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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  What constitutes a great leave-behind?

What constitutes a great leave-behind?

OK, you meet with a CD, and he asks me to leave your book behind, after giving it a positive review. You do so, because you have a second copy of your book to continue shopping with. So the NEXT CD asks the same thing. You say yes, because you really want a job, but you’re kind of nervous because you only have one more complete copy of your portfolio. The third CD says the same thing. So now you have three possibilities, NO definites, and no more copies of your book to shop around for the time being.
My question is: how do you feel about “leave-behinds”? If they are supposed to be like mini-copies of your portfolio, then what do you put in them and what do you exclude? If it’s supposed to be the best of your book, and your book is the best of YOU, shouldn’t more work go into these little things? And what if the pieces you choose for your leave-behind weren’t that CD’s faves from your book? Are leave-behinds just a reminder of who you are? If so, wouldn’t a snazzy business card and resume suffice? And besides, samples of your work should whet an appetite to see more, not to show them work they’ve just seen, right?
Signed, Someone Who Isn’t Rich Enough to Make Dozens of Portfolios, Nor Wants to Sell Himself Short With a So-So Leave Behind

intro What constitutes a great leave behind?Nope, a snappy business card and resume do not constitute a good leave- behind. Here’s the thing. CD’s see dozens and dozens of people over the months. Even very good people can get lost in the jam-packed recesses of our minds. Believe us, you shouldn’t think of leaving what you’ve just shown as redundant—we’ll forget it about two minutes after you leave. So it’s really helpful—and helps you—if you leave samples of your work to keep on file. Here’s where you’re going wrong: it’s overkill to leave a complete, “finished” portfolio. Literally, black and white Xeroxes of your best print will serve the purpose. Is it even better to have a beautiful presentation for us to remember you by? Maybe. But this kind of expense truly isn’t necessary. So collect those missing portfolios (bug the CD’s assistant—she/he will fish it out of the boss’s office and return it). Next time a CD asks you to leave your book, hand them the simple envelope with photocopies in it and explain you need your portfolio for the interview you have later that day. And of course, say you’ll be happy to come back later with your body attached to your book if they’d like to talk more about the opportunity at the agency.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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