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work in a few months, send it off to your contacts with a cover letter reminding them
of who you are. Make phone calls on a regular cycle (once every six to eight weeks is
reasonable) to see if there's something new available, or if they'd like to see more
work. Keep the conversations short and upbeat. If you had a PDF and have now added
a website, or have significantly updated the website they saw originally, send a note
to announce the URL and invite your contacts to visit it. If your work is good, persis-
tence will be rewarded.
Thank-you note
The text for a thank-you should be professional, short, and warm, but not effusive. It should
be sent to the person who conducted the interview. Make sure you spell their name right,
proof your work for spelling and grammatical errors, and don't refer to other people in the
interview by name unless you are very certain of who they are. Do mention something spe-
cific about the interview, so they know your note isn't generic. Such a note could go some-
thing like this:
Dear Scott,
Thank you for the opportunity to present my portfolio to your group yesterday.
I really appreciated the give and take, and I hope we'll have the chance to continue
the process in the future.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Linda Jones
Staying relevant
It's so tempting, once you finally have a portfolio in place, to treat it as com-
plete. Many people who use their portfolio as a tool to find a new job throw it on their
mental shelf once they start the new position. But very few jobs are permanent. You
should clean house and freshen your portfolio on a regular cycle. If you ignore it and
let it become stale, you hasten the day when your portfolio can no longer be present-
ed. It becomes a major project once again.
The simplest chore is to check your links, if you have any. One typical boo-boo
is to fail to update your mail-to link when your provider email address changes. If you
link to any sites outside your own (friends, web-based projects you contributed to or
designed), check every one to make sure that they haven't changed as well. And don't
forget to check links to group portfolio or self-publishing sites. Something they think
is old might be purged. Link-checking should go on your calendar as a monthly house-
cleaning task.
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