Re: re-working your writing for portfolio

Subject: Re: re-working your writing for portfolio
From: Jo Francis Byrd <jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 08:50:07 -0600

If it's your work, I fail to see anything unethical about it. Your portfolio
should demonstrate what you can do NOW, not what you did THEN. A portfolio
doesn't even have to contain "real" documents. We can't always get permission to
use our work as part of our portfolios, so we make do by creating something that
demonstrates our abilities and talents.

When I needed a sample of an HTML help file, I didn't have one, so I took some
procedures I created in a previous contract and created one: see, this is the
sort of thing I can do; I know the underlying process involved, I know how to
organize and plan the help, I can design the navigation flow.

I see nothing unethical about it.

Jo Byrd

R Greenberg wrote, in part:

> Last time I was job-hunting, I took a bunch of writing samples from previous
> jobs... isolated the parts I wanted to show to prospective employers, and then
> cleaned them up before printing them out to put in the portfolio.
> ...In other words, I did a lot of re-working on these samples.
> I told a friend about this - she is a technical editor and i had asked for
> feedback. I happened to mention
> that these samples were all re-worked. She thought that was ethically wrong -
> that I should be presenting
> the exact material as it was when I completed it for my job. My argument is
> that since I am the one doing
> the rewriting, it is still my writing, and in fact the cleaned-up sample more
> accurately reflects what I am
> capable of doing *now* than some of those very old pieces of writing. But she
> insisted that I was doing
> something deceitful.

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