TecCOM - Profession of Technical Communication

Transversal Competencies

Personal competencies

Generic competencies are essential for technical writers to participate effectively in the workforce and to fulfill tasks. Although usually, generic competencies are not really specific for a certain occupation, you can define a set of generic competencies that are of high relevance for technical writers.

Although generic competencies are applicable to all working situations for technical writers, there are differences in their relevance according to the specific job positions or job profiles. For example, someone who is in a management position will need more skills to allow him to make decisions.

This topic covers technical aptitudes, thinking and innovative skills, ways of organising work, learning and working style.

Affinity for technical issues
  • Show an interest in complex technical systems
  • Understand the concept behind complex technical systems

see also domain knowledge

see also information technology

Language and communication
  • Have an affinity and a feeling for language
  • Express oneself clearly and precisely
  • Give presentations
  • Be well-spoken
  • Be able to explain something

see also language skills

see also communication theory and models

Interpersonal communication
  • Be emphatic
  • Ask questions
  • Admit not to have understood something

see also communication theory and models

Innovative thinking
  • Adapt to new domains and new situations
  • Demonstrate flexibility
  • Anticipate needs
  • Create an implementation strategy
  • Adapt an implementation strategy
  • Make improvements
  • Find solutions
  • Recognise opportunity
  • Turn new ideas into action
  • Be adaptable
  • Be creative
  • Visualise new ideas


Critical thinking and examination of evidence
  • Think logically
  • Have fast comprehension, quick perception and quick grasping power
  • Simplify complicated matters
  • Explore issues
  • Check facts and plausibility
  • Ask key questions
  • Demonstrate critical reasoning
  • Consider alternative views
  • Make decisions and consider impact
  • Assess options for action and select the most effective based on context
  • Notice bias and risks
  • Draw conclusions
  • Explain reasoning
  • Question assumptions



Affinity for quality
  • Apply quality standards
  • Define high quality standard for own work
  • Monitor quality of work
  • Work meticulously

see also quality management

Systematic thinking
  • Recognise connections
  • Identify patterns and use cases



Organisational skills
  • Structure and categorise
  • Work in a structured and organised way


Planning own work and following a plan
  • Work out a timeline
  • Monitor progress
  • Manage time
  • Plan for action

see also project management

Task management
  • Work under time pressure
  • Identify tasks
  • Multitask
  • Prioritise actions
  • Coordinate actions
  • Devise a strategy
  • Evaluate success
  • Implement a strategy

see also project management

Problem management
  • Prevent problems from happening
  • Eliminate problems or minimize the impact of problems
  • Identify stakeholders involved in a problem
  • Examine causes and context of a problem
  • Be able to troubleshoot

see also project management

Working autonomously
  • Work independently
  • Be self-motivated
  • Work in a self-responsible manner
  • Work in teams
  • Be able to take criticism
  • Give feedback
  • Solve conflicts
  • Be able to network

see also communication theory models

Lifelong learning
  • Plan learning
  • Manage the learning self
  • Monitor and reflect learning process
  • Identify learning needs
  • Use different learning strategies
  • Learn by experience