Sunday, May 17, 2009

Do I Send My Portfolio to an Agency?

Kevin – Is a physical book something you bring to an interview, or is it something you send off to agency? I've noticed most agencies have a stack of books that were sent to them. And if you do send your book off, do you get it back or do you have multiple copies? – Hudson

Your book/portfolio will be viewed in two ways:
  • During an interview // After reviewing your resume, the agency will determine they want to meet you and view your portfolio at the same time. In fact, viewing and discussing your portfolio will be the majority of the interview. You will usually leave with your portfolio in hand. Occasionally the interviewer will ask you to leave it behind (especially if they want someone else to see it). Ask them when you can return to pick it up. A day or two is the longest they should hold it.
  • Pre-interview // An agency may ask you to send in your portfolio to determine if they want to interview you. They'll call in several portfolios at once so they can narrow down their interview pool. They should hold it no longer than a week. Again, ask them when you can return to pick it up.
Since you may have to leave your portfolio with an agency for a few days, it is best to have more than one copy of your portfolio. The last thing you want is to have someone call you in when you are sans portfolio.

Also, don't be afraid to ask if you can send it to them electronically instead (just be positive it works perfectly on any computer). This gives them what they need and doesn't leave you minus your portfolio. If fact, for interviews, carry a copy of your portfolio on a CD as a leave-behind. 

Lastly, if they don't understand you can't be without your portfolio for more than a few days, run the other direction. You don't want to work there. 

Any interviewers out there have other recommendations?


Jennifer Spencer said...

I've also seen interviewees send a mini portfolio to the agency. Obviously less expensive and if the agency doesn't send/give it back it's no big deal. Sometimes a mini portfolio with 6-8 samples coupled with a site or PDf portfolio is a nice touch that puts something tangible in the hiring managers hands.

kevin fullerton said...

... and can make a huge impression that separates you from the people who only send resumes.

Great idea Jennifer.