TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Sorry John, HR people do not ask for writing samples. Hiring
managers do. HR people look for a lot of other things.
Your writing samples are indicative of your ability to write and
that's what you're being hired to do. As a pubs manager, I'd never
hire someone who could not provide writing samples of some kind. I
expect every tech writer to be prudent enough to save at least some
examples of his or her work. With the exception of classified material
and unpublshed documents describing unreleased products, it's not
necessary to have permission from a client to show a prospective
employer two or three pages of a document. As a writer, it's your
responsibility to know when the products you write about will be
released, so you would know when it is ok to use the samples without
jeopardizing your non-disclosure agreement.
>I'm in transition from independent to captive. (Currently a
>with negotiations going on regarding a "permanent" position.)
>When the question of writing samples came up in my interviews,
I told them
>that my government work was all classified and that I did not
>permission from other clients to use their documents for this
>Nothing more was said of the issue and we went on to discuss
>and my abilities to help solve those problems.
>I believe that only HR-types ask for samples because they don't
>else to ask. Documentation managers are more interested in you