Don’t forget about the leave-behind

By: Ben Clos

When going into an interview there are two things that we have all been taught to have: a resume and a cover letter. While these two things will tell employers what the applicant has done in organizations, internships, and other jobs, leaving something behind that demonstrate what one has done will stand out against other applicants.

Here are some ideas of things you could keep in your portfolio that would be great leave behinds.

  1. Screenshots: Take screen shots before and after of a webpage that you re-designed. This will show how you changed the webpage and you can highlight what you did and why.
  2. Pamphlets/Posters: These work examples are good to show design skills and your knowledge of aesthetics.
  3. Pictures: A picture speaks a thousand words. Leaving behind pictures of events can show how successful an event was and impress employers if it was a large event.
  4. Numbers: Find out from each event how many impressions were gained through your work. Numbers talk to employers and being able to show them will prove that your work was successful.

To keep up with collecting your leave behind pieces, you will want to gather them as you go through your work experience. Trying to go back and find what you have done can be more challenging and items can be left out. After every event that you do, make a collection of pictures, press releases, pamphlets, and if at all possible try and find the evidence of how many impressions / numbers that were gained.

As you collect all of these things, you can keep them in one place and make copies of the pieces you want to pull out for interviews. Always pull out items that are going to be relevant to the position you are applying for. If it is a digital and web design position, use items that show things like website audits, blog design pieces, or any other things that use special computer programs. If it is for a position that requires a majority of writing, you would want to include your own writing pieces from websites, blogs, press releases, or maybe even speeches.

Just make sure that your leave behind packet is not a scrapbook. Your leave behind is probably not going to have glitter and stickers all over the pages. A leave behind is simply examples from your portfolio that are specifically relevant to the employer.

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