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Top 12 Technical Writer Skills to Put on Your Resume

In today's competitive job market, having a well-crafted resume is crucial for technical writers aiming to stand out. Highlighting a unique blend of technical proficiency, writing prowess, and soft skills is key to demonstrating your value and securing your position in this specialized field.

Top 12 Technical Writer Skills to Put on Your Resume

Technical Writer Skills

  1. Markdown
  2. DITA
  3. XML
  4. MadCap Flare
  5. Adobe FrameMaker
  6. GitHub
  7. JIRA
  8. Confluence
  9. API Documentation
  10. Microsoft Visio
  11. Snagit
  12. RoboHelp

1. Markdown

Markdown is a lightweight markup language with plain-text formatting syntax, enabling Technical Writers to create formatted text (such as headings, lists, and links) in a simple and readable way, which can then be converted to HTML or other formats.

Why It's Important

Markdown is important for a Technical Writer because it allows for easy formatting of text for documentation, ensuring content is readable and accessible across different platforms, while simplifying the collaboration and version control processes.

How to Improve Markdown Skills

To enhance your Markdown skills for technical writing, focusing on concise, clear, and structured documentation is key. Master inline linking to make your documents navigable and resource-rich. Here’s a concise guide:

  1. Understand Basic Syntax: Grasp the foundational Markdown syntax for headings, lists, bold, and italic texts to structure your documentation effectively.

  2. Use Inline Linking: To add external links, use the format [Link Text](URL "Optional Title"). This keeps your documentation clean and accessible, linking directly to resources or documentation without cluttering your text.

  3. Embrace Markdown Linters: Tools like MarkdownLint help maintain consistency and cleanliness in your Markdown files, ensuring high-quality documentation.

  4. Leverage Advanced Features Sparingly: Use tables, blockquotes, and code blocks to enhance clarity, but avoid overcomplication. Remember, the goal is to keep your documentation reader-friendly.

  5. Iterate and Review: Markdown is easy to edit. Use this to your advantage by revising and improving your documentation regularly based on feedback or updates.

  6. Keep Learning: Stay updated with the latest Markdown extensions or variations like GitHub Flavored Markdown (GFM) that offer additional features useful for technical documentation.

Here’s an example of inline linking: [Markdown Guide](https://www.markdownguide.org "Markdown Guide") offers a comprehensive resource for learning Markdown.

By focusing on these areas, you can create efficiently structured, highly readable, and easily maintainable technical documentation using Markdown.

How to Display Markdown Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Markdown Skills on Your Resume


DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical information, allowing technical writers to create modular, reusable documents efficiently.

Why It's Important

DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is important for Technical Writers because it enables efficient creation, management, and publishing of modular, reusable content across various platforms and formats, enhancing consistency and reducing duplication of effort.

How to Improve DITA Skills

Improving your use of DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) as a Technical Writer involves enhancing content reuse, ensuring consistency, and optimizing your documentation process. Here are concise strategies to improve your DITA skills:

  1. Master DITA Basics: Understand the fundamental concepts of DITA, including topics, maps, and the DITA hierarchy. The OASIS DITA Standard provides comprehensive information.

  2. Utilize Specialization: Customize and extend DITA elements to fit your documentation needs without losing compatibility with standard DITA tools. Learn more about specialization from the LearningDITA resources.

  3. Implement Content Reuse: Use DITA's content referencing (conref) feature to reuse content across your documentation, reducing redundancy and ensuring consistency. The DITA Style Guide offers practical advice on implementing content reuse.

  4. Optimize Metadata for Searchability: Enhance your content's metadata to improve its findability and usability. DITA's robust metadata model allows for effective categorization and organization. Guidelines on metadata usage can be found in the DITA Best Practices book.

  5. Leverage Conditional Processing: Use DITA's conditional processing attributes to tailor your content for different audiences or product variations from a single source. Explore conditional processing through LearningDITA's conditional processing guide.

  6. Invest in Quality DITA Tools: Tools like Oxygen XML Editor or Adobe FrameMaker can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency in working with DITA. Review and select tools that align with your needs by exploring DITA XML.org's list of tools.

  7. Participate in DITA Communities: Engage with DITA communities and forums to share knowledge and learn from others. The DITA Users Group on LinkedIn is a great place to start.

  8. Continuous Learning and Practice: Stay updated with the latest DITA developments and continually apply what you learn to your projects. The DITA Writer's blog offers insights and updates on DITA practices.

By focusing on these areas, you can enhance your efficiency, improve documentation quality, and contribute more effectively to your technical writing projects using DITA.

How to Display DITA Skills on Your Resume

How to Display DITA Skills on Your Resume

3. XML

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a flexible, structured data format used for storing and transporting information, defining custom data structures, and facilitating data sharing across diverse systems.

Why It's Important

XML is crucial for Technical Writers because it facilitates the structured and consistent representation of information, enabling efficient document creation, management, and exchange across various platforms and systems, while also supporting content reusability and automation in document processing.

How to Improve XML Skills

To improve XML, follow these concise steps tailored for Technical Writers:

  1. Use Meaningful Element Names: Choose clear and descriptive names that reflect the data they contain. This improves readability and maintainability.
  2. Be Consistent: Stick to a naming convention and structure throughout your XML documents to ensure consistency.
  3. Validate Your XML: Use a schema (XSD) to validate your XML documents for correctness. This helps in maintaining a well-structured document. W3Schools XML Schema Tutorial
  4. Use Comments Sparingly: While comments can be useful for documentation, excessive use can clutter your XML. Use them to explain complex structures or decisions.
  5. Optimize for Performance: If your XML files are large, consider strategies to improve parsing performance such as simplifying the structure or using efficient parsing methods.
  6. Ensure Proper Encoding: Use the correct character encoding (e.g., UTF-8) for your XML documents to avoid issues with special characters. W3Schools Character Sets
  7. Keep It Human-Readable: Although XML is machine-readable, ensuring it is also human-readable makes maintenance easier. Proper indentation and line breaks are key.
  8. Use Namespaces Appropriately: When combining elements from different XML schemas, namespaces prevent naming conflicts and clarify the document structure. W3Schools XML Namespaces
  9. Leverage External Tools: Use XML editors and IDE plugins for syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and error detection to improve accuracy and efficiency.
  10. Stay Updated: XML standards and best practices evolve, so staying informed through reputable sources like W3C XML can keep your skills sharp.

By implementing these strategies, Technical Writers can create more effective, readable, and maintainable XML documents.

How to Display XML Skills on Your Resume

How to Display XML Skills on Your Resume

4. MadCap Flare

MadCap Flare is a comprehensive software tool designed for technical writers to create, manage, and publish documentation across various formats (such as online help, manuals, and knowledge bases), offering features like single-sourcing, content reuse, and multi-channel publishing.

Why It's Important

MadCap Flare is pivotal for Technical Writers as it streamlines the creation, management, and publishing of complex documentation across multiple channels, ensuring content consistency, reusability, and efficient localization.

How to Improve MadCap Flare Skills

Improving your use of MadCap Flare as a Technical Writer involves mastering both the tool's features and best practices in technical communication. Here’s a concise guide:

  1. Leverage Templates and Snippets: Streamline your work by using templates for consistent formatting and snippets for reusable content blocks. This enables efficient document maintenance and ensures consistency across your documentation. MadCap Flare Templates Guide

  2. Utilize Conditional Text: Make your content adaptable for different audiences or products by using conditional text. This allows you to tailor documentation from a single source based on variables like user role or product version. MadCap Flare Conditional Text

  3. Optimize for Search Engines: Improve the findability of your online documentation by applying SEO best practices. Use MadCap Flare’s features to add meta tags, keywords, and sitemap generation for better search engine visibility. SEO with MadCap Flare

  4. Incorporate Multimedia: Enhance your documentation with embedded videos, images, and interactive elements to provide a richer user experience. MadCap Flare supports multimedia integration, making your guides more engaging. Multimedia in MadCap Flare

  5. Implement Version Control: Work collaboratively and keep track of document revisions by using version control systems like Git or SVN with MadCap Flare. This ensures team collaboration is seamless and document history is preserved. MadCap Flare and Version Control

  6. Utilize Analytics: Improve your documentation based on user feedback and behavior by integrating MadCap Pulse or Google Analytics. This data-driven approach helps identify the most visited topics and user issues. MadCap Pulse

  7. Attend Training and Certification: Enhance your skills and understanding of MadCap Flare through official training courses and certification programs. Continuous learning helps you leverage advanced features and best practices. MadCap Flare Training

  8. Join the Community: Engage with the MadCap Flare community through forums, webinars, and user groups. Sharing experiences and solutions with peers can provide new insights and tips. MadCap Flare Forums

By following these tips and exploring the provided resources, you can significantly improve your proficiency and efficiency in using MadCap Flare for technical writing projects.

How to Display MadCap Flare Skills on Your Resume

How to Display MadCap Flare Skills on Your Resume

5. Adobe FrameMaker

Adobe FrameMaker is a comprehensive authoring and publishing tool designed for technical writers to create, manage, and publish large, complex documents such as manuals, technical specifications, and legal documents, supporting structured and unstructured content.

Why It's Important

Adobe FrameMaker is important for a Technical Writer because it provides advanced tools for creating, managing, and publishing large, complex documents with precision and efficiency, including structured authoring and XML support, enhancing document quality and productivity.

How to Improve Adobe FrameMaker Skills

Improving your use of Adobe FrameMaker as a Technical Writer involves enhancing efficiency, mastering advanced features, and integrating with other tools. Here’s a concise guide:

  1. Master Templates and Formatting: Dive deep into FrameMaker's template capabilities. Utilize paragraph, character, and table styles for consistency. Adobe’s Template Guide offers insights.

  2. Use Conditional Text: Leverage conditional text for single-sourcing multiple document versions. This feature allows you to include or exclude content based on variables. Conditional Text Basics can get you started.

  3. Automate with Scripts: Familiarize yourself with FrameScript or ExtendScript to automate repetitive tasks, enhancing productivity. Adobe’s ExtendScript Guide is a good resource.

  4. Employ Cross-References and Hyperlinks: Use cross-references for internal document navigation and hyperlinks for external resources to enhance document interactivity. Cross-References and Hyperlinks provide more details.

  5. Integrate with CMS: If working with a Content Management System (CMS), ensure FrameMaker is properly integrated to streamline content updates and collaboration. Adobe’s CMS Integration page has more.

  6. Leverage DITA for Structured Authoring: If working with technical documentation, consider adopting DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) with FrameMaker for modular, reusable content. DITA Basics can introduce you to the concept.

  7. Stay Updated and Train Continuously: Adobe frequently updates FrameMaker. Stay informed about new features and improvements. Also, consider Adobe’s official training resources and tutorials.

  8. Join the Community: Engage with the FrameMaker community through forums and social media groups. Sharing experiences and solutions can provide new insights. Adobe’s FrameMaker Community is a good place to start.

By focusing on these areas, you can significantly improve your proficiency and efficiency in Adobe FrameMaker, contributing to the production of high-quality technical documentation.

How to Display Adobe FrameMaker Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Adobe FrameMaker Skills on Your Resume

6. GitHub

GitHub is a web-based platform that provides hosting for software development and version control using Git, facilitating collaboration, code sharing, and revision management among developers and technical writers.

Why It's Important

GitHub is crucial for Technical Writers because it facilitates collaboration on documentation, version control for content revisions, and integration with software development processes, ensuring accuracy and up-to-date technical information.

How to Improve GitHub Skills

To enhance GitHub for Technical Writers, consider these concise strategies:

  1. Document Structure: Organize repositories with clear README.md files. Use headings, bullet points, and tables for easy navigation. Example: [Creating Readable READMEs](https://docs.github.com/en/repositories/working-with-files/using-files/adding-a-file-to-a-repository)

  2. Version Control for Docs: Utilize branches to manage document versions and changes. Guide: [GitHub Branching Basics](https://docs.github.com/en/get-started/quickstart/github-flow)

  3. Markdown Proficiency: Master Markdown for efficient documentation. Quick reference: [Mastering Markdown](https://guides.github.com/features/mastering-markdown/)

  4. External Links Management: Ensure external links are relevant and up to date. Use inline linking like [Title](URL) for a cleaner look.

  5. Feedback Loops: Enable Issues for feedback on documentation and Discussions for broader engagement. Learn more: [Enabling Issues](https://docs.github.com/en/issues/tracking-your-work-with-issues/creating-an-issue)

  6. Automate Documentation Workflow: Use GitHub Actions for spell check, link validation, and automated updates. Explore: [GitHub Actions for Documentation](https://github.com/features/actions)

  7. Accessible Documentation: Ensure documents are accessible, following guidelines like those at [Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)](https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/)

By implementing these strategies, Technical Writers can make GitHub a more effective tool for documentation management and collaboration.

How to Display GitHub Skills on Your Resume

How to Display GitHub Skills on Your Resume


JIRA is a project management and issue tracking software designed to help teams plan, track, and manage their work and documentation tasks efficiently.

Why It's Important

JIRA is crucial for a Technical Writer because it facilitates efficient tracking and management of documentation tasks, enables seamless collaboration with development teams, and ensures timely updates align with project milestones and software releases.

How to Improve JIRA Skills

To enhance JIRA for Technical Writers, consider the following concise strategies:

  1. Customize Workflows: Tailor workflows to align with documentation processes. Atlassian Documentation provides guidance on customizing workflows.

  2. Use Labels and Components for Organization: Organize documentation tasks by using labels and components for easy filtering and searching. JIRA Labels and Components offers insights on effective usage.

  3. Implement Templates for Issues: Create issue templates for common documentation tasks to ensure consistency. The Marketplace has plugins that can help with template creation.

  4. Integrate with Confluence: Link JIRA issues to Confluence pages for seamless access to documentation specs and guides. Integration Guide explains how to connect JIRA and Confluence.

  5. Automate Repetitive Tasks: Use JIRA's automation feature to handle repetitive tasks like notifications and setting due dates. Automation in JIRA provides a starting point.

  6. Leverage JIRA Query Language (JQL): Master JQL to quickly find issues relevant to documentation. The JQL Guide helps in constructing effective queries.

  7. Permissions and Security: Customize permissions to ensure sensitive documentation details are only accessible to relevant stakeholders. Permissions Overview covers setting up project permissions.

By implementing these strategies, Technical Writers can significantly improve their efficiency and collaboration within JIRA.

How to Display JIRA Skills on Your Resume

How to Display JIRA Skills on Your Resume

8. Confluence

Confluence is a collaborative workspace and document management tool that allows teams, including technical writers, to create, share, and manage content and documentation in a centralized platform. It supports real-time collaboration, version control, and integration with various software development tools.

Why It's Important

Confluence is important for a Technical Writer because it serves as a centralized platform for creating, organizing, and sharing documentation and knowledge across teams, enhancing collaboration and ensuring consistency and accessibility of technical information.

How to Improve Confluence Skills

To improve Confluence for a Technical Writer, focus on organizing content, enhancing readability, and facilitating collaboration:

  1. Structure Content Effectively: Use the Space Blueprint to organize documents logically. Implement a consistent naming convention for easier navigation.

  2. Enhance Readability: Utilize Formatting Macros to structure content. Break text into smaller paragraphs and use bullet points for lists.

  3. Improve Navigation: Create a dynamic table of contents for lengthy documents to help users jump to relevant sections.

  4. Facilitate Collaboration: Leverage the Inline Commenting feature to gather feedback directly on the content.

  5. Manage External Links: Use markdown for linking to external resources efficiently: [Link Text](URL). Keep an external links library page for frequently used resources.

  6. Use Templates: Create and use templates for standard document types to save time and ensure consistency.

  7. Integrate Multimedia: Add images, videos, and diagrams using the Files and Images feature to make content more engaging.

  8. Regular Reviews: Set a schedule for regular content review to keep information up-to-date and relevant.

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance the usability and effectiveness of Confluence as a tool for technical writing.

How to Display Confluence Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Confluence Skills on Your Resume

9. API Documentation

API documentation is a technical content deliverable that explains how to effectively use and integrate with an API, covering details like endpoints, request/response formats, and authentication methods, aimed at developers and users. It serves as a comprehensive manual that enables developers to understand the API's functionalities without needing to dig into the source code.

Why It's Important

API documentation is crucial for technical writers because it serves as a comprehensive guide for developers, enabling them to understand and effectively implement the API in their projects. It ensures accurate and efficient use of the API, reduces integration time, and improves developer experience by providing essential information on functionalities, parameters, return values, and examples.

How to Improve API Documentation Skills

Improving API documentation is essential for ensuring that developers can effectively use and integrate with your API. Here are concise strategies for technical writers to enhance API documentation, focusing on clarity, completeness, and ease of use:

  1. Start with a Clear Overview: Begin with a concise yet comprehensive introduction to what the API does, its key features, and potential use cases. This serves as a quick guide for developers to understand if the API meets their needs. Mozilla Developer Network offers great examples.

  2. Use Consistent Formatting: Adopt a consistent style and format for the entire documentation. This includes how you describe endpoints, parameters, and responses. Tools like Swagger or API Blueprint can help standardize your documentation.

  3. Include Authentication Guidelines: Clearly explain how to authenticate with your API. Provide examples for different authentication methods if applicable. Auth0’s Documentation is a good reference.

  4. Provide Detailed Endpoint Descriptions: Each API endpoint should have a detailed description, including HTTP method, path, request parameters, and a sample request/response. GitHub’s API documentation is a noteworthy example for its clarity and depth. GitHub API Documentation

  5. Use Real-world Examples: Incorporate real-world use cases and code examples in multiple languages (if possible). This helps developers understand how to implement your API in their applications. Stripe API excels in providing clear, executable examples.

  6. Include Error Codes and Messages: Document common error responses and status codes that the API might return, helping developers debug issues efficiently. Twilio’s API Docs provide good templates for handling errors.

  7. Offer Interactive Documentation: Whenever possible, integrate tools that allow developers to make live API calls within the documentation. Postman and Swagger UI are popular choices for creating interactive API documentation.

  8. Maintain and Update Regularly: API documentation should be kept up-to-date with the latest API changes. Regularly review and update the documentation to reflect deprecations, new features, or changes in the API behavior.

By implementing these strategies, technical writers can significantly improve the quality and usefulness of API documentation, facilitating a better developer experience and encouraging wider API adoption.

How to Display API Documentation Skills on Your Resume

How to Display API Documentation Skills on Your Resume

10. Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio is a diagramming and vector graphics application that enables users to create detailed diagrams, flowcharts, org charts, floor plans, network diagrams, and other complex visuals, facilitating the communication of complex information in an accessible format.

Why It's Important

Microsoft Visio is important for a Technical Writer because it provides powerful diagramming tools for creating clear, detailed technical diagrams, flowcharts, and organizational charts, aiding in the efficient communication of complex information and processes.

How to Improve Microsoft Visio Skills

Improving your proficiency in Microsoft Visio as a Technical Writer involves mastering techniques that enhance diagram clarity, efficiency, and collaboration. Here are concise strategies:

  1. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts: Mastering Visio’s keyboard shortcuts can significantly speed up your diagram creation process. Study and practice the shortcuts listed in the official Microsoft support guide.

  2. Use Templates and Shapes: Utilize Visio’s extensive library of templates and shapes tailored for various industries and purposes to save time. Customize and save your frequently used shapes and templates for future use. Explore Visio templates and shapes.

  3. Leverage Data Linking: Enhance your diagrams by linking data from external sources (e.g., Excel), which automatically updates diagrams with real-time data. Learn more on how to link data to your diagrams in the Visio data linking guide.

  4. Collaborate and Share: Use Visio’s collaboration features to work with team members in real-time. Share your diagrams for feedback or co-authoring to improve clarity and accuracy. Understand collaboration in Visio through collaboration in Visio.

  5. Custom Visuals and Themes: Customize diagrams with themes, styles, and formatting to improve readability and professionalism. The customization can be learned by exploring Visio’s visual options.

  6. Educational Resources: Continuously improve your Visio skills by accessing tutorials, courses, and forums. Websites like LinkedIn Learning and Udemy offer comprehensive Visio courses. Additionally, joining the Microsoft Tech Community provides access to forums and discussions for troubleshooting and tips.

By incorporating these strategies into your work, you'll enhance your capability to create professional and effective diagrams in Microsoft Visio, thereby elevating the quality of technical documentation you produce.

How to Display Microsoft Visio Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Microsoft Visio Skills on Your Resume

11. Snagit

Snagit is a screen capture and recording software that allows technical writers to create visuals such as screenshots, instructional videos, and GIFs to enhance documentation and guides.

Why It's Important

Snagit is important for a Technical Writer as it enables easy creation of clear, annotated screenshots and screencasts for effective visual communication of complex concepts, user guides, and documentation.

How to Improve Snagit Skills

Improving Snagit for a Technical Writer involves enhancing its capabilities in capturing, editing, and sharing content efficiently. Here are concise suggestions:

  1. Custom Templates: Introduce more customizable templates specifically designed for technical documentation needs. This would allow writers to quickly create guides and manuals with a consistent look.

  2. Advanced Text Editing: Enhance the text editing features within Snagit Editor to include more formatting options (e.g., styles, fonts, lists) similar to word processors. This would reduce the need to export captures into other software for text-heavy edits. TechSmith's Suggestions Page is a good place to propose such enhancements.

  3. OCR Improvements: Improve the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature to more accurately capture and convert text from images for editing. This is crucial for updating screenshots of text-heavy interfaces without redoing entire sections.

  4. Integration with Documentation Tools: Strengthen integrations with popular documentation software like Confluence, MadCap Flare, and GitHub. Direct publishing or exporting options would streamline the workflow for technical writers. TechSmith Integrations showcases current integrations, but there's always room for expansion.

  5. Versioning and Collaboration: Implement a versioning system within Snagit Library to track changes over time and enhance collaboration among documentation team members. This would be beneficial for managing updates and revisions.

  6. Enhanced Video Editing: Since technical documentation increasingly includes video, expanding Snagit’s video editing capabilities to include basic effects, transitions, and annotations tailored for tutorial creation would be valuable. Snagit Video Tutorials provide a starting point, but more advanced features are needed.

By focusing on these areas, Snagit can become an even more powerful tool for technical writers, facilitating the creation of high-quality documentation and instructional materials.

How to Display Snagit Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Snagit Skills on Your Resume

12. RoboHelp

RoboHelp is a software application designed for technical writers to create, organize, and publish help systems, policies, procedures, and knowledge bases. It supports various output formats, including web-based help, PDFs, and mobile content.

Why It's Important

RoboHelp is important for Technical Writers because it streamlines the creation, management, and delivery of help systems, manuals, and documentation across various platforms and devices, enhancing user experience and productivity.

How to Improve RoboHelp Skills

To improve your use of RoboHelp as a Technical Writer, consider the following short and concise strategies:

  1. Utilize Templates: Start with RoboHelp's templates to ensure consistency and professionalism across your documentation. Adobe's guide on templates can be very insightful.

  2. Leverage HTML5 Output: Make your content accessible on various devices by leveraging HTML5 output. This enhances user experience significantly. Learn more about HTML5 output.

  3. Incorporate Multimedia: Enhance your guides with relevant videos, images, and GIFs. RoboHelp supports multimedia integration to make your content engaging. Adobe's multimedia integration guide provides a good starting point.

  4. Use Conditional Content: Tailor your documentation for different audiences by using conditional content. This allows you to create multiple versions from the same source. Explore conditional content.

  5. Implement Topic-Based Authoring: Break down information into small, manageable topics for easier navigation and comprehension. Understanding topic-based authoring can revolutionize how you approach documentation.

  6. Regularly Update Your Content: Ensure your documentation stays relevant by regularly reviewing and updating content. Keeping your guides current is crucial for user trust.

  7. Optimize for Search Engines: Use keywords effectively in your content for better searchability. RoboHelp's SEO features can help your documentation reach a wider audience. SEO best practices are essential for visibility.

By implementing these strategies, you can significantly improve your proficiency and output in RoboHelp, enhancing the overall quality and accessibility of your technical documentation.

How to Display RoboHelp Skills on Your Resume

How to Display RoboHelp Skills on Your Resume