Friday, May 13, 2011

6 Tips for Ad Peeps - New and Old

+ It's that time of year where we start to see influx of portfolios, resumes and spec work being spread around. That means it's graduation time for a lot of ad students. So I thought I'd share a few tips for the job search. We all know you need a resume and portfolio. But here are a few things to think about in addition.

1) Only put work you're proud of in your book. You'll get some conflicting opinions since creativity can be subjective. But you only want the work that you're really happy with, because those who are of a like-mind are the creatives you'll want to be working with. You'll never be able to have *everyone* love all your work.

2) Confidence is not the same as cockiness. Be confident in your skills. But be careful. There can be a fine line between being confident and cocksure. If you're just out of school, you need to show your desire to learn. And to be honest, even if you're more seasoned, anyone who shows or talks about wanting to continue to learn and grow and improve themselves gets extra points in my book. This is a fluid business that is constantly changing. New media and tactics are available all the time. In this day and age, I have to wonder if anyone is actually an expert, vs. proficient in a topic. And unless you have been around or in the biz for decades, cockiness doesn't fly in most instances. Also a good thing to remember: if you post your work on ad sites to gain visibility, and you get negative feedback, don't start a flame war. You never know who will be reading what you are posting.

3) Show your curiosity. Curious creatives excel a thousand times better and faster than those who are not. They have a bigger pool of influences to pull from. Your brain is able to randomly connect more items, giving more depth to the variety of creative concepts you can think of, wider variety in your designs, copy, etc. Talk about your interests, share how they help shape your creativity.

4) Be hungry. Realize that when you are starting out you will most likely not be doing the same type of work that you were doing in school. Junior-level people rarely get a chance to dive right in on broadcast, online video, and high-profile projects. You will be a grunt, designing the smallest things or writing the not so exciting. But, you should want it. You should want any and every opportunity presented to you. It's what you make of it that will help you shine. There are no lame assignments, only lame creatives. (and sometimes clients). ;)

5) Be professional. Dress appropriately. Be respectful. Act like an adult. Pretty basic, but oft forgotten. Up-talking and overuse of words such as "like" make you sound unprofessional. Think before you speak--you may say things in a way that you don't mean for them to come out and especially in interviews and your first few days on the job you want to make a smart impression. Don't like that be something you end up kicking yourself for later on.

6) Be excited. Don't go too over the top but hey, who wants to work with or hire people who aren't excited or interested in the business? Do your research, and let your excitement come through. (this is a little close to #4, but important enough to mention again, I think).

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