Are you looking for technical writing portfolios to help inspire you? You came to the right place.
Technical writing portfolios provide proof of your qualifications. However, creating a great tech writing portfolio is quite challenging since there is a lot to consider. You should know how to communicate the complex work you do, show your technical writing projects in an interesting manner, and demonstrate your work samples, no matter if you have a many or few.
Here, we cover the five best technical writing portfolio examples 2022. But before that, let's discuss the importance of a technical writing portfolio and its major components.
What is a Technical Writing Portfolio?
Similar to a cover letter, the portfolio gives a hiring manager the first impression. A technical writing portfolio is your chance to show your potential hiring managers the range of your writing abilities, thought processes, and other useful skills. It is a set of web pages or a part of a larger website used to showcase your previous writing projects. Technical writers use tech writing portfolios to showcase their work, together with an explanation of their work methods.
Having a technical writer portfolio is beneficial when explaining your achievements and demonstrating your writing skills and abilities. It is where you give solid proof of yourself as a strong and eligible candidate. In the main, writing portfolios lets you stay current in your career and help you interest potential clients or employers through your technical writing case studies, and more. Portfolios can become a decisive factor in getting you invited for the interview. It is what interests the recruiters to get in touch with you after learning about you and your technical writing skills.
Importance of a Technical Writing Portfolio
If you want somebody to hire you as a technical writer, you need to market your skills to them. Having a portfolio helps fulfill this purpose. A portfolio is a window that works as the make-or-break factor in determining whether a potential employer will choose you. A great online portfolio helps you leave a good impression on them. It provides proof of your expertise and abilities and demonstrates to the employer that you are eligible for a specific job.
You will need a technical writer portfolio, whether you are looking for a full-time position or a freelance job. While a CV gives recruiters an overview of your work experience, education, accomplishments, and skills, portfolios accentuate your expertise and what you can offer in the technical writing field. It allows you to show the employer your best skills in great detail and with maximum precision and differentiates you from other competitors. This, as a result, increases your chances of landing a job.
Major Components of a Technical Writing Portfolio
There is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to what to add to a technical writing portfolio. In the end, your aim is to make your prospects confident in the fact that you can provide the service they need to drive business results. But how do you do that? You need to build your portfolio on a simple structure that introduces you, demonstrates your process, and inspires action. Here are the major components you should add to your tech writing portfolio:
Clients or employers look for candidates who will fit in their team. So, it is useful to add some basic information about you that can give some valuable insights into your personality and work style. Add a quick summary of your skills to tell your potential employers who you are, what you are good at, and how you will put your expertise to use in a work environment. Try to mention everything that might set you apart from other technical writers. A short yet good introduction lets the readers picture what sets you apart from other candidates and how you can help their business.
Work Samples and Case Studies
Gather the best samples of your work. Your goal is to interest your potential employer with high-quality technical writing samples and show your experience. Select the projects with interesting backstories and challenges - those that pushed you to your limits. If you have a long collection of projects, there is no need to indicate all of them. Showcase samples from your recent technical writing projects unless they are under NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
Collect your samples from different areas, such as user guides, release notes, tutorials, API documentation, reference manuals, etc., so that you can attract a bigger audience to your portfolio. Cover a diverse range of formats and writing situations to show your versatility and ability to use the appropriate language. A user guide and installation guide are essential in the high-tech software industry. So, you can include such texts and samples to make a great portfolio.
You can also display your work with case studies. Case studies cover descriptions of the projects and offer insight into your creative method and the before-and-after visual demonstration of your service(s). It is better to add case studies instead of including screenshots of your work to show recruiters what you can do.
If you want to win business, make it easy for prospects to contact you. Display your contact information like phone number and email in strategic places. In addition to adding basic contact information to your technical writer’s portfolio, highlight your online presence with links to social media profiles also. Sharing links to your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles can help you build up your credibility and authority. Also, the network will offer a greater sense of confidence to potential clients.
If you are an experienced technical writer, add testimonials from your previous clients or employers to your portfolio. Include written testimonials from everyone you have worked for. Make sure the shared testimonials are clear enough - indicating who they are coming from (their name, position, and company name).
5 Best Technical Writer Portfolio Examples 2022
By now, you know everything to start off. Your portfolio is a portal through which both clients and readers learn about you and your work methods - and it is one of the best ways to land a job. If you need to understand how to make a portfolio, take a look at these five writer portfolio examples for technical writing services:
Karen Rempel is an award-winning New York-based technical writer and editor with over 20 years of experience in writing, designing, and creating other materials. She has a simple and clean website having different sections. The portfolio covers each project, along with detailed descriptions and the tools used. The site has a dedicated page to show Karen’s resume to the visitors. Throughout the site, you can find her contact information, previous technical communication position, services, and recent blog posts. You can find detailed client testimonials under the Recommendations section.
Mario Garon is a technical writer with a background in translation [English/French]. He has a great passion for communicating complex ideas to readers in a simple manner and improving our everyday lives. The portfolio starts with his quick introduction and goes deep into all stages of his projects. There is also a Blog section that has posts around different tech topics written by Mario. He has also shared his resume to give a brief summary of his skills and experience relevant to technical communication. Clients can reach out to him by filling out a form on the Contact page.
Chelsea Moats is a renowned technical writer and designer who has been generating excellent copy for its clients and readers for many years. Some of its past employers are eBay, ProWrite, HealthSpot, and Johnson & Johnson Company. The Homepage of her personal website displays her major services: technical communication, digital and visual rhetoric, professional writing, and usability testing.
Her portfolio showcases all her recent technical writing projects, with short descriptions and appealing screenshots. What’s interesting is that the site has a page covering everything about creating technical documentation. Also, Chelsea’s portfolio contains individual pages having her resume and contact details.
Stray Goat Writing Services is a firm owned by a UK-based freelance technical author, Craig Wright. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Communication and Information Design and boasts over two decades of experience in hardware and software technical documentation. Visit his website, and you will see some of the best technical writing samples in his portfolio.
The portfolio includes samples of technical writing projects like processes online help, user guide, software online help, and help articles, along with their brief descriptions and screenshots. In addition, the site has pages covering his work methods, services, case studies, client testimonials, blogs, and prices. There are About and Contact pages also, where you can find Craig’s brief introduction and contact information.
Wendy Hollands is a renowned Australian technical writer with about twenty-four years of experience in the content industry. Her years of experience working with words shows her versatility, adaptability, and innovation to match different content requirements. Past roles include technical author, content manager, translator, editor, SEO writer, project documentation manager, and magazine production editor.
Her portfolio has a simple design and takes a formal tone, with sections centered around Wendy’s services and projects. It gives her a quick introduction with an overview and screenshots of all her projects. Also, there are testimonials and quick stats about her work in the portfolio, which is an impressive touch. There is also a contact form at the bottom of the website, where you can leave your message or find Wendy’s Twitter and Facebook handles to contact her.
What to Do If You Have Zero Technical Writing Experience?
As an entry-level technical writer, you may have zero to some writing samples under your belt. Regardless, you must create a portfolio to apply for technical writing jobs. There is no need to wait for your first technical writing assignment to build your portfolio. Instead, keep practicing by creating new documents for existing programs or projects.
In the beginning, you may come across opportunities to gain experience by working for free. Work in exchange for samples to build your portfolio and gain references from reputable clients. Many open-source projects need help with documentation. Contributing to open source is a great idea as using Git, GitHub, and Markdown will help you develop skills that are in demand for technical writing jobs.
Also, you can land writing work by pitching ideas to blogs and publications. Start with small outlets like niche blogs. With little time spent refining your pitch, you can land a good number of guest posts this way. Just come up with a topic, carry out the research, write content, and reach out to editors to see if they want to publish it. Spec writing works great if you are just starting out and have ideas for the niche topic.
Collect poor documentation and rewrite it to make it better. Then, in your writing portfolio, mention how and why you made changes to the technical documentation. In addition, you can start publishing how-to articles or tutorials about your favorite technical products. You can also volunteer to write user guides, documentation, or articles for your favorite startups. Check what kind of writing samples you have. Whether you have articles or blog posts, you can work with that since it is everything about how you frame it.
There is no need to add all your work to a portfolio. Instead, select the best and most interesting ones to improve your image in the eyes of potential employers. At times, it is better to include few but impressive internal documentation in your portfolio. Or else, they may get lost in the remaining of your work. Now that you have seen some excellent examples of technical writing portfolios to draw inspiration from, it is time to consider where to build it and start adding your work.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He had his first job in technical writing for a video editing software company in 2014. Since then, he has written several books on software documentation, personal branding, and computer hacking. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.