job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio

Subject: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio
From: ICorrino -at- cs -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 17:35:56 EST


I'm updating my portfolio for a job interview, and I'm curious as to whether
anyone has any opinions on the following-

I'm an editor, and of course I'm including recent editing samples in my
portfolio. At my last company, I did much of my editing electronically using
Microsoft Word. I don't know whether list members are familiar with this
feature, but when you edit electronically, you highlight the text you want to
comment on, and Word inserts a number, like a footnote, to the bottom right
of the highlighted text. If the writer wants to view your comment, he or she
runs the mouse over the highlighted text and Word opens a little window
showing the comment. Or the writer can look at the end of the document, where
Word lists all the numbered comments in order. So, when you print out the
edited document, basically it prints a document that looks just as it did
when the author handed it to you, with a lot of little numbers inserted at
the relevant points, and all the editors' comments at the end.

I personally think that when you're putting together a hardcopy portfolio, a
better way to showcase your editing is to do so with hardcopy edits. That way
the person reviewing the work can see all at once what the writer did and
what the editor suggested, without having to flip back and forth. The issue
for me is that most of my recent editing was done electronically.

So the question is this: Would it be unethical for me to create a hardcopy
sample based on the electronic edits? I wouldn't be adding any new comments
or changing any of the comments -- they'd be exactly what I handed to the
writer. They would just be presented differently. If people do think this is
unethical, could the problem be solved by including a note at the beginning
of the sample explaining that the edits were originally done electronically
and were then transcribed onto a hardcopy?

On a related note -- I think I know the answer to this, but I'm just curious
as to other people's opinions -- is it permissable to add new comments to
editing sample? In other words, is it okay if, when assembling your
portfolio, you come across some error you missed at the time, to correct it?
Or should the portfolio represent your work exactly as you did it for the
company? I tend to think it's not okay to make such changes, but one of my
managers at my last job surprised me by saying he thinks it's acceptable.
What do people think of this?

Thanks for any input !


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