Re: Agency and interviewing questions

Subject: Re: Agency and interviewing questions
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 12:45:56 -0800

At 04:05 PM 12/7/96 -0600, Camille Krug wrote:

>Yet, anyone that writes for a living, is trained to do so, and takes
>pride in their work, takes writing samples to an agency and leaves them
>with several copies of a resume.

No they don't. Several copies of a resume, yes. Samples, no.

I've been a technical writer for 13 years and a corporate captive for
most of that time (so it's not just a contracting issue). There is no
way that I will give writing samples to an agency or leave writing
samples with a prospective client or employer. I bring them with me
to an interview, talk about them with the interested parties, and
bring them back home. There are too many ways to get burned if you
leave your stuff lying around unprotected.

I have never been asked for writing samples by an agency. If writing
samples are requested in the job ad, I either do not apply or I send
my resume without the samples. Sorry. If you want to see my stuff,
you have to invite me in.

I did that once, very early in my career -- made up a small portfolio
and left it with an agency. It had a graphic on the cover. When I called
back, the recruiter said, "Oh, yeah, the paste-up artist." <hrumph>
Unless you are there to direct the conversation, the viewers will cast
their own shadows on your samples.

As a hiring manager, I do not ask to view writing samples before the
interview, nor do I ask to keep them after the interview is over. I
do use them to direct the conversation during the interview and this
is how I learn how much involvement you had in the project, what tool
you used, what limitations you faced...

Leave my samples? No. Sorry.

Susan W. Gallagher Manager, Technical Publications
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com Expersoft Corporation, San Diego CA

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