A recent search on LinkedIn for technical writing job opportunities returned over 50k results in the United States. The deliverable types included internal-facing work processes, quality assurance workbooks, developer training resources, and external-facing consumer support content, proposals, and marketing. The delivery platforms had print, digital, and a blended format. The industries were just as diverse—aerospace and defense technology, oil and gas, computer software development, consumer electronics, and pharmaceuticals. All this was just within the first page of the results. The common link is the need for a technical writer. A technical writer’s versatility allows them to quickly move between deliverable types, delivery platforms, and even industries. This article will discuss three key traits that help a technical writer meet and exceed any client needs.

Systematic Approach

A technical writer uses a systematic approach for each project. They find common threads or patterns in information that help with planning and organizing documentation of similar types. So, it is not surprising that one technical writer can handle seemingly diverse topics. For example, consider the following processes:

  • Software installation and usage
  • Global corporate workflow implementation
  • Engineering work instructions
  • Repair and Maintenance (R&M) tool teardown

Each process has the following high-level components:

  • Roles and related responsibilities/user types
  • Competency requirements
  • A flow of data or documentation
  • Steps in a specific order
  • Consequences if done incorrectly

The key differences between the processes are:

  • The need for the process
  • The asset being manipulated
  • The expected outcome or output

While the individual details may vary considerably, a similar set of questions can gather the processes’ required information.

  • Why is the process necessary, and what are the goals and objectives?
  • What is changed through the process: data, people, machinery?
  • What is the result: a report, a behavior change, a product?
  • Who is involved, and what do they need to do?
  • What do the roles/users need to know and learn?
  • How is the process progress tracked?
  • What are the steps and the required order?
  • What happens if the process is not followed?

The systematic approach works across industries and can be applied to more than just processes. Consider software documentation in general. Similar documentation types are used with software regardless of the industry or the intended purpose of the application. You are likely to see some or all of the following (and more):

  • Installation guides
  • Installation notes
  • Manuals
  • Training guides
  • Help files

Each document type will have its own set of baseline questions for starting information gathering; however, the end product will be unique to each client’s individual needs.

Adaptable Writing Style

Technical writers can adapt their writing styles for each project. Since no two clients or audiences are created equal, a technical writer provides the expertise to reflect a client’s corporate identity while delivering clear, concise documentation with the appropriate level of detail for the intended audience. For this example, consider marketing and proposal writing. To be clear, these are different. Good marketing will let people know what a company can do and build interest, leading to a reasonable proposal explaining what a company will do for a client with one or more products and services.

For marketing, a company needs to reach both internal and external audiences, and each audience will include multiple roles that require a different level of detail. The primary internal audience is the sales team, and the main external audience is the potential client. (The external audience often includes competitors as well.)

Internal Roles Level of Detail External Roles
General Employee Low General Public/Potential Client
Executives Low to Medium Potential Client Executive
Business Development Medium to High Potential Client Buyer
Product Owners/Technical Associates High Potential Client Implementation Role


The internal and external documents all need to be informative, emphasizing the benefits to the client. Internal documents are also required to explain how to position those benefits to the client to make a sale. For the potential client, the documents and deliverables need to show them that their challenges are understood and that the product or service will help them with those challenges. Here is also where corporate identity comes in. The deliverables can tie in the company’s value proposition and use the proper tone. Does the company use a formal style when addressing clients, or are they more informal and friendly? Does the writing style change depending on the deliverable type?

The image below shows different detail levels in marketing documents, a summary of what information can be included in those levels, and some example deliverables.

On the other hand, we have proposals. When it comes to positioning a product or service, these are directed to an external audience. Proposals are very detailed and use a formal writing style. Proposals go beyond just describing a product or service. They include project management and implementation strategy, key performance indicators for assessing success or failure, just to name a few. The technical writer must ensure that the details are clear and concise and there is little room for misinterpretation.

Tech Savvy

A technical writer uses their ability to learn software applications and platforms to create and deliver technical communication projects. Below are just a few of the tools that can be used to produce print and digital deliverables.

Documents Images Training

Microsoft Word

Adobe FrameMaker

Adobe InDesign

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Captivate

Storyline 360


For delivering digital projects or providing digital copies, a technical writer can upload or create content on a content management system, like Adobe Experience Manager, to build out web pages or web sites, upload and tag documents and images to digital asset management systems, like Brandfolder, for general company use, and even create custom SharePoint sites for internal knowledge management and consumption. For training, a technical writer can publish training files, test functionality, and SCORM compliance and upload them to learning management systems.

Technical writers can also create training and processes in a wholly digital capacity using standard work training software like Dozuki. Here writers can blend process steps, images, and media files to engage the learner fully and still update information on the fly.


Technical writers are not tied to one document type or industry. One writer can tackle multiple request types. Technical writers can work with different document types, content, and initiatives by using a systematic approach to planning, adapting their writing style for each client and deliverable, and using technical knowledge to develop and deliver final products. Contact Radiant if you have multiple technical communication projects but don’t know where to start to accomplish them. Our team of technical writers has experience delivering a variety of projects across industries, including the public and private sectors.