Subject: certifiable
From: John Glenn <JohnFGlenn -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 1996 06:39:35 -0400

How to know if a tw can w ?

In line with guild certification, et al, I recently
have been amused | :-( by solicitations for tws to submit
n number of samples with their resume.

Let's say I work as part of a tw team -- several writers and one
or two editors, a graphics person, and a compositor.

Onto the interviewer's desk go copies of a document I wrote ...
with a little help from my friends to korekt my speling and
make my grammer gooder.

Perhaps I create mil-spec manuals under the control of some
(S)CDRL or TMCR that controls nearly every keystroke. Are the
manuals tossed on the reviewer's desk really mine?

Well, I've been a tw for n decades, I ought'a know something.
If I stayed in one shop all those years, I might only know what
the shop requires. (Good writers of all varieties tend to be
mobile. That does NOT mean stationary writers are necessarily
poor writers.)

Suggested solution:

Part 1: Prepare a proofreading test. Include mispelings and both
gross and picayunish grammatical errors (your call as to big and
little) -- do you follow Fowler or Harvard/Chicago?
-- %
have recently been vs. recently have been

hammers, nails and screws vs. hammers, nails, and screws
-- %
Part 2: Have the candidate write something ... my preference is
an extended outline for a product I describe. Don't be too
critical if the organization is wrong (not every manual has
INSTALL as the last chapter).

Part 3: If the candidate claims knowledge of the tools available,
let the candidate do Part 2 on those tools.

I'm not too certain how this could be accomplished remotely.
Perhaps allowing a specific time period to accomplish an
assignment? (Your thoughts, please.)

Bottom line: Before you ask for, or submit, resumes, consider
their value. TWs also might ask who will review the samples;
an HR person, the supervisor-to-be, or an experienced tw.

johnfglenn -at- aol -dot- com

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