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.
I have never heard of a limit on the length of a portfolio
piece. Most of the technical writers I know or have
interviewed cart around full-length manuals with them
as samples. I have a little notebook with short samples
in plastic envelopes--and I carry around the big books, too.
Unless your company has restrictions on what can
be shown outside the company, you should be able to
show any work you have done. It is a different story if
you are a contractor. Then you should get permission.
I have always made it a practice to keep one copy of
any work I did for my portfolio.
> I'm going to be job-hunting soon, so I'm in the
> process of preparation. I have a few pieces of writing
> from my current job that I think would be great for my
> portfolio. Trouble is, one of them is 20 pages long,
> another is 28, and the third is 10 pages. From what
> I've heard, this is much too long - that the average
> portfolio shows only 3 or 4 pages of each piece of
> Another question: I'm in my first technical writing
> job, which I've had for almost 3 years, so all the
> samples I'm considering using are from this job.
> Therefore, I can't ask my employer if I can show the
> samples to other companies on job interviews. :-)