Building a Technical Writing Portfolio
To start your career in technical writing, you need to have a set of skills and a good portfolio. If you do not know what skills you should have, read this article—the Skills of a Good Professional Writer. But not only the skills that help people to start working as technical writers, but the portfolio will also help you become more interested in your potential employer and succeed in professional writing.
Collect Samples Of Your Best Work
Collect samples of your best work. Your goal is to impress your future employer and show them that you are more experienced. Include representatives from various industries. If you worked in only one sector, divide your samples into categories—for example, user guidelines, issue notes, and reference manuals.
If you have management experience, your portfolio can include quality measurement samples, projects, and other reports that will prove your skills.
If you are starting and have no experience at all, start your tech comm blog because it will make you learn more and keep growing and developing as a professional:
“If you want to succeed, start a social media blog and contribute regularly. Doing so will force you to learn, meditate, and apply the principles of tech comm in your daily activities. It will keep you engaged and appropriate. And it will make your work more engaging and enjoyable, because you will see opportunities to analyze and reflect on the issues that happen to you every day at work.”
Print Samples Wisely
Are you used to printing everything just by clicking the Print button? Time to change your habits. To demonstrate your skills, print your samples on two-sided paper. It will show your employer that you value paper and ink. In addition, printing on both sides helps to hide blank spaces in your portfolio.
Such a portfolio will look challenging, that will help you create an idea as an experienced and confident technology writer. Your portfolio should not contain pages with small projects. If possible, combine them into larger ones.
If the employer asks you to submit your portfolio, be sure it will be legal, and you will not break the agreement you signed earlier. As you know, some industries protect their internal documents, and it would be unfair to send documents to a third party. So, in this case, explain that you can only show your portfolio in person.
Make your portfolio easy to find information – create tabs for each section of your portfolio. But even the tabs should look professional, not make them stand out or handwritten.
Use the Portfolio to Prove Your Experience
During your interview, do not only give your employer your portfolio. You should talk about your previous projects, your experience and use the portfolio to highlight your success in technical writing.
Upgrade Your Portfolio
Even if you find a job you like, don’t forget about your portfolio. Add successful new projects because your portfolio reflects your knowledge.
If you genuinely desire to improve your technical writing skills, I think you will find this helpful article.
Additionally, here is a free guide that will help you build your professional writing career.