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Thread: Writing sample

  1. #1
    Cyburbian transguy's avatar
    Jan 2006

    Writing sample

    I work for a private firm and recently started the search for a new position. I took my current position straight out of grad school. In setting up an interview, I was asked to bring a writing sample. I had been asked to do this before, but I generally had school work that I could use for submittal. Now, all of my writing is “owned” by someone else; generally a municipal client. What is acceptable for a writing sample? Is it right for someone to submit a document as a sample that is “owned” by someone else? Also, nothing that anybody in our office writes goes out the door without someone else reading and editing the document. This means that while I may have provided the framework, the document has changed from my original work. What is acceptable for this?

  2. #2
    Dec 2006
    IMO, almost anything that you have contributed to is fair game for work samples, provided that you give credit to the company/client. Almost every project has at least two teams (the firm and the client). Yes, there are many people who might edit the work that I do before it goes out the door. But I can still take credit for the work I did. You don't need to necessarily list all of the contributing people in the work sample (the firm and the client name should be enough and the work sample should be focusing on YOUR strengths not your co-workers) On the otherhand, you don't want to lie and say you were the project manager if you were assisting with the project.

    Hope this helps-

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    I would also onyl provide finished documents that you contributed to significantly or can point out how you contributed to them. With samples I have submitted, I have been asked who else worked on the document and what my level of respsonsibility was in preparing the document.

    Everyone knows things get editted, unless a complete rewrite has happened your writing style will be all over the document. Unless of course your role in "writing" the document was to only change the place name.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Iron Ring's avatar
    Nov 2005
    In the "Interior".

    what about a letter?

    If you are able to bring in a couple examples, think about bringing in something like a formal letter. Large reports and documents are often so full of information and other people's edits that 'your writing' may not shine through. I like to look at how someone does with something like a formal letter. Often seeing if you can clearly communicate a complex or sensitive issue (and the action that is required) in a 1-2 page letter is more telling about your written communication skills than any 500 page report.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    I would not be worried about material being owned by a municipality. It becomes a public document. You should not have any concerns about sharing it.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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