Re: expectations of an entry-level writer

Subject: Re: expectations of an entry-level writer
From: Jonathan Soukup <jsoukup -at- ESKIMO -dot- TAMU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 15:42:01 -0600

Just getting an internship is a struggle in itself. No one wanted me until
I had some writing experience under my belt. I remember walking into a
local newspaper back home several years with just a couple of stories I
had written in my first college writing classes. I guess they were
desparate and needed someone who would work cheap, because they hired me.
After getting a few front pages stories printed, finding internships and
student positions were no longer a problem.

-Jonathan J. Soukup

On Tue, 28 Oct 1997, Bill Burns wrote:

> Stephanie writes:
>
> > I'm surprised by the techwhirlers who say no work experience or
> > internships should be required for an entry-level job. How can you be
> > sure someone can write -- or even *likes* to write -- if you don't
> > have
> > any samples? (Yes, I realize some people might bring samples of other
> > people's work, but that's another story.)
> >
> But are internships the only way to get that experience? Can't you
> demonstrate these abilities in other ways? I didn't see a single ability
> listed that could not be developed in venues other than an internship.
> An internship IS a great idea--I'm not disputing that. I'm disputing the
> logic behind using that as the sole indication of initiative is flawed.
> You can assess competence in many other ways, and you should. The
> criteria listed in the post to which I responded didn't differentiate
> between those which could be gained through other means and those which
> had to be gained as a technical communicator.
>
> > Whether it's newspaper stories, press releases, policies, or
> > instructions, a clip is a clip. It shows a prospective employer that
> > you
> > can (or can't) write -- or at least that you're interested in writing
> > and have tried to write. I can't imagine ever hiring someone with no
> > writing or editing experience and knowledge. Writing is a craft --
> > it's
> > not a position for which you hire someone and train them to do the job
> > in two weeks.
> >
> Again, these aren't the criteria that were listed, and the skills
> required for these tasks can all be (and usually are) gained through
> means other than internships in the corporate world (working on a
> university paper, developing course materials as a graduate assistant,
> writing and editing expository compositions). If a year as a reporter
> for the school newspaper qualifies as appropriate experience, then I can
> accept that. As I stated, internships are not the only metric to use to
> measure initiative.
>
> Internships are a GREAT idea, but they are not the only way that people
> can gain experience, nor are they necessarily the best indicator of
> personal initiative. They are simply another qualification that should
> be taken along with all others on an applicant's resume.
>
> Bill Burns
> Senior Technical Writer
> ILE Communications Group
> billdb -at- ile -dot- com
>
> Posts: mailto:techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
> Commands: mailto:listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g. SIGNOFF TECHWR-L)
> Archives: http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html,
> Subjects: JOB:, QUESTION:, SUMMARY:, ANNOUNCE:, or none of these.
>
>

Posts: mailto:techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
Commands: mailto:listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g. SIGNOFF TECHWR-L)
Archives: http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html,
http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/
Subjects: JOB:, QUESTION:, SUMMARY:, ANNOUNCE:, or none of these.



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