Re: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Credentials)

Subject: Re: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Credentials)
From: Romay Jean Sitze <rositze -at- NMSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 21:25:29 -0600

On Wed, 20 Sep 1995, Mary Howe wrote:

> 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?

Since many tech writers wind up producing forms of one type or another,
including a sample or two would certainly be appropriate.

> 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 all means be selective. If your handbooks and manuals are lengthy,
choose a representative segment--perhaps a chapter--from each. All you
need is enough to show your writing skill. Most of those to whom I've
showed samples of my work did not have or take time to read lengthy
selections. Be considerate of their time, but offer enough to display
your ability.

RoMay Sitze, rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu

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