Tests & Writing Samples

Subject: Tests & Writing Samples
From: Michael Andrew Uhl <uhl -at- VISLAB -dot- EPA -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 13:23:06 -0800

Fellow TECHWR-Lers

The market in the Research Triangle Park, NC is so good now for
experienced technical communicators that I would avoid using
writing samples in an interview. As I said to an interviewer
last year, how would you know I wrote the samples? How would
you know what role I played in a group effort? I want to
distinguish myself from the rest of the candidates. Samples
produced on a shoestring budget might leave a negative
impression, regardless of any explanation I give.

Tests reveal only a small part of the total package. I'd be
reluctant to take one unless I was confident it met a
well-defined need and was clearly only a small part of the
hiring process.

The interview and references--especially off-the-record references,
are the key factors for a senior-level person. In the interview I
can explain in detail what I did for my previous clients and
employers and how I can translate that experience into serving
this new customer.

Cheers.

-Mike
--

Michael Andrew Uhl, Lead Technical Writer (uhl -at- vislab -dot- epa -dot- gov)
Lockheed Martin, Primary Support Contractor to US EPA
Scientific Visualization Center
National Environmental Supercomputing Center (NESC)
U.S. EPA Environmental Research Center
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina


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