I'm a copywriter with 2 years of experience, most of them were spent at one company.

I recently decided to look for more exciting opportunities, which subsequently led me to think about forming a portfolio. A copywriting portfolio can include TV ads, social media campaigns, posters, billboards and basically any creative concept you worked on.

I exactly graduated 2 years ago, which means that what I'll be providing won't be much. I wanted to show diverse ideas suitable for different mediums, but I unfortunately worked during these two years at my company for one client of theirs.

I decided to include samples of demo projects I worked on so they can judge my writing ability. I also thought about including samples of projects that never took off or was postponed.

My question: Is it acceptable to provide samples of copywriting projects that were never materialized? How would the hiring managers view it?

  • 1
    If it was your work, I don't see why you couldn't include it. I am sure someone with actual experience in the industry can chime in.
    – Bluebird
    Nov 26 '17 at 6:53
  • Closed as a duplicate, if you believe there are on-topic reasons why your question is significantly different from the linked question, please edit to specify those reasons which will move your question to the re-open queue.
    – Lilienthal
    Nov 27 '17 at 9:18

I included this kind of projects in my resume and I've been asked about them in the past. While on the other side of the table I've also personally asked about those to some applicants. It's definitely not a taboo. You should include them if you think (as it's likely) that you learned something while doing them. Why should you hide some good experience?

But another important suggestion is that you should be able to explain why (at least in your opinion) these projects failed. Unless they were really massive and you were just one out of dozens of people participating in the project, you should let the other people feel that you have an understanding of what you were doing and where the errors were. This is necessary to prove that with the experience gained you will be able to avoid similar errors in the future, making even more valuable.

In essence, include these project but try to think about what made them fail and what you have learned from them, both from a technical and and from a "human" perspective.


First check with your previous employer(s) that you have either the legal right or their permission to show your work to others - the employer might own the copyright to your work. Normally there would be no reason to deny you permission, but better to be safe.

And it is absolutely fine and correct to put work in your portfolio that ended up not being used. If it is good work, then show it. Your work is good, whether it ended up being used or not.

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