Subject: Certification
From: John Bell <jbell -at- TELE-TV -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 13:17:13 EST

George Allaman wrote:
> But to someone who is looking for a tech writer and doesn't want to
> become an expert in psychology to make personality decisions, in the
> English language to make writing judgements, and in sleuthing to
> check out the applicant's history, a certification might be just the
> ticket.

Everyone has their own impression of what certification
can and can't do.
George lists three area, only one of which I agree with.

I think a test can be designed to successfully and objectively test
writing ability. Some others on this list disagree, claiming it is

I don't think certification can successfully guarantee anything about a
person's personality. That is something the hiring manager must judge during
the interview (and sometimes from obvious indications in the resume and
writing sample). I fired a writer last year who had great skills, but he
picked fights (literally) with almost everyone.

I don't think certification can replace researching a candidate's job history.
Although researching histories is getting harder and harder, I can't see
any alternatives available.

As a hiring manager I look to certification to provide information on a
candidate's writing skills. I do not see it as anything more.

--------------- Slight change of subject ------------

Some writers report they have had to take tests from employers as part
of the interview process. How do you feel about being asked to take a
test like that? One local company has a four-hour test for their applicants.
How long is too long?

--- John Bell
jbell -at- tele-tv -dot- com

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