Re: Sample document creation for contract position

Subject: Re: Sample document creation for contract position
From: pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com
To: Melissa Lowery-Smith <artsyreader -at- yahoo -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 16:29:00 +0000

Hi Melissa:

This is a new one for me also. I have been asked for writing samples to be
sent ahead, which I also do not do. I tell the company that I am
intereviewing with that samples will be provided at an interview. I tell
them that by agreement with past employers, I cannot leave samples or send
them early. (I do not provide past salary history either.) I do, however,
have some samples on my web site that people can look at.

I must admit, I am a bit cynical in my outlook, so I would be very
concerned about doing a week's worth of work without compensation. A small
sample would be all right, but 10 - 15 pages seems a bit excessive.

NOTICE * I am not an attorney, so do not construe this as legal advice. The
following comments are based on my best knowledge of copyrights and how
they apply to individual work**.

Of course, being as cynical as I am, I would do part of it, and put my
copyright notice on every page. Any work done by you is automatically
copyrighted, unless you either sign away the copyright (for a charity, for
example) or you have a signed contract between you and another party that
states all work you do for them is a "work for hire." Since there was no
contract about "works for hire" and no compensation :-).(right??) that
means any documentation you produced belonged to you.

Any employer who tries to take advantage of you even before an in-person
interview, in my experience, will continue that behavior after you start
working for them. I would have walked away too.

Hope this helps.
PT

On Mar 20, 2009 10:35am, Melissa Lowery-Smith <artsyreader -at- yahoo -dot- com> 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. I hope
> that TECHWR-Lers will be able to help me determine whether my recent
> situation is normal or whether it was a strange as it seemd to me. I was
> recently asked to create a 10-15 page document (they referred to it as a
> technical test) based on a brief interview with an SME as part of the
> interview process for a 3-6 month technical writer contract. There was no
> discussion about reimbursement for the time that this document creation
> process would require. They wanted to interview me on Monday, during
> which I would spend time with the SME discussing the type of information
> to be included in the document, then they wanted the completed document
> returned by Friday for review. They also wanted me to forward some
> existing writing samples to them before the interview. I felt very
> uncomfortable about being asked to send ahead

> my writing samples by e-mail (as in I don't do this ever) and then
> additionally being asked to produce such a significant new writing sample
> in order to get a short-term job. Did I over-react to something that is a
> reasonable request for a contract position? I might have been less
> apprehensive if this had been for a permanent position or if it had been
> proposed as a paid trial. This is a very small company that has not had a
> technical writer previously, so maybe they didn't realize how their
> request was going to be perceived. I pulled my name out of consideration
> for the role, but I am wondering how other writers would have responded
> to this situation.


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

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