Technical Editing Technical Writing

Writing, Creating, and Editing a Web Portfolio by Dylan Schrader

For my final project in EH 603, I am going to create a professional portfolio website highlighting the best work I have completed for my Master of Arts in Professional Communication. When I have applied to jobs at forward-thinking tech companies, one of the documents they often ask for is an online portfolio or professional website. While I have a traditional printed/PDF portfolio that I am proud of, I still feel like my applications are not as competitive as they could be. Because of this, it is imperative that I create a professional, aesthetically pleasing portfolio that encompasses everything I have done in my diverse academic and professional training.

For the website, I will use WordPress because I have completed a previous user-help project on how to use WordPress (that I also built using WordPress). While I would like to branch out and try to use a different software to broaden my technical abilities, I want to do the best job I can, so I think it is best to stick to the software I know well. As far as the aesthetic goes, I will most likely choose a striking, but not overwhelming, color and font scheme. I can’t say which one specifically because this will honestly be one of the most time-consuming parts of this project. I am picky, and the stakes are high for me here, so I will vacillate between at least 12 templates and who knows how many different color schemes and fonts.

For the content, I will tailor it to my prospective audience—technical writing, user experience, and human resource professionals who are responsible for hiring new candidates. Considering the audience, one requirement I have envisioned is a short introduction of about 250 words for each web page I plan to create for this project. Most likely, the pages will be titled “Technical Writing,” “Journalism and New Media Writing,” “User Experience,” and “Publications.” I may also include a before and after grant proposal I have edited for my job for an additional fifth web page, but I will have to get permission to include it, so I may not be able to include this.

In addition to those specific web pages, I will also write a slightly longer essay of about 750 words discussing what I have accomplished so far in my academic career, and also what I have accomplished in my current position and internships. Because I do not want them to skip past this essay (because it is a useful means of persuasion that I don’t want to waste), I will keep it concise, clear, and, of course, correct. I plan to use all of the rhetorical skills I have learned over the course of my master’s and bachelor’s degrees in as short and compact a way that I can manage.

One thing I am considering doing for my introduction (or home) page that I haven’t committed to is a video introduction—I’ll wear a suit and everything. I figure if they skip past my painfully crafted introduction essay, then at least they’ll watch my video and be persuaded to continue looking at all of my schmancy work I have done. I will have to record this a ridiculous amount of times and write and memorize a script to do it, but the more I consider it, this seems like a necessity.

In conclusion, this project will allow me to confidently submit applications to tech companies around the country and compete with highly qualified candidates.