Developing a Portfolio

Subject: Developing a Portfolio
From: "Gillian Candiloro" <gillian -dot- candiloro -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2007 12:10:51 -0400

I'm relatively new in the field of technical writing - while I have a
bachelor's degree in technical communication, I've only been in the position
of a tech writer for just over a year. My position is challenging because I
am the only tech writer in my company, meaning that most of my professional
learning has been done by trial & error. I would say my biggest challenge,
however, is that most of the documents I work on in my company are
proprietary or confidential, and thus I haven't been able to develop any
material that I could include in a portfolio.

While I am currently happy in my position, I know that someday I may very
well need a portfolio of writing samples to show during an interview. I
know that the typical advice is to write a manual for some gadget or
household item when you do not have other material to show - but this
strikes me as something that might be appropriate for a recent grad, but not
someone with actual experience.

Do any of you have thoughts or suggestions on how I can begin developing a
tech writing portfolio despite not being able to use the documents I create
at work? Are there volunteer opportunities or other ideas for creating some
written work I can show for myself?


Gillian Orlik Candiloro

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