The pace of the job market is zooming. Interviewers see scores of candidates, so how can you make a lasting great first impression? Plan for something you will leave behind. A Leave-Behind is a great tool to remind the hiring manager of your skills and the benefit you bring to a new job.
Job candidates in design areas usually are accustomed to leaving a brochure of their portfolio when an interview closes. The truth is this is a great idea for anyone going to a job interview to prevent their resume from becoming bogged down or lost with scores of others.
Some folks call it a resume addendum, it is a set of work samples and documents that highlights your skills and abilities. It is a concise explanation of why you should get the job. It is not an abstract document; rather it is one or a combination of the following:
Examples of Your Work
Creative types such as writers, designers, and other artistic job candidates bring samples of their work, but if you are not in an artistic field consider other creative ways to display your talent. Maybe you worked on an annual company report, planned an event, or wrote a financial plan. These are all excellent examples of the contents of a Leave-Behind – but, be sure to redact any confidential information.
A sure-fire way to impress a hiring manager is to prepare a custom Leave-Behind for the job you to which you are applying. Create a sample marketing plan for the hiring company or a strategy for penetrating untapped markets. Not only will the hiring manager see firsthand how you put your thoughts into action and writing, you show that you have initiative as well as knowledge of the hiring company’s mission and goal.
This document is composed of extracts and favorable quotes from performance reviews, letters of praise from managers and customers, and anything else that shows why you are the best candidate for the position.
Recommendations, endorsements, and testimonials are fine items to put into a Leave–Behind. Certainly, you do not want to leave multiple recommendation letters as part of your Leave-Behind package. But, a solo testimonial document can focus on the job for which you are applying. One hiring manager tells the story of a qualified candidate who was one of twenty or so equally well-qualified candidates. What cinched the job for her was the inclusion of a recommendation from an individual who was a board member of the company. It was part of a one page document consisting of a just a few testimonial quotes from people who worked with her. The board member was one of those people.
The advantage of a Leave-Behind is that you create it specifically after you have researched the company. It enhances your chances of getting the job as you focus it specifically on the position. Hiring managers are likely to separate you from the crowd when your Leave-Behind is custom designed for the company. One more advantage of a Leave-Behind is that it gives you a reason to follow-up with the hiring manager.
A Leave-Behind does not take the place of a Thank You note. No matter how you think the interview went, a Thank You note is always in order – and can be the difference between getting the job or not. Thank You notes also offer you the opportunity to remind the hiring manager that you gave a Leave-Behind. You can write something like, “I hope you found my sample marketing plan for your company interesting. I will call you soon to get your thoughts on it.”
You have just set up the reason for your follow-up!
Have you ever created a Leave-Behind after a job interview? Comment with your experiences below!