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Top Hiring Criteria? Writing Skills!

By: Janet Mizrahi


Although employment ads for Basecamp don’t say “Only good writers need apply,” they may as well.

Even if a position at the company that markets a web-based project management tool does not specifically call for writing, only competent writers are considered for several reasons. Foremost, the employees work from remote locations, so the primary way workers communicate is by writing. Next, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried says writing well demands clear thinking.


The process of evaluating an applicant’s writing begins when a cover letter is received. (Anyone sending a résumé without a cover letter is not even considered.) In the letter, candidates have been asked to describe who they are and why they want the job, and their responses show the Basecamp team how well the individuals express themselves.


Finalists for a position are then paid to do a job for the organization and afterward are asked write up their thought process for completing the project.  Fried doesn’t hesitate to challenge the document; it’s another way to evaluate the applicant’s ability to think and “handle disagreement,” he says.


Source: The New York Times