Optimizing your portfolio berkeley stc


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Presentation by Andrew Davis oriented towards technical professionals seeking new jobs. STC stands for "Society of Technical Professionals"

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Optimizing your portfolio berkeley stc

  1. 1. Optimizing your PortfolioBerkeley STC6/8/2011<br />© 2011. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved. <br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />Context<br />Goals<br />What should be in your portfolio<br />How to present your portfolio<br />What to do if it’s proprietary<br />Q & A<br />
  3. 3. Context<br />My experience<br />2 yrs’ journalism and marcom, 8 yrs’ tech pubs (as staff TW, Pubs Mgr, contract TW), 16+ yrs’ tech comms recruiting<br />My role<br />Matchmaker, advisor, candidate champion<br />My sources<br />(1) industry hiring managers, (2) personal observation, (3) job descriptions, (4) candidates’ input<br />
  4. 4. Goals<br /><ul><li>Keep you sane
  5. 5. Let you secure work reliably and efficiently
  6. 6. Give you ideas and hope
  7. 7. Anticipate and address issues</li></li></ul><li>Portfolios Overview<br />Role of a Technical Communicator’s portfolio<br />What to include<br />How to present it<br />What to do if it’s proprietary<br />How to build a dev-doc portfolio<br />What if you’re new to tech writing?<br />
  8. 8. Your Portfolio’s Job<br /><ul><li>Prove your resume’s claims
  9. 9. Prove you understand your audience
  10. 10. Prove you know the tools
  11. 11. Prove you can organize, write, and deliver</li></li></ul><li>What to include<br /><ul><li>Three kinds of software doc content</li></ul>Procedural<br />Conceptual<br />Reference<br /><ul><li>Three contexts for delivering that info</li></ul>Linear prose<br />Task-based help<br />Instructional/Tutorial<br />
  12. 12. What to include, pt 2<br />Prove you can organize, write, & publish<br />doc plan<br />TOC<br />conceptual content<br />procedural material<br />reference material<br />glossary<br />index<br />
  13. 13. What to include, pt 3<br />What sells best?<br />Clear, crisp, friendly prose (for end users)<br />Screenshots, illustrations (for all)<br />Code examples (for developers)<br />Detailed, complete instructions (devs, admins)<br />Scenario-based tutorials (for all)<br />
  14. 14. How to present it<br />Keys to effective portfolio presentation<br />Accessibility<br />Relevance<br />Context<br />
  15. 15. Accessibility<br />Put it online<br />LinkedIn profile (box.net, Creative Portfolio Display app)<br />Website you control (private directory, private user/pw)<br />Email (YouSendIt.com for large attachments)<br />Guided tour (join.me, gotomeeting.com)<br />
  16. 16. Relevance<br />Based on HM’s requirements<br />Explain how you approached similar challenges<br />Explain what you delivered and why<br />Discuss what you learned<br />Identify how you succeeded<br />
  17. 17. Context<br />Identify your role in content development<br />Explain circumstances<br />Accessible SMEs, stable product, well-defined features, understanding of audience, authoring tools, schedule, protection?<br />Pinpoint its strengths, weaknesses<br />What would you do differently next time?<br />
  18. 18. But it’s proprietary!<br />Bring solutions to achieve mutual goals<br />Have prospect sign an NDA too<br />Neuter proprietary content (ex. Disney character names)<br />Redact<br />Ask ex-boss for permission<br />Ask IP owner’s Legal Dept for permission<br />Take names, addresses, SSNs<br />
  19. 19. Build a Dev-Doc Portfolio<br />Create your own rewrites of public domain doc<br />See synergistech.com/dev-doc-portfolio.shtmlfor eg’s<br />Demonstrate<br />familiarity with technical subject material<br />understanding of audience's needs<br />working knowledge of authoring tools, and<br />motivation, initiative<br />Createshort before-and-after samples<br />
  20. 20. But don’t…<br />say “I can learn anything; just teach me.”<br />say “I can’t show you my samples.”<br />make your inexperience (with their product, technology, tools, culture, dev environment) their problem.<br />lead with your limitations<br /> Reduce their risk! And don’t make them think<br />
  21. 21. If you’re new to the business<br />Read the Catch-22article<br />www.synergistech.com/catch22.shtml<br />Find ways to show<br />Initiative<br />Motivation<br />Capacity to learn fast<br />Value (“I’m a good investment, not a liability”)<br />
  22. 22. Interested? Intrigued? Let’s talk.<br />Andrew Davis, recruiter<br />C: 650-271-0148<br />andrewd@contentrules.com<br />www.contentrules.com/jobs<br />