Re: How do you respond to job ads?

Subject: Re: How do you respond to job ads?
From: Scott Havens <SHavens -at- ELCOTEL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 11:34:58 -0500

Nora Merhar writes Re: writing samples--

> A couple of years ago, when I was looking for a job, a company
> responded to my resume with interest, and asked me to submit writing
> samples, which I sent. I never heard from them again, and they never
> returned my samples, which I assume went into the trash. I may have
> been naive to think (hope?) that they would return my samples, but no
> more! Now I would expect that any request to see samples would
> accompany a request to see ME as well.
> Not sure how I would explain this to a potential interviewer in a way
> that didn't sound paranoid. Any suggestions?
I feel the same way. As far as I'm concerned, if a company
wants writing samples, they must also (1) give me an interview at the
same time or (2) guarantee that they will return my samples at their
expense, regardless of whether or not they offer me a job. If they take
a cavalier attitude toward the samples I worked so hard to produce, it
doesn't reflect very well on their organization or the value they put on
technical writers in general. I get especially annoyed when ads require
"non-returnable writing samples." Generally, I don't even bother
applying for those (unless, of course, I can send a PDF or a copy). Do
they think I have a big warehouse full of my past publishing
achievements? If I send something to them, I want it to be a good
representation of what I can do. If they trash it and don't hire me,
that's one less (non-replaceable) example I can send to someone else.
That's why I generally don't send samples with the initial application
and resume. I would be willing to explain my position in the cover
letter (in nice language, of course), but I think it's inappropriate to
expect samples at the time of initial contact.


From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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