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.
How do you really know what they are looking for? Do you know how objective
they are likely to be when it comes to content v. layout?
I like to include a final entry on my resume: "Professional portfolio
available for review." It goes right below "References: Personal and
professional available on request"
There are too many risks of not really showing them whatever it is they
think they want or, worse, submitting more quality than they want (think
they can afford).
I would no sooner send ahead actual examples (without assurances of a
personal interview) than I would provide a list of references in response to
a blind ad or disclose salary history (requirements) -- at the risk of
leaving any money on the table.
Get the interview - then bare your soul!
People will hire ONLY people they like.
Technical writer, marketing consultant and former employment counselor
> -----Original Message-----
> From: MAGGIE SECARA [SMTP:SECARAM -at- MAINSAVER -dot- COM]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 1999 3:49 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: [TECHWR-L] Sample Requests
> The question isn't whether to have samples. I think that's pretty much a
> given. The problem is when someone wants you to mail or worse, fax, those
> samples in advance. That has always seemed inappropriate to me.
> Maggie Secara
> secaram -at- mainsaver -dot- com
> The English Renaissance is alive at
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Mary Deaton [mailto:m_deaton -at- KWARE -dot- COM]
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 1999 12:54 PM
> > To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> > Subject: Re: Sample Requests
> > It is very hard to assess someone's ability without seeing
> > samples of their
> > work. However, I have frequently had candidates who could not
> > bring samples
> > of key pieces because they were internal or otherwise
> > proprietary. In such
> > cases, I may ask them to produce something as a sample or
> > critique something
> > I give them or otherwise demonstrate that they know what they
> > are doing.
> > During a career, people need to be saving things and looking for
> > opportunities to create portfolio items. There are times when
> > an employer
> > will let you show samples to someone, but not leave them
> > behind. But from an
> > interviewer's stand-point, I need to look beyond what is on a
> > resume and see
> > demonstrated ability and samples provide that demonstration.
> > Mary Deaton
> > President, KNOWware, LLC
> > (206) 682-6113
> > * Smart User Assistance and Training http://www.kware.com
> > * Microsoft MVP for HTML Help
> > * Program Associate, Winwriters 2000 Online Conference
> > http://www.winwriters.com/ohc.htm
> > * Speaker, Help Technology Conference,
> > http://www.winwriters.com/htc99.htm
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Olive, Eric [mailto:EOlive -at- GLHEC -dot- ORG]
> > The end of a job posting for a tech writer appears below. The
> > request for
> > samples in this posting is common. Often, employers seem to
> > think that they
> > have a right to request mailed/emailed samples that,
> > presumably, they will
> > not return. I wonder about the ethics of this request. The
> > desire to see
> > samples is understandable but the request that the writer
> > part with her
> > samples is less so. The argument that careful review requires
> > hanging on to
> > writing samples is valid but does not hold up against client
> > confidentiality. My clients are not always open to letting me
> > keep samples
> > when I complete a project (some agree others don't). I'm
> > certain my clients
> > would not allow me to keep samples if they thought I would
> > blindly mail them
> > around the country.
> > Once, I replied to an ad that included a request to mail in
> > samples. In my
> > cover letter, I explained that client confidentiality
> > prevented me from
> > mailing samples but that I would gladly bring the samples to
> > an interview. I
> > got the interview and the other tech writers made a point of
> > appreciating my
> > discretion. Turns out they were writing highly sensitive documents. In
> > short, I think the other writers were comforted by my
> > "protective" attitude
> > toward my clients.
> > I wonder of J.L. Fraser (or Fraser's boss) would like it if
> > his/her writers
> > mailed/emailed their writing samples to other companies.
> > Opinions? I did not find this topic in the archives nor on
> > the STC site
> > (perhaps I missed it?).
> > Eric O.
> > ==============================================================
> > =============
> > Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
> > TECHWR-L)
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=