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technical writing portfolio

Tips on How to Create a Technical Writing Portfolio

In digital marketing, the most common type of writing seems to be content writing, but a technical writing portfolio has its own place under the sun. Not only is it used in digital marketing, but it is also essential in many other spheres of business.

Technical writers write technical web copy, create product manuals, and add pieces of technical text to the products themselves. To become a technical writer, you will need a portfolio that will showcase your skills and experience. Hence, here are tips on how to create a technical writing portfolio.

1. Find Your First Gigs

The easiest way to get samples is by finding your first gigs. If you are a beginner, then getting your first clients can be challenging (especially if you don’t have a portfolio just yet), but it isn’t impossible. Try to look for all kinds of gigs, but stick to the options that are the closest in nature to the kind of technical writing you want to specialize in.

If you want to write product manuals, look for gigs where you will have to do that. If you want to write technical web copy, then you should find gigs where you will be writing such texts. You can search for jobs online, ask your friends, and network at different events or in online groups.

2. Do Some Work for Free

If you are just starting out and you don’t have any experience or education that could prove that you are a good technical writer, then you could do some work for free. Instead of looking for paid gigs, look for any kind of technical writing gigs you could do without getting paid. You will still get samples for your portfolio which will be more than useful to you.

In case you studied to become a writer, you could have some connections from the school you went to. Ask your professors and other students if they know of someone who needs technical writing services. You can also check if your college or university has a program for finding internships or jobs for recent graduates.

3. Create Samples for Yourself

If you can’t find any gigs either paid or unpaid, you can always take this option. Simply create samples for yourself. Check the job listings looking for technical writers and the samples they require. Then, create the kinds of samples that employers are looking for and add them to your portfolio.

Make sure that all your samples are relevant to the work you want to do. You can even apply to different gigs, and if you don’t get them, still create samples based on their requirements and use them in your portfolio (but don’t claim to have completed the actual work).

4. Check the Work of Other Writers

To get a better idea of what your portfolio can consist of in terms of samples, you can check the work of other writers. Look for technical writers who have their portfolios freely published online and see what they write, how they write it, and what types of work they do.

You shouldn’t copy exactly what other writers do but seeing their portfolios and samples will give you an idea of what you can create for your own portfolio. Just like before, always prioritize relevance. You want to have a portfolio that will help you get the kind of job you want, so relevant samples are essential for it.

5. Get Professional Help

If you are a beginner technical writer, then you might be quite lost about getting started in the first place. If this is the case, you can seek professional help and advice from experienced writers from the writing services reviews site Best Writers Online. They will help you better understand what technical writing is and how you can become a technical writer.

An experienced writer can give you valuable tips on how to get started and feedback on the samples you already created. Such advice will be invaluable to you, so you should definitely try to find writers who will guide you in your first steps as you start building your career as a technical writer.

6. Showcase Different Samples

While it is important that you prioritize certain types of samples to have a portfolio that is directly relevant to the kind of technical writing you want to do, you should still try to showcase different samples in your portfolio. This will show that you are able to complete different types of assignments if you need to.

Showcasing different types of samples in your portfolio will also make it more diverse and interesting for potential employers. It will be easier to impress them with a portfolio like that which will increase your chances of getting the job.

7. Select Only Relevant Samples

As mentioned earlier, always try to select only relevant samples. It will be difficult, but you need to try to maintain this balance in your portfolio. While you select relevant samples, you should also make sure that there is a degree of diversity in your selection. Keep in mind that the number of samples you add to your portfolio will be limited to make sure that it isn’t too long and won’t take too much time for potential employers to check.

Luckily, it will become easier for you to create a diverse yet balanced portfolio the more you write. You will simply have more samples to choose from, so you can be certain that there will be good samples you will want to add to your portfolio.

8. Edit Samples If Needed

A lot of writers think that they need to add samples in their original form, but this is not actually the case. If you need to, you can edit your samples to improve their quality, correct linguistic or factual mistakes, and so on.

This is particularly important for experienced writers with many samples that they could be using from their early days. Older samples can be much worse in quality than your recent work, but it doesn’t mean that you should exclude them from your portfolio. You may simply need to edit them.

9. Ask for References

In addition to samples, you can add references to your portfolio. References from past employers can help you get new gigs or a job, so you should definitely ask your past employers to write recommendation letters for you.

If you are a beginner, you can do some technical writing work for your friends and ask them for references. Once you get actual work, you can start asking your employers for new references that you will use in the future.

10. Continue Building Your Portfolio

Last but not least, even once you have built your portfolio, you shouldn’t stop continuing to build it over the progress of your career. Your portfolio should reflect your current skills as a technical writer, so your samples should showcase the most recent level of your skills and experience.

Final Thoughts

All in all, whether you want to be a writer participating in mobile app development or creating manuals for home electronics, you will need to have a good technical writing portfolio. It will show your potential employers that you have the skills and experience necessary to be a good technical writer.

Lillie Jenkins

Lillie Jenkins is a creative copywriter and content writer. She has worked as a copywriter since graduating school, so her writing skills are well-honed.