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The short answer: Anything that when you created it or received it, made
you think "Hot damn, I'm good!!" (trust me, egos aside, we all have
those thoughts once in a while...some of us more often than
others...ooh..ooh...there goes one now!)
The remainder of this post may raise the hackles of some of you out
there, so read it at your own risk :-) It simply works for me.
When it comes to a portfolio, sell the sizzle, not the steak.
The long answer:
My portfolio is a real leather portfolio, zippered sides, with printed
tabs and every piece of paper in its own plastic slipsheet divider. It
has 7 major section and 3 sub-section in the last one.
I Cover Letter
VII Writing Samples
I, II and V are self explainatory.
III is a two page, formatted document with about 10 refereces that I'd
previously received approval to have called, with their name, title,
company, email, phone and fax. When it comes time to give 3 references,
I copy the page and circle the ones that I'd like to submit at that
time, with the understanding that they don't have permission to call any
that aren't circled.
IV Commendations are any formal certificates that I've received during
VI Comments is anything I may have received as an email, handwritten
note, etc., that mentions a particular skill, a "Good Job" penciled in
on a piece of paper, thankyou notes, etc. An example is an email that
went to a team with the line "...especially John and his quick and
comprehensive writing skills." or "Ya know, they can clone sheep now, I
wanna know when they can do people so I can clone some posadas...I wish
we had a dozen posadas working with us. It would make life pretty
sweet"...or "Oh, tech writer god..."
VII Whatever may be needed to demonstrate a skill. It should have visual
impact, graphics and color if possible. Show a range of flexability...I
have a page from a proposal with color and graphics opposite a UNIX MAN
page. Shows that I don't adhere to the approach that when all you have
is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. As far as content? Flame me
if you will, but of the 20 times I've shown it, 2 read content and 18
breezed through the pretty pictures and went, "OH, WOW...what great
stuff." ;-) (and yes, I got offers even from the two that read the
I'm trying to make two points.
1) We are in the business of communication information. Part of that is
how we "frame" the content. Styles, formatting, presentation, etc.
Information presented professionaly will be viewed as professional
2) We all are presented with what at the time may seem like
insignificant credits, praises, ataboys, and thanks. Standing alone,
they remain nice, but insigificant. However, put 20-30 of them in a row
and all of a sudden, they create a mental picture in the mind of the
interviewer that says "Ohmygosh...we NEED that person and what if that
person ends up at a competitor?"
stark vision wrote:
> Hi all-
> I?m in the process of putting together my portfolio and I would appreciate any comments on what to include and what not to include. For example, I have included a Table of Contents and my Resume.
> HotBot - Search smarter.
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==
John Posada, Technical Writer
Bellcore, where Customer Satisfaction is our number one priority mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com mailto:jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com
phone(w) 732-699-3077 phone(h) 732-2910-7811
alpha-pager: 800-864-8444 pin 1857522 http://www.tdandw.com
email pager: mailto:1857522 -at- pagemart -dot- net
My opinions are mine, and neither you nor my company can take credit for
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish,
and he will sit in a boat and smoke cigars all day."
"The only perfect document I ever created is still on my hard drive."