or scientific sector.

By having a deep understanding of the industry, technical writers can leverage their backgrounds to produce higher-quality results. Additionally, it reduces the need for research to ensure the writer fully understands what needs to be shared, making them more efficient.


Most of the writing tools technical writers use are technology-based. Some are broadly used within a wide array of companies and industries, such as word processing solutions. Others may be proprietary systems or niche tools that aren’t harnessed across the board.

With tech-savviness, technical writers can leverage the available tools to enhance their outputs. Plus, they’re typically more efficient than those who struggle with technology, making them more hirable in many cases.


When a technical writer receives a project, there may be little formal documentation provided by the employer about the product, service, or report topic. Instead, technical writers may need to create documentation by exploring a new software application, gathering data from several sources, or taking similar steps.

As a result, research skills are an essential part of the success. Technical writers need the curiosity and drive to dig deep into a topic, product, or service, ensuring they gather all of the relevant details before they begin. Additionally, they need to ensure the accuracy of any claims or outlined steps, which also often involves research.


In many cases, being an effective collaborator is critical for technical writers. Large projects are commonly divided up among several team members, and all must work together effectively to meet the associated goals. Additionally, technical writers may need to speak with professionals who designed the products or services or took part in data-generating projects to get additional insights, something that also requires strong collaboration skills.

Looking to Put These Skills to the Test? Alpha Consulting Can Help!

Ultimately, all of the capabilities above are essential for technical writers. If you’d like to learn more or are ready for your next technical writing contract position, Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.