RE: About proprietary writing samples

Subject: RE: About proprietary writing samples
From: letoured -at- together -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2002 11:31:07 -0400

In <CAFAAEC91CC8D511952000062938C6F133A92F -at- ozlan -dot- fcdomain -dot- net>, on 08/07/02
at 07:53 AM, "Foster, Willow" <Wfoster -at- friedmancorp -dot- com> said:

>letoured -at- together -dot- net [mailto:letoured -at- together -dot- net] wrote:
>~> The "writer" is being hired as the expert. The writer is
>~> not someone who takes the work of others and makes it sound
>~> better.

>Yes, that is my point. If you are an expert in your field, you should be able
>to create something from scratch. Are you really trying to argue that because
>you are an expert in your field, you are unable to write a sample?

Sometimes a small sample cannot show your capability to meet the scope of the
work you are being hired for.

>~> A made up sample in the case I used, that would
>~> mean creating a 100 or 200 page dummy document with all the
>~> engineering detail of the real thing -- and which would have ~> no
>relevance without containing everything would be included ~> for the actual
>machine -- Now put that into the context of the ~> interviewer who knows you
>came from a competitor -- and he
>~> would know where the information came from! So the whole idea ~> is
>pretty lame.

>Seems to me that 200 pages is an awfully big sample. A sample is just a piece
>of documentation that gives the interviewer an idea of what kind of work a
>writer produces. Personally, I would never use anything more that a couple of
>pages. The sample shows how I write, the conversation shows what I know.

Think bigger. You're thinking "just a writer." Some jobs are more, and they
expect the writer to be a consultant too. You don't explain that capability in

Look at it this way; If you were being hired to write/work on a management,
operations and maintenance plan, for say everything on a military base --
showing two pages of instructions for visitors at the main gate, or controling
rodents around the chowhall, is not going to tell the interviewer what you
know about all the things that need to be other 300 pages of the plan.

Another example; If you were asked to write a safety program manual you could
show the presidents policy in two pages, and you could give an introduction to
compressed gas safety in two pages -- or you could show instructions for say
O2 cylinder safety is two pages -- that that would leave out everything you
know about the other dozen gasses they might use, nor will communicate what
you know about everything that belongs in the other 500 pages. -- And that is
what you are being hired for.

Sometimes you have to show your overall capability. You can't do that in two
page samples of anything.

letoured -at- together -dot- net

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RE: About proprietary writing samples: From: Foster, Willow

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