When a writer has no bylines

You don’t think about it when you’re employed as a communications officer, you’re just following best practices by keeping yourself out of the story. But then comes the day when you need to put together a portfolio, and you find that you have no bylined or credited work for the past seven years.

All that time writing, editing and posting or printing content, and nothing to prove that you created it. It’s a funny position for a writer to find herself in.

On the other hand, there have been few feature stories and no magazine pieces during that time, either. Simple newsletter articles and items, media releases, emails, ad copy and social media posts have communicated my employers’ programs. And all projects were work-for-hire, which nixes that beautiful portfolio website.

When I was last job hunting, only seven years ago, I took a physical portfolio to my interviews, each piece an actual magazine, newspaper, brochure or annual report that I had written, designed and produced. But now—and especially during a pandemic, when everything is done remotely—that is not an option.

My portfolio wasn’t top of mind when I was working, but that was a mistake. I am left with screenshots and my word about what I created, and that will have to do for now.