Re: Question: Submitting blind writing samples

Subject: Re: Question: Submitting blind writing samples
From: Jo Francis Byrd <jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 16:10:40 -0500

As a rule, I don't submit writing samples. For starters, most of the stuff in my portfolio is proprietary and I have permission to show it, NOT distribute it - which is what the doc manager is asking you to do. Your concerns are valid.

When faced with the situation, I explain that my portfolio consists of materials which I have permission to show, that I cannot distribute them, I'll be happy to show them during an interview. The analogy I use is, I'm the sales clerk, you're the customer buying something, you hand me your credit card to pay for the purchase. As the sales clerk, I have the right to use the card to complete the purchase. I have no right to use it for anything else, most certainly not for my own benefit. The same principals apply to my portfolio materials.

Yeah, you'll miss out - maybe - on a job. But, would you want that one?

Jo Byrd

Milton Brewster wrote:

I am a new subscriber to this list -- I apologize if this question has been answered before. have a question about how to evaluate writing samples.


I was just asked by a headhunter to mail my writing samples to a doc manager. No phone interview; no personal interview; no explanation of the specific project: Just mail your samples and take your chances. The Doc manager is experienced with documentation and with supervising writers.

I believe that when a Doc manager makes a hiring decision based on a brief look at an anonymous sample, that manager will more often make the wrong decision than the right decision. She will drown in samples essentially submitted blind to her; misplace lots of them and not understand most of them. She will not have any background information concerning ANY sample she receives. She will not develop any sense for the real skills and working habits of the writer she selects. ... and I believe it is profoundly inappropriate behavior, professionally.

What do you think?

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Question: Submitting blind writing samples: From: Milton Brewster

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