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30 Aug 2013

Full-Time Technical Writer (Lincolnshire, IL)

Snap-on Incorporated – Posted by TechWhirl Lincolnshire, Illinois, United States

Job Description

Snap-on Incorporated is a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hand and power tools, tool storage, diagnostics software, information and management systems, shop equipment and other solutions for vehicle dealerships and repair centers, as well as customers in industries including aviation and aerospace, mining, natural resources and power generation. Products and services are sold through the company’s franchisee, company-direct, distributor and Internet channels.  Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a $2.9 billion, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


Position Summary:   Research, plan, and develop product documentation to ensure a high standard of quality.  Develop user manuals, Help systems, and other end-user documentation.  Collect input materials and assist with planning for appropriate documents.  Provide editing support to Publications group and other functional groups as needed.  Deliver quality documents on time and on budget as required.  Manage multiple publications projects; coordinate with project managers and development personnel.  May provide direction to others, including outside services (local and worldwide).



  • Develop product user manuals, Help systems and other end-user documentation based on input from design and development teams, system/product/customer requirements and utilizing the actual product and software.
  • Work with the Product Owner, development team, and Marketing to define the documentation requirements for a product.
  • Assist in preparing documentation plans and in establishing project schedules and milestones for development and delivery.
  • Participate in design reviews.  Where appropriate, makes recommendations regarding the design and usability of the product.
  • Coordinate testing of the documentation (print and Help) with test group and/or development personnel.
  • Ensure all documentation (included safety and legal) is reviewed and completed according to plan milestones.
  • Work with team members to design documentation that is cost-effective throughout the product’s life cycle (from initial design through maintenance).
  • Monitor Starteam database to identify documentation problems, changes, and product usability issues.  Ensure that those issues are addressed/resolved in the next release of documentation.
  • Research and write clear, concise print and online end-user documentation, and deliver documentation projects within the established time frames.
  • Participate in peer review of documents.
  • Help establish department styles and procedures that support deliverables.
  • Project Management
    Estimate the size and scope of documentation effort for input into product delivery schedules.  Ensure that all deliverables associated with a documentation project are completed according to plan and schedule.  Alerts Technical Publications Manager to schedule changes or issues in a timely manner.
  • Problem Solving
    Initiate and recommend creative ways to make the process of researching, organizing, writing, and maintaining technical documentation more efficient while working within department standards and guidelines.  Where appropriate, provide input on product usability.  Make recommendations regarding processes and tools.
  • Publications
    Use technical expertise and knowledge of audience to assist in designing appropriate document sets for new products.  Implement technical communications principles, which include, but are not limited to, task orientation, reader navigational aids, and structured documentation techniques.  Ensure that all documentation related to a project is archived.
  • Other
    Participate in special projects as assigned by Technical Publications Manager.  Assist new writers with processes, procedures, and tools as appropriate.  Make recommendations to the Technical Publications Manager regarding training requirements for assignments.




BS or BA in related field or equivalent experience

Years of Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years technical writing experience

Other Requirements:

  • Demonstrated excellent writing and editing skills
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks at once, and re-prioritize tasks as required
  • Effective and professional interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work effectively, independently and as a team member across departments/locations
  • Committed to teamwork and willing to accept responsibility
  • Strong knowledge in the development of user manuals and Help systems for software products
  • Proficient with the following tools: FrameMaker or other publication-related software, Acrobat, PhotoShop, Illustrator, Webworks Publisher, and RoboHelp
  • Proficient with the Windows operating system, and Microsoft Office Tools
  • Experience with development of automotive diagnostic applications, or familiarity with the automotive repair industry preferred
  • Experience with localization and translation preferred.
  • Experience with the MAC operating system, and Adobe PageMaker preferred
  • Automotive knowledge a plus


  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Thorough knowledge of technical publication standards and practices
  • Good problem solving and coordination skills
  • Proficient in use of applicable publication tools
  • Innovative/creative, detailed orientated
  • Understands customer’s needs
  • Team player


Job Categories: Technical Editing and Technical Writer. Job Types: Full-Time.

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