Re: Advice for interviewing new tech writers - Samples and legal issues

Subject: Re: Advice for interviewing new tech writers - Samples and legal issues
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 11:50:07 -0500

While everyone seems to be looking for samples, I can tell you I would not have been hired for a large number of jobs based on that. I didn't have any.

Why?

They were proprietary works for hire. I had no ownership and could not legally give these to anyone. Many projects never went commercial and thus never public, so you are now talking about company confidential material that can get your butt in the sling if you are passing it out freely, especially if it goes to a competitor. You would also be surprised at how many companies interview people from competitors, looking for those confidential samples, and now you just fell into their trap and aided them.

Just because you have a copyright date and a finished customer manual, unless it actually went out publicly, you could be in trouble.

Some work was government work, and in the case of government work, much was secret, and you Do Not Pass Go, you Do Not Collect $200, because you know where you are going if you begin passing secret documentation out as samples.

It wasn't until about 10 years ago, I worked for a company that put a lot of material online and I could point to it. I also found some material that had gone commercial and was online so I could point to it.



----- Original Message ----- From: "Lynne Wright" <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>
To: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- nuot -dot- com>; <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2015 9:33 AM
Subject: RE: Advice for interviewing new tech writers


That's the problem with candidates submitting writing samples -- they may have been cleaned up by an editor, or have been produced by someone else. I've experienced plenty of job applicants who proved, once hired, that they could not produce work anywhere near to the standard indicated by their samples.

...
-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Dan Goldstein
Sent: January-22-15 9:20 AM
To: TECHWR-L (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)
Subject: RE: Advice for interviewing new tech writers

A good portfolio is worth far more than any silly test. But when someone gives you a sample of their work, you need a way to find out whether they really wrote it.


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Follow-Ups:

References:
Advice for interviewing new tech writers: From: Kelly Smith
RE: Advice for interviewing new tech writers: From: Dan Goldstein
RE: Advice for interviewing new tech writers: From: Lynne Wright

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