People who do not have hardly any technical writing experience should not be discarded out of hand. There is every possibility that they could become proficient technical writers if they are given the opportunity. They should not be discouraged from taking up technical writing if they have a strong interest in writing and produce examples of their previous work.
For instance, if the person has got high grades for their dissertations/essays at college or they have had letters published in magazines or newspapers then they clearly understand how to organize their ideas and put them into words. This type of person should not be discouraged from a technical writing career just because they have no experience.
It is not a question of whether the person can write that is usually the problem but if they know how to use the publishing software that the company uses to produce their technical documentation. You tend to find that companies like to have their newly employed technical writer to “hit the ground running” from day one. They don’t what to spend too much time letting the new employee play around with the software for any length of time before they start to produce the documentation.
To alleviate this problem the prospective technical writer must do their research on the company first to find out what publishing software the company use. Then they need to read up on the software and get to understand how it works because you can guarantee that questions will be asked about the software at the interview stage.
However, these days the majority of companies use well-designed templates and they usually have a senior technical writer who can oversee and supervise the new technical writer for the first couple of several weeks. This type of scenario makes the argument of not employing an inexperienced technical writer pointless.
There are a multitude of technical writing courses available on the internet that will help anybody gain the knowledge they need to help them get that first job as a technical writer.
Unskilled technical writers tend to find interviews intimidating and nerve racking because they don’t know what to expect. That is why they must do their research on the company. What the company is about, what it produces, and more specifically how they produce their technical documentation. Armed with as much information as possible about the company will go a long way in helping the inexperienced technical gain employment.