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"Any writer who shows up without writing samples is hopeless. All writers
are judged by what they write."
I will be more explicit. Any writer who shows up at an interview without
writing samples will be unprepared for the interviewer who asks for writing
I have gone into many an interview with my portfolio and never even cracked
it open. Why? Because of the questions and answers that ensued. However,
there have been many times when, even after a good conversation about
writing and publications technique and procedures, I have been asked for my
writing samples. Usually, the inquirer is the publications manager. In some
instances it is the engineering manager.
I have never shown a writing sample unless asked. But it is better to be
prepared. I believe many interviews' doubts can be put to rest when a
sample is shown and explained.
Mark Baker comments:
> As a hiring manager I am frankly distressed by the cavalier attitudes to
> confidentiality and ownership issues displayed by some people who have
> posted on this topic. If you hired a man to paint your house, how would
> feel if he said, "Of course, I'll need a key so that I can bring people
> your house to show them samples of my work."?
> This is a words-for-cash business. I keep the words. You keep the cash.
My suggestion is that the writer and company would both benefit by
establishing a policy that considers a writer's desire to add work to his
or her portfolio without placing company confidential information in
jeopardy. I believe that there is room to satisfy both needs.