Re: Showing Samples: WAS (Designing your Documentation/WritingDepartment)

Subject: Re: Showing Samples: WAS (Designing your Documentation/WritingDepartment)
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: "Poshedly, Ken" <PoshedlyK -at- polysius -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 15:53:43 -0400

Hi Ken,
I have to agree that in the news business, after a good cover letter and
resume gets you in the door, a great interview and portfolio (print or
video) is what gets you the job. And I also agree that, except for the pay,
back in the 70s, being a reporter was a great gig.
In the tech writing arena, some hiring authorities look at the portfolio,
some don't, but then there is more to being a technical writer than
interviewing and being able to turn a good phrase, but I would never go to
an interview without one.
Poshedly, Ken wrote:

I learned early on while a newspaper reporter in the 1970's that one's
portfolio was almost like a key to a job -- if you couldn't show
previous work samples, you weren't going to be seriously considered for
a new job somewhere else.

That's because news editors seem to have this ability to pick out of
your writing samples not only your writing skills, but also the kind of
information you sought from your sources, their replies and how you
presented that information. (Except for the pay, I really do miss those

But my experience with tech writing samples is that you bust your
proverbial ass to succeed, accumulate a respectable and noble supply of
work samples and then a potential supervisor is only interested in
almost anything else besides looking at WHAT you have accomplished.
Perhaps that's because the head of a tech pubs function at a company
that makes engraving equipment can't relate to manuals about forklift
trucks, factory hot melt adhesive equipment or computer peripherals
(which is only SOME of what I went through last summer).


Al Geist
Technical Writing, Online Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award
Winning Videos, Professional Photography
Voice/Msg: 802-658-3140

Cell: 802-578-3964
E-mail: [1]al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com
URL: [2] (online portfolio/resume)

See also:
URL: [3] (fine art prints for home or office and note
cards for all occasions)
"When the situation is absolutely hopeless, you have nothing to worry
Compliments of The Monkey Wrench Gang


1. mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com

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RE: Showing Samples: WAS (Designing your Documentation/WritingDepartment): From: Poshedly, Ken

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