1312 Staff Technical Writer

Recruitment #PEX-1312-091671


Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately as this recruitment may close at any time but not earlier than February 20, 2019.


The City of San Francisco is an exciting place to visit and an exciting place to work!  Innovative public service starts with visionary problem solvers and expert communicators who can tell the story of how technology improves government services. This position is a unique opportunity to contribute to the success of the City’s technology initiatives by partnering with technology teams to describe the business improvement and transformation value. 


The Department of Technology is the centralized technology services provider within San Francisco City & County government, delivering technology infrastructure and services to approximately 33,000 employees and 800,000 citizens.  The department has an annual operating budget of over $130M and contains over 260 employees. Core service areas include: Technology Infrastructure & Operations, Technology Service Delivery & Project Management Office, Cyber Security & Risk Office, Public Safety Systems & Wiring, Enterprise Applications, Financial Management, Policy & Governance, and Public Communications.  


The City’s technology spans 55 different lines of business and explaining how the technology is changing the way we work, communicate, and delivery service is the goal. The Department of Technology Staff Technical Writer will be an expert at writing concise, clear, benefits-focused communications that engages and educates internal and external clients about the City’s technology. Importantly, the Department of Technology must communicate our services internally to Departments and make the services discoverable and accessible. As a Senior Technical Writer, you will work across divisions to help develop and document the business case, the technology approach, outcomes and the innovation.


The Staff Technical Writer position requires strong technical writing skills, attention to detail, solid interpersonal and project management skills, and a well-organized approach to quickly completing work. Importantly, this role requires curiosity to dig into the technology being described to understand not just how it works, but why it matters to the employees using it.  The position is responsible for creating, editing and organizing technical information and turning it into descriptions of how the technology adds value and benefits the City. Work assignments include: staying apprised of media and technology industry trends; developing compelling story perspectives; writing creative, interesting and high-quality outcome descriptions; writing accurate, useful articles that showcase City services, technology and programs; tracking, measuring and analyzing impact of content; developing informational materials for programs; advising the internal stakeholders on best practices and strategic recommendations for future project awareness efforts.


Essential Job Duties and Functions:

  • Write content to describe the value and purpose of technology projects, programs, business process improvements, and new public services.
  • Write how-to-guides, articles, stories, applications, on-line training, internal newsletter articles, briefing documents, process and procedure documents and process automation documentation.
  • Research, design, and develop best practices for internal technical documentation sharing and communication.
  • Drive effective communication and collaboration across multiple engineering teams within the DT organization.
  • Develop reusable materials including: a library of project summaries, case studies, brochures, fact sheets, tip sheets, talking points, web site copy and social media content.
  • Establish style guidelines in line with AP standards, recommend usability improvements, and build a content library.
  • Manage technical documentation projects and coordinate publication with graphics designer, production and publisher.
  • Interview internal stakeholders, functional experts and system users to develop content and coordinate publication of materials project teams.
  • Assist teams with approaches to communicate benefit, value and service to readers.
  • Develop compelling story angles to proactively pitch to a variety of media, from traditional print and broadcast to blogs, influencers and emerging channels.
  • Monitor, track and analyze appropriate metrics to evaluate impacts and effectiveness of external communications, effectively report this analysis to key stakeholders and proactively develop strategic recommendations for adjusting future efforts based on those results.
  • Manage numerous projects with tight deadlines and be a creative self-starter.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

Job Type:

The Permanent Exempt- Full Time position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive civil service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the appointing officer. The anticipated duration of this project position is thirty-six (36) months and will not result in an eligible list or permanent civil service hiring.


Nature of Work:

Incumbent must be willing to work a 40-hour week as determined by the department.  There may be occasions where the incumbent may need to travel (walk or public transportation) to attend meetings at various locations throughout the City.


Work Location:
Incumbent will conduct the majority of work at the Department of Technology, 1 South Van Ness, San Francisco, CA.  However, there may be situations where the incumbent will be required to work at other sites throughout the City of San Francisco as necessary.




Minimum Qualifications

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification.  Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.

Requires possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in public relations, journalism, English, mass communications, public administration, public policy or a related field.

Requires two (2) years of professional experience in public affairs, public information, editorial, newspaper, magazine, radio, television, public relations social media, digital engagement, advertising or similar work involving collection and dissemination of news and information wherein the preparation or direction of informational material for mass media on the development of public information program was a major part of the position. 

1) Additional experience as described above may be substituted for the required degree on a year-for-year basis (up to a maximum of 2 years). Thirty (30) semester units or forty-five (45) quarter units equal one year.

2) Possession of a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in public relations, journalism, mass communications or a closely related field may substitute for one (1) year of the required experience. 

Special Requirements:

  • Applicants must possess a valid California Drivers’ License.
  • Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Clearance may be required. (See Security Clearances and Background Investigations below) 
  • Department of Technology will not sponsor visa applications/transfers

Highly Desirable Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of city or county government
  • Knowledge of technology and emerging technologies
  • Project management experience
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel and basic video/photo editing program
  • Four (4) years of professional experience in public affairs, public information, marketing editorial, newspaper, magazine, radio, television, public relations social media, or digital engagement


    1. Medical Testing: Prior to appointment, eligible candidates must successfully pass the TB testing process.

    2. Security Clearances & Background Investigations: Positions in this classification may require that successful candidates who become eligible for appointment may be required to go through a background investigation to determine the candidate’s suitability for employment in this classification. Factors considered in the investigation may include employment history, use of illegal/controlled substances. Reasons for rejection based on this investigation may include, but not limited to: applicable convictions, repeated or serious violations of the law, inability to accept supervision, inability to follow rules and regulations, falsification of application materials and/or other relevant factors. Failure to obtain and maintain security clearance may be basis for termination.


    How To Apply

    Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

    • Select the desired job announcement 
    • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information 
    • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously” 
    • Follow instructions on the screen

    Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

    Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org).

    Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

    All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications. Resumes may be attached to the application; however, resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application.

    Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

    Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

    If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Ryan Lim, by telephone at 652-628-5165, or by email at ryan.lim@sfdpw.org.

    Selection Procedures

    Supplemental Questionnaire (Qualifying and Informational):
    Applicants will be prompted to complete a supplemental questionnaire as part of the online employment application. It is essential that applicants provide complete information in identifying their education, experience, training and licensure, consistent with the information provided on their application. The supplemental questionnaire will be used to evaluate whether applicants meet the minimum qualifications. The Questionnaire will also be used to assess the applicant's knowledge, skills, and abilities as they relate to the this position. Applicants must also complete the official application. The information in the supplemental questionnaire will not be scored and is collected for informational purposes.

    The Department may establish and implement additional screening mechanisms to comparatively evaluate qualifications of candidates. If this becomes necessary, only those applicants whose qualifications most closely meet the needs of the Department will be invited for an interview.

    Note: Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed to advance through all of the steps in the selection process.


    Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456


    Conviction History

    As a selected candidate for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a selected candidate. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as: 

    • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code. 
    • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164. 
    • Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

    If you are a selected candidate, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.


    Disaster Service Workers

    All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


    Terms of Announcement:
    Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf.


    General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures: Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

    Copies of Application Documents:

    Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

    Right to Work:

    All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.  Please be informed that the Department of Technology will not sponsor visa applications/transfers.

    Issued: February 6, 2018
    Micki Callahan
    Human Resources Director
    Department of Human Resources
    Recruitment ID Number: PEX-1312-091671


    All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

    For more information about benefits, please click here.


    Click on a link below to apply for this position:

    Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet.
    View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.

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