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Trying to distill suggestions from recent threads on this topic...
1. Do not leave originals of hard copy samples with anyone, ever. Carry them with you and offer to go over them in the other person's presence. You may choose to leave _copies_ of portfolio items, but there are some risks involved. See below.
2. If you create an electronic portfolio (on CD or on the Web), use something relatively secure, such as PDFs with Acrobat security turned on to prevent copying or changing your documents. Also include something obscure that you can use to prove that YOU created the samples (lest someone else claim to have done so). Suggestions have included an acrostic of your name as the initial letters of the first paragraphs, a concealed photo of yourself that you can reveal because you know the password, etc. I don't think you have to carry this concept to CIA-type extremes, but given the results of last week's techwr-l poll, I think you ought to give serious consideration to some such security arrangement.
3. If you don't have any _real_ samples yet, create fictional ones in a variety of media, styles, and types, to show the range of things you feel comfortable doing.
Cass Sadek wrote:
>Despite the lack of work there seems to be right now,
>I'm still trying to break into technical writing, and
>I'm putting together a portfolio.
>Forgive me if these seem like silly questions, but
>I've never had do this before. :)
>1. Is a portfolio something that you should be able to
>leave with a potential employer? Or is it just one
>folder that you carry around with you to give them a
>glimpse of what you've done?
>2. Should I have a 'soft' portfolio as well that could
>be emailed to a potential employer?
>3. Any other pointers you could give a newbie on
>creating a great portfolio?
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