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Leave behinds consist of collateral material to give to anyone who interviews you. It may consist of a package of different items, such as a resume, cover letter, business card, letters of recommendation, references, a short article referencing something you’ve published that is relevant to the job or industry.

You’ve made it through the screening process and onto the desk of the hiring manager.

The hiring manager has reviewed your resume, and decided that you’ve made the short-list, two or three candidates that will be interviewed and ranked for fit and finish.

You nailed the interview, and upon reflection,  felt pretty good that an offer was forthcoming.

Whether or not you performed well enough in the interview isn’t the question – it’s how well did your performance stick in the mind of the hiring manager. One way to encourage that stickiness factor is with a well-prepared set of Leave Behinds that can potentially act as triggers for the hiring manager.

Coming to an interview, prepared to leave behind a package of documents with each person you interview with can give you that edge that is the difference between an offer and a rejection letter.

So, what do you include in a Leave Behind package?  In my view, the Leave Behind package should be customized to the interviewing opportunity. When you’ve scheduled an interview, start doing your homework. Find out all you can about the people who will be interviewing you. Research their profiles on Linked In. Google them. Check your network contacts to see if anyone knows them.

A basic leave behind package consists of a business card, cover letter and resume.  You can add in references (specifically check for references that might be known to the company and the hiring manager) if you like. If there is a work sample that you’ve produced that might be relevant, include it. If you are published or quoted, you make prepare a document of links to those materials.

Depending on how formal you want to be, you can build your leave behind package into a folder or bind it into a simple covered document.

This simple show of initiative may be all it takes to move from the reject pile to the offer letter, and with all other things being equal, your leave behind package will likely make the difference between you and #2.

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