Re: Sample document creation for contract position

Subject: Re: Sample document creation for contract position
From: Deborah Hemstreet <dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com>
To: Melissa Lowery-Smith <artsyreader -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:26:45 -0400

Melissa Lowery-Smith wrote:
> I have been out of the job market for over 2 years, so perhaps things have changed since I last interviewed for technical writing jobs....

Hi Melissa,

I cannot speak for others, only for myself. I could really use some
work, but what you have described is something that I too would have
responded negatively to. What, to me would have been more reasonable,
would have been to sit with the SME, and then for you to be interviewed
on how you would handle the project, to see the kinds of questions you
would raise, how you would plan the project, and to determine if you
agree that the scope would be 10-15 pages, and why or why not. This, to
me would seem a more reasonable route of interviewing.

Having said that, I have noticed positions on several websites that
state that you must provide a "working" sample up front, before they
will consider you for the position. I struggle with that. Perhaps I
carry my natural analytical "worst" case too far, but what is to stop
them from using my work and hiring someone else, or never hiring anyone,
and just working with samples? I have trouble with this approach.

I know that that there is lots of credible work out there. I know that
there are people looking for professionals. Unfortunately, we are also
living in an incredibly unstable economy where finding work in our field
is not only difficult, but extremely competitive. Location has an impact
as well. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan - and many here I'm sure will
agree that this state is one of the hardest hit by the economy. Work is
dear here... and salaries are dropping.

My husband and I have discussed relocation, but this is really not an
option at this point in time. One reason is we cannot uproot our kids,
and another is the housing market...

All that to say that despite how much I would have needed the work - I
would have responded in the same manner as you. If you can provide
experience, portfolio, and good references, I believe that if they want
you to do actual work first, it is reasonable to ask why. I guess I'd
rather switch careers before I give away my work for free--against my
will, so to speak.

But I, like you, will be interested in the responses of others...



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Sample document creation for contract position: From: Melissa Lowery-Smith

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