Re: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Cre

Subject: Re: Portfolio questions (was Resumes and Cre
From: Geoff Bradbury <bradg -at- INTEXT -dot- CPSG -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 15:27:42 +1000

> 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?
At 14:38 21/0995, I wrote:


I've been through many mills: private & public sectors, employee, and
contractor. My approach to my portfolio is that it contains a single copy of
everything I've work on. That covers: User's Manuals, Programmer's Guides,
forms, posters, floppy disks with online help files, and even the newsletter
for the local Neighbourhood Watch! Consider nothing you've worked on too
trivial: they're your babies after all!

The job/contract I'm applying for determines what I pull for the
mini-portfolio. Having a sizable portfolio allows me to luxury of deciding
which item to take, rather than simply taking what's there and hoping it's
what the interviewer wants to see. I don't walk into the interview with a
shopping trolley, but take just enough to show my skills base. I'll
(probably) never be asked to design a newsletter for a living, but it's good
to show I have the flexibility and skills to tackle such a task, so the
Neighbourhood Watch newsletter always goes for the outing. That, with my
ability to answer the questions asked should be sufficient to provide the
interviewer with a useful profile.

Most interviewers gain enough from viewing the portfolio to not want copies.
Still, If you've something that's small, fairly representative, and copies
well - go for it.

Geoff Bradbury - Technical Writer for InTEXT Systems
"Makers of extraordinarily fine text storage and retrieval software"

PO Box 310, Deakin West, ACT 2600, Australia
+61 6 283 6804 (voice) +61 6 285 4316 (fax)

My writings reflect my views: not those of InTEXT Systems

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
- Douglas Adams

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