Samples (was Re: Criteria for entry-level writers)

Subject: Samples (was Re: Criteria for entry-level writers)
From: JIMCHEVAL -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 11:59:35 -0500

In a message dated 97-10-27 10:21:44 EST, SGibson -at- QWIZ -dot- COM writes:

<< At my old company, I actually had a manager ask me for samples of
manuals I had written to add to her portfolio as she was preparing for
an interview elsewhere.
How about this?

When I left programming and started to look for work as a technical writer, a
colleague of mine who'd followed the same path *handed* me one of his (very
well-done) manuals and said,"Just tell them you wrote this." When I
demurred, he blithely said that's what he'd done when he'd left our group to
work as a technical writer.

Several years later, I was interviewing for a position and the project
manager (a consultant from the same consulting firm) was prepping me for the
interview with the client. When I offered to bring samples, he said, "Sure,
if you want, but of course [wink, wink] nothing stops you from bringing any
old thing and claiming you wrote it." When I later saw that his resume
included a solid paragraph of different software tools, some of which I KNOW
he hadn't used, I understood a little better.

Ask probing questions. Definitely.

Jim Chevallier
Los Angeles
currently available for freelance/contract work
Visit Chez Jim: Jim Chevallier's Home Page -

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