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Should I Pass Out Resumes and Good Letters at an Interview?

by Lisa McQuerrey

Your goal in a job interview is to present yourself in a professional and organized manner, highlighting your work experience, skills and educational credentials. The better impression you make on interviewers, the more likely you are to be selected for the job. Arrive on time and be prepared with detailed resumes, letters of recommendation and client testimonials -- even if you already sent the information in advance of your interview.

Prepare

Find out who you’ll be interviewing with. You might be meeting with a hiring manager or human resources representative, talking to a department manager or even participating in a panel interview comprised of managers and other staffers. Knowing your audience will help you prepare the appropriate type and number of materials to bring with you to the interview.

Make Professional Packets

Put together individual resume and letter of recommendation packets for each person you'll be interviewing with. For example, if you'll be talking to three panelists, put together three packets, as well as a fourth for you to keep yourself and use as a reference. The packet can be a manila envelope or file folder, and should include your resume and copies of letters of recommendation. If you're providing work samples as part of the interview process, make copies of those as well, and include them in the packets. This way, you can reference the samples as you outline your work experience and areas of expertise.

Distribute Resumes

Have your packets in your briefcase or satchel, and wait until the lead interviewer asks for a copy of your resume, or invites you to talk about your background and credentials. At this point, bring out the packets, give one to each interviewer, and say something like, “I put together some information that details the specifics of my background. As you’ll see, I’ve been working in various marketing capacities for a number of years, and I'm fortunate to have received great feedback from a number of my key clients.”

Interview Tips

Your interviewers might take a few minutes to review your presentation materials and ask you to expand on information in your resume, or provide additional information related to your letters of recommendation. Be proactive and assertive in describing your professional achievements and talking about why you’re a good fit for the job you're seeking.

Photo Credits

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