RE: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio

Subject: RE: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio
From: Kat Nagel <katnagel -at- bluefrognet -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 12:03:21 -0500

I've used all of the approaches Bonita mentions, with a couple of wrinkles.

First, I always ask for one or more copies of appropriate docs to use in my portfolio. If the client (or previous employer) says no, then I don't use that sample. I create a look-alike using the same (or better :-) ) software, using dummy names for companies and products, and making sure I omit anything that would be recognizable as proprietary information. I do NOT try to pass this off as a real project. I include a cover sheet with a brief description of the real project, and a statement that the sample document was created to demonstrate features of the real document without violating confidentiality or revealing proprietary information. So far, I've gotten only positive feedback about this approach.

Second, whenever possible for real samples and for look-alikes, I find a project manager or contact person at the client company who is willing to talk with my prospective clients/employers about the quality of the work I did and my ability to work well with clients and developers. I check back with these people every year, to verify the contact information and confirm their willingness to act as a reference. This way, every sample I include in my portfolio has contact information for someone who can actually discuss my contribution to the project. Not every prospective employer checks these references but, if they are needed, they are prepared for the calls.

I guess I have been really fortunate. That's what happens when you have
never come up against a brick wall--you think you have the answer for
everything! :-} So did you just not include them, create samples using the
same format and layout just with bogus information, create completely new
samples using the same software, i.e.. RoboHELP, FrameMaker, Work,
Authorware, etc., or a combination? I would be interested to know what
people do in this situation so that I will be prepared when it happens to
me. Good fortune does not last forever and it is a wise person who realizes


Kat Nagel
MasterWork Consulting Services
Phone (585) 820-4045
Fax (585) 244-3565
Business email katnagel -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com
Personal email katnagel -at- bluefrognet -dot- net

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RE: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio: From: White, Bonita

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