RE: re-working your writing for portfolio

Subject: RE: re-working your writing for portfolio
From: Tom Johnson <johnsont -at- starcutter -dot- com>
To: "'R Greenberg'" <roxanne_98 -at- yahoo -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 12:48:11 -0500


I would take the approach of telling the prospective employer the new
samples are re-worked. I would probably even take the original bound sample
and explain why you changed some things after the product was released.

I would tend to agree with your editor friend that presenting the changed
materials as if they were the ones that shipped with the product would
border on dishonest. Yes, I am interested in what you can do now. No, I
wouldn't want you presenting stuff as being published that really wasn't.
So what if the original isn't perfect, still show it, tell (or show) what
you thing needed to be changed, show something brand new that shows your
full potential. If I were hiring, I would like to see the progression of
improvement. It would show me you're not stuck in some kind of uncreative
rut that you'll never outgrow.

Tom Johnson
Marketing Coordinator/Technical Writer
Elk Rapids Engineering Div., Star Cutter Company

johnsont -at- starcutter -dot- com - work
thomasj -at- freeway -dot- net - personal

On Wednesday, March 15, 2000 5:36 PM, R Greenberg
[SMTP:roxanne_98 -at- yahoo -dot- com] wrote:
> Last time I was job-hunting, I took a bunch of writing
> samples from previous jobs (I had been a s/w engineer
> prior to my current job, so the samples were of
> in-house functional and low-level design specs I had
> written), isolated the parts I wanted to show to
> prospective employers, and then cleaned them up before
> printing them out to put in the portfolio.
> 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.
> What do others think of this? Do you clean up or
> update your old material (if you're showing pieces of
> work - obviously you can't do that if you bring in a
> published book)? As a hiring manager, would you be
> offended to learn that someone was showing you work
> that was different from what they had published
> (assuming they had done all the changes themselves)?
> Thanks again,
> Roxanne

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