Fw: Writing samples

Subject: Fw: Writing samples
From: Jon Leer <jleer -at- LTC -dot- MV -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 09:26:54 -0500

Geoff Hart requested these comments be forwarded to the list:

> I'm in full agreement with those who have said that writers should
> always have writing samples available. That's not to say that you
> should ram them down the interviewer's throat; far from it. Make it
> known that they're available and you're willing to discuss them, and
> leave it at that. Those who have expressed vehement dislike of
> writers bearing samples will experience a brief moment of
> annoyance and proceed to ignore them; those who want to dig a bit
> deeper into your skills will appreciate them and will take the time
> to do so. Win-win situation, as I read it.
> Issues of confidentiality and what to include become somewhat moot if
> you think of the samples from the interviewer's side of the table:
> "What do I want to learn about the candidate? I certainly don't want
> to try to skim a 500-page manual in the 5 minutes we have left and
> try to infer this information." The answer to the question is that
> the interviewer wants to know that you can think a problem through
> and arrive at a logical, reader-friendly solution. So pick example
> text that shows your solution to several common problems: how to
> chunk text, how to work with white space and levels of heading, how
> to create and proof hyperlinks, etc. etc. etc. Then, rather than
> requiring the interviewer to read each one, simply lay it on the
> table, explain what the problem was that you tried to solve, how you
> solved it, and whether you're satisfied with the solution.
> Confidentiality is also moot. You're bound to get in trouble
> eventually if you display confidential documents, even with the
> company name bleeped out somehow. The solution is simple, but
> time-consuming: take the same format you used for the company in the
> confidential document, and build a (say) 2-page sample based on that
> format for some hypothetical product (e.g., Spacely Sprockets).
> Again, emphasize the problem and the solution, not the specific
> details of some confidential product.
> --Geoff Hart @8^{)}
> geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

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