Re: an electronic portfolio question

Subject: Re: an electronic portfolio question
From: Sarah Lee Hauslinger <slhauslinger -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Becca <becca -at- di -dot- org>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 21:12:06 -0800

Becca, as a hiring manager, I'd wonder why you were showing
20-year-old work that wasn't directly relevant to technical
communication when you'd just completed a techcomm degree. I don't
recommend that you use the tearsheets as portfolio samples.

Here are some ideas for you: in any of your class assignments, did you
produce clearly written and well-laid-out documents? If so, I'd say
those are prime material for your portfolio. To demonstrate those
skills further, you could find some utterly badly written and laid-out
docs (a VCR or DVD player manual might be just the thing) and re-do
them with clear writing and good layout, then show the "before and
after". If you were a candidate for a spot on my team and showed me
that sort of sample, I'd be impressed, and you'd stand out in my mind
as not only a good writer, but also an innovative one.

Hope this helps.

Sarah Lee Hauslinger
slhauslinger -at- gmail -dot- com

On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM, Becca <becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> (background: I've been away from the field for about 10 years. have gone back to school to upgrade my skills and learn current best practices, am 1 term away from graduating, and am actively looking for a full time position)
> A number of agents and job places want to see an electronic portfolio. I've scanned in some pages from some of my paper documents, and am going to put them, with commentary, in a PDF.
> About 20 years ago, there was a strictly local attempt to get our primarily rural township declared a city. I worked with the opposing side (we won), and helped them produce tear sheets on the various issues, and designed some  of the campaign.  I've scanned in two of the tear sheets, to show both graphic layout ability and an ability to write clearly about issue-oriented (as opposed to technical) material.
> question 1 - should I include those tear sheets at all? if so, one or both of them? (how much is too much of a good thing in an electronic portfolio?).
> question 2 - the opposing side accused our side of hiring a high-priced PR firm to do this development for us, and had a letter printed in the local newspaper complaining about this (when it was just me and my then-Mac in my basement).  Should I go down to the library and dig through the microfiche archives of the newspaper, and include that letter in my portfolio, to illustrate how professional my work comes across?
> I'm not worried about accidentally running into someone from the opposing side with my portfolio. It was a strictly local issue, and I'm sure long-forgotten by all concerned. I only just remembered it myself when I was going through my paper documents to find things to include in the electronic portfolio and found my old copies.
> -becca
> -------------------------------------
> "Grant us, in our direst need, the smallest gifts: the nail of the horseshoe, the pin of the axle, the feather at the pivot point, the pebble at the mountain's peak, the kiss in despair, the one right word. In darkness, understanding."
> Paladin of Souls (HB page 35), Lois McMaster Bujold
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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