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I agree that nobody should go to an interview without work samples. Not just work samples though, to look professional they should be relevant work samples. Something I teach my students is to think in terms of three different kinds of portfolio.
The first, a morgue, should contain everything you have ever written (including all drafts). More than once, I have had people attempt to claim my work -- claiming to have written or designed a proposal, for example. Having the entire paper trail for a project eliminates that possibility. I keep my morgue in filing cabinets in my garage.
The second portfolio includes all examples of excellent, finished work. Never have anything in this portfolio that needs any kind of apology or explanation. I keep mine in sleeves 3-ring binders or in large portfolio binders. This is the stuff I never let out of my office.
The third portfolio is a satellite portfolio that I take to the interview with the intent of leaving it with the interviewer. This is comb bound and contains copies of excellent samples that are relevant to the specific job. Being able to leave behind an excellent portfolio that is addressed to the specific employer can be very powerful, and costs very little.
This has worked several times for me.
David E. Hailey, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor -- Professional and Technical Writing
Utah State University
dhailey -at- english -dot- usu -dot- edu
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