RE: Sample document creation for contract position

Subject: RE: Sample document creation for contract position
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 13:15:55 -0400

There's a middle ground between participating in a flawed process and
pulling your name out of consideration -- namely, helping them improve
their hiring process.

I would *not* assume that they intended to steal your work. Maybe they
just don't know how to interview tech writers. Since *you* know the
typical, accepted methods, you can explain how it's done.

This would benefit both sides. For them, it would show how good you are
at respectfully critiquing and improving processes. For you, it would
show how well they handle your critique.

Many of us have landed good, permanent jobs with small companies that
had never hired a tech writer before -- companies that had planned to
hire only on a temporary basis.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Melissa Lowery-Smith
> Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 11:36 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Sample document creation for contract position
>
> 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 seemed 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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