FW: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Credentials)

Subject: FW: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Credentials)
From: "Delaney, Misti" <ncr02!ncr02!mdelaney -at- UCS01 -dot- ATTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 16:27:00 -0500

From: Price, Becca
To: Delaney, Misti
Subject: RE: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Credentials)
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 1995 3:23PM

ok, here's my $1.02 worth on this, as you asked. (no, that 1 isn't a typo -
this is going to be kinda long and rather opinionated.)

I like portfolios - I hate carrying around stacks of black notebooks and
fumbling to find things to show people...

what you include depends on what you're selling. Me, I like to presume that
my concise, elegant writing is taken for granted: what I have to sell is my
analytical and synthesyzing skills [and not my spelling, as you may notice.
normally I spell check things. :( ]. So, my portfolio includes pieces of
larger documents, each with a statement attached that describes who the
audience for the document was and a little about the sitation in which the
document was written. Then I state what particular problem was presented,
and how this piece represents or showcases our solution to that problem.
The problem might be limited resources, low technology, a wildly varied
audience for the same document, or what ever.

The portfolio I present is one of those inexpensive paper thingies with
pockets inside. In the pocket behind the front cover, I put my resume. In
the other, I put photocopies or new computer printouts of the writing
samples, with the problem statement papercliped to each sample. Then I can
leave it with the company without a qualm or major hit to my pocket book-
and yes, I have had people pass it off to a friend at another company, and
then i got a job with that other company.

Samples are selected for this based on what I think a company may be looking
for, or to show my range and versitility. I don't have much that's glossy
and flashy: most of my projects have been for companies that have been,
shall we say technologically challenged? anyway, it's easy to make
something glossy and flashy look good: it's much harder to show a good
looking page and clear illustrations when what you're working with is a dot
matrix printer and an office copier for duplication...

that's me, and what I sell. After more years in this business than I like
to admit to, it seems to work for me. What works for my cubby-mate, Misti
(who is my feed into this list) is different, because she's selling
something different. Basically, look at your portfolio as a piece of
technical communication: who are you aiming it at, and what is it you want
to communicate to them? then pick your samples accordingly.

There's more to technical communication than writing. If you are proud of
your table analyzing grant request results (or whatever), include it, with a
statement of why it's there. One of my samples is a gantt chart and project
analysis in a pithy memo (of which I was very fond) - it shows my abilities
to analyze more than technical information, and that I have some project
management abilities. What does your meeting minutes form demonstrate? if
something concrete, put it in. If it only looks snazzy and you're trying to
pad out your portfolio, leave it out.


"this book told me more about penguines than I really wanted to know."

To: internet!VM1.ucc.okstate.edu!TECHWR-L (Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Credentials)
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 1995 10:32AM

The thread on resumes and credentials has been extremely useful for me
because I'm planning to send out my resume soon. Many thanks.

And now I'm going to shift to a related topic. When I last wrote to the
list for advice, several people told me to put together a portfolio of
samples of my writing. What kinds of things are appropriate? Obviously,
the employee handbooks and training manuals I've written should be included.
How about a form for meeting minutes I designed? Too trivial? How about
tables showing results of data analyses for the grant I'm working on? How
about forms I've designed for tracking data through our system? These last
three things are not exactly writing samples, but it strikes me that they
might be relevant. However, some of them need some explanation for people
who know little or nothing about this research. Do I attach an explanation?

The next question concerns quantity. Is there a point at which the
portfolio becomes too huge and overwhelming for prospective employers to
look at? The handbooks and manuals are between 12 and 40 pages long. How
much is reasonable to include. Do I take single copies to show at the
interview, or do I make extra copies to hand out?

By the way, I've been on this list for a month or so and have found it to be
vastly informative. Thanks.

Mary Howe

Child Language Program Phone (913) 864-4789
University of Kansas email howe -at- kuhub -dot- cc -dot- ukans -dot- edu
1082 Dole Center
Lawrence, KS 66045

Previous by Author: FW: Project Management Skills and Tech Writing.
Next by Author: FW: e-mail / social skills
Previous by Thread: Re: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Credentials)
Next by Thread: Re: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Credentials)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads