Re: Agency and interviewing questions

Subject: Re: Agency and interviewing questions
From: Krista van Laan <vanlaan -at- BILBO -dot- NTC -dot- NOKIA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 10:34:24 +0200

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer wrote:

> When the agent sends samples to me, she asks what I'm looking for. In this
> case, I tell her that I want to see user guides, quick reference cards, anything
> written to the end user.

> I examine these samples with an eye to spelling, grammar, obvious stuff like
> that; layout and design; choice of font and size; and general style.

> It makes me very happy to see a sample that had no mistakes in spelling, etc. --
> this does occasionally happen. I see a lot of mistakes in tense, hyphenation,
> and spacing. Those discourage me, but they aren't necessarily a deal-killer,
> because we can proof them.

> I also love to see samples with wonderful design -- enough white space,
> judicious use of graphics, etc.

How much emphasis do you put on font size and design? In 12 years
in the field, only once have I had any say in manual design. Every
big company I have worked for (in the USA and Finland) had templates
so I couldn't even make adjustments. Even hyphenation has not always
been under my control.

<snip>

> Several posters have said that they don't want to give their precious
> one-of-a-kind samples to an agency and some have said that agencies have lost
> their stuff. I understand these concerns, but can't one give a copy to the
> agent? Then it won't matter if the stuff is lost.

If interviewers are actually interested in seeing only a couple of pages,
copying is no problem. But as another poster mentioned, which pages?
How do they prove anything out of context? During most of my career
I've produced long complex guides solo, and I like to show that.
Taking a few pages out of the middle seems kind of sad after all
that work, and certainly doesn't make much of a splash.

In the past I've always shown complete manuals at an interview,
but if it's really acceptable to show excerpts, I'd like to create
a portfolio like that. How many pages from each manual are
enough? How many different types of manuals?
How do other people set up their portfolios?

===================================================================
Krista Van Laan
Nokia Telecommunications Phone: 358 9 5112 3684
P.O. Box 33 Fax: 358 9 5112 3876
02601 Espoo Finland Email: krista -dot- vanlaan -at- ntc -dot- nokia -dot- com


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