RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor

Subject: RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 12:56:11 -0600

Janice wrote:

> I know several science fiction writers who keep (or kept)
> body and soul together by working as tech writers. However,
> when interviewing people who have numerous creative writing
> credits, we are always very careful to ask whether the
> applicant would be comfortable in an environment that
> requires adherence to a common style guide and fairly
> unforgiving templates. Some free spirits don't take well
> to the rigors of a shared tech writing environment :->

With that in mind, I don't mention the fact that I write fiction in my
resume or in interviews (I have not been directly asked, and would be
truthful if the topic came up). I don't want anybody worrying about
whether I can do the job, so I focus on showing that I can, without
planting any unnecessary seeds of doubt.

For the same reason, I do not include hobbies or personal interests in my
resume, and try not to dwell on them in interviews. I alway get tagged on
the 15-year gap on my resume when I was touring in bands, but so far my
interviewers have thought that was interesting rather than a red flag.

On the other side of the desk, If I were interviewing a writer who went on
and on about her great American novel, I would look very carefully at how
well she "got" the concept of professional business writing. As long as
she know how to separate work and art, I'd have no problem, but I'd
consider too much emphasis on fiction (or other personal pursuits) during
a job interview to be a red flag. You're in an interview to get a job. If
you can't stay focused on that, there may be trouble ahead. An interview
is not about telling somebody everything about you, it's about proving
you're the person they should hire.

Keith Cronin
working on writing the perfect dirty limerick


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