Portfolie questions: the hiring side

Subject: Portfolie questions: the hiring side
From: Dan 'Fergus' Roberts <droberts -at- PANIX -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 08:24:02 -0400

Hi yall <my first original post, so I hope this works [g]>.
I have sort of been on both sides of the portfolio question. I've had to
send portfolios or samples, and I've had to look at them.

At my previous job-shop company, the Recruiter would receive resumes and
samples, interview the candidate, and prepare a 'team interview' with the
candidate. The team interview was done by 2 writers in the company, in order
to assess the candidate's skills and abilities as a writer. Team
interviewers would receive a photocopy of the resume, the skill sheet, and
included samples.

Of course, writers had their own work to accomplish, and
did not spend a great deal of time reviewing the samples. I rarely read
more than a page of a single document part, if multiple doc parts were
included in the samples <usually 3 were to be included>. Generally, I would
look for concise text, formatted to help the reader move through the text
quickly and effortlessly. I once balked at a sample that contained
procedures and qualifications about procedures, all in large paragraphs.

So, if you're sending out samples to possible employers, my adivce <based on
my own situation> would be:
* Don't bother making glossy portfolios, in fancy binders, with lots of
* Include short samples <chapters or pieces of chapters>. I'd say 20 pages
of samples would be more than enough.
* Include different types of samples - a GUI user's guide, a reference
manual, general intro material or material explaining a concept. If
possible, include samples from varying subjects.

Would anyone out there care to add additional suggestions, from the POV
of the employer?

Dan 'Fergus' Roberts
droberts -at- panix -dot- com

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