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Last week I applied for Co-op position at a company, they requested that I address the cover letter to someone on the online posting. This week I received word that I would have the interview, and I am just fixing up the portfolio. I was also notified the name of the person who is going to be interviewing me. Should I change my cover letter that I sent to address the person who is going to interview me, as they are different people? Also do I change the contents, or does the employer expect one to have the exact same cover letter on them as which they applied with. I am wondering because it might be weird if I bring my cover letter addressed to another person when my interviewer is really someone else. Thanks alot!

  • They told me to bring references only, however I would like to give my portfolio as well, I have pictures and small text of my past projects in there, however when I looked up the formatting online, it said to always keep your cover letter and resume in the beginning of the portfolio after table of contents – Jason Genova Jan 27 '16 at 13:07
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    @Munt Presumably that's only if you're submitting a single file. Don't just blindly follow what the internet tells you to do, you need to customise the formatting to your situation. – Lilienthal Jan 27 '16 at 13:32
  • I see, do you think it would be inappropriate just to bring my portfolio with all the major projects that I have done? My professors and co-op advisors suggested it was a very good idea – Jason Genova Jan 27 '16 at 13:39
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Typically, if I'm bringing application documents for an interview, I'd be bringing them for reference, or for interviewers, if they've not got enough copies.

To that end, you're better off having the same documents you sent previously. They're not going to look through a new document, but they might glance at a copy of one they've been through before for reference.

  • I see. Thanks for the response, does this mean I shouldnt include my resume/ cover letter in my portfolio? – Jason Genova Jan 27 '16 at 13:08
  • Not sure what your portfolio is being used for. Typically, for an interview, I'll have 2-5 copies of my CV, copies of communication and adverts that're applicable, and enough paper to be able to make notes. A few times, I've referred back to something mentioned previously, or given out copies of my CV to one of multiple interviewers that didn't get one. – Jozef Woods Jan 27 '16 at 13:22
  • My Co-op advisors and professors suggested it would be a good idea to bring a portfolio of major projects I have done in school and give it to the employer. Is this not a good idea? – Jason Genova Jan 27 '16 at 13:38
  • For that, I would include documents relating to your projects, rather than ones relating to your application. Take the application docs along, but keep them separate. The portfolio is all about presentation and information, the application docs are for reference. – Jozef Woods Jan 27 '16 at 15:52
  • Ok that sounds perfect. Is there a specific time during the interview in which I give my portfolio? Beginning or end? I was planning on relating one of the questions given and then showing my portfolio then offering her a copy at the end – Jason Genova Jan 27 '16 at 17:10
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I think you're overthinking this. You've already written the cover letter and since it's already done its job (i.e., gotten you the interview), probably no one will do more than glance at it anyway.

On your resume, if you have additional information that you think would be relevant to the position and that was NOT in the resume you sent, you could certainly update it.

However, most hiring managers will have already reviewed your resume by the time you get to the interview. The last thing you want is to have them searching the new copy for changes during the precious time you have to impress them in person. I think you'd be much better off focusing on the interview; if the info you left off comes up in the natural course of the conversation, you can tell them then.

By all means, bring a portfolio of your school projects for the hiring manager to review. I would not, though, insist on giving them a tour through the entire portfolio unless they insisted. It's that same "you only have a short time to impress" bit as with the new resume.

Instead, you can set the portfolio in front of you when the interview starts, find an opportunity to use one of your projects as an example, and use it then. If the interviewer wants to see more, they'll ask. Be prepared to leave your portfolio with them for a few days if requested. I usually put my CV on the inside cover of the portfolio.

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