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‘Personal portfolio’ or ‘proprietary information’?

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “When interviewing for a job, is it okay to bring copies of performance reviews, customer service ratings, or complimentary emails? I have some very favorable comments that might impress an interviewer, but I’m not sure how this would be viewed. Also, I don’t know what would be considered ‘proprietary information’.”  — Puzzled

Answer:  Sharing positive performance feedback is both appropriate and smart. Evidence of outstanding work can definitely add weight to your application. 

However, you are wise to consider confidentiality issues. Scrutinize each document for any information that might be valuable to a competitor.  Examples could include product data, sales strategies, research projects, or recruitment techniques.  

If you feel ill-equipped to make this judgment alone, consult your company attorney without mentioning your job search.  Simply say that you often discuss work with people outside the company, so you would like to know what is considered proprietary information.

On the documents, conceal confidential details with a black marker, then explain the omissions to your interviewers.  Anyone who works for a reputable company will be impressed by your high ethical standards.   

For more Office Coach job-seeking suggestions, see Job Search Tips & Tricks.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie August 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I doubt that Puzzled’s employer would appreciate paying for his consultation with the company attorney on this issue. Ours charges over $250 per hour.


ruthasaffold August 5, 2011 at 2:52 am

Of those who haven’t found new jobs yet, 38 percent said they would consider relocating for a position. http://bit.ly/pyC4RR


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