Re: FWD: About proprietary writing samples
I'm looking at having an empty portfolio, because
virtually all of my samples would be considered proprietary.
How do I go about giving an example of what I have done, without
compromising the policies of my previous companies?
This is a common problem for writers with many manufacturing companies, R&D departments, and government agencies. I'm in a similar position, since everything I did for my most recent full-time employer (and for most of my freelance clients during the previous 15 years) was considered proprietary and covered by stringent confidentiality agreements. I was forbidden to retain copies of any documents (physical or electronic) from those projects. In some cases, the client even sent an audit team to examine my files, computer drives and backup disks at the end of the project.
I *do* have examples in my portfolio that demonstrate my skills and the types of documents I produced, though. In some cases, I was able to prepare a sanitized version, with all identifiable names and proprietary features deleted or disguised, that management approved *in writing* for use in my portfolio. In other cases, I prepared a similar type of document (using my own computer and software) based on a commercially available product or an imaginary product for a fictitious company. In every case, I included a statement about the proprietary nature of the actual document, a brief description of the tools and skills used to create it, and a reference contact who was willing to discuss my contribution to the project without revealing proprietary details.
This has worked well for me for almost 20 years. It means quite a bit of extra work, but it was worth it.
Kat Nagel, who has been assured that her currently under-employed status is due to the local economic meltdown, not to any deficiencies in her portfolio <sigh>
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FWD: About proprietary writing samples: From: Anonymous
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