RE: Developing a Portfolio

Subject: RE: Developing a Portfolio
From: "Rick Bishop" <rickbishop -at- austin -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 20:02:21 -0500

Having hired a fair number of tech writers, and interviewed many more,
my answer would be, 'Not at all.' I've had those in the business for
over 5 years show everything from a full portfolio to photos taken
and deliberately blurred so you couldn't read the text.
The last one I hired had only a 7 page manual on how to edit a home
movie with Windows Movie Maker and burn it to DVD. It was so well
done I couldn't have done otherwise. He is now one our best.
My only recommendation -- don't show up for an interview
empty-handed and make sure what you do have is perfect, even if it's
only five pages of redacted text. You can at least explain document
design, styles structure, how you manage graphics, and so on. Having
something in hand gives you more credibility.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+rickbishop=austin -dot- rr -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+rickbishop=austin -dot- rr -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Gillian Candiloro
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 10:11 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Developing a Portfolio

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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Developing a Portfolio: From: Gillian Candiloro

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