Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dear Santa. . .

Everyone loves getting presents. There's something about the suspense mixed with anticipation that puts a smile on your face. Certainly a feeling on everyone's mind being that Christmas is 2 days away.

So kudos to Kenna Clark, a jr. writer from Miami Ad School who sent me a present yesterday. I didn't know what was inside, in fact I almost didn't open it thinking it was another student book and could certainly wait until after the holiday break. But perhaps my girlie gift-sensor went off, because I changed my mind and opened the envelope.

It's shape and size gave away there was a portfolio inside, but at this point I really didn't care because I was wrist deep in wrapping paper. Remember everyone loves getting presents. And there it was: a jr. writer portfolio. Complete with a hand-written Christmas card.

However difficult it seams, there are ways to break through the clutter, to get your book to a recruiter and, more importantly, to get them to look at it. Wrapping it up as a present and delivering it 2 days before Christmas is one of them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Your competition read it

Week 10 of an 11 week class. A students tells me she can't complete her assignment because, well, she hasn't bought the textbook. Whaa?

I hesitate to print the tuition amount for this school, but let's just say it's nearly 20 times more than what I paid for my education. Seriously. Can students get through 3 years of ad school thinking that not buying (and READING) a textbook is ok?

Now I'm sure some might argue that you can't teach "creativity" from a textbook. That art directors learn from example and design from some innate skill that couldn't possibly be learned from a book. Yea, well, I'm thinking buying a textbook is actually teaching things beyond what's printed inside.

First, it shows you care about your education. Your very expensive education.

Second, it shows you have an interest in learning what's inside. Pretty sure you don't know everything at this point.

Third, and I'm going to sound like your parents here, it shows you have a sense of responsibility. Mostly that responsibility is to yourself to get the absolute most out of your education.

Remember this: out in the advertising world, sitting just outside the creative recruiter's office, is another just-out-of-school creative who actually did buy his books. And did read them. And that guy is your competition.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Glamour Don't

At some point I am going to publish photos, like Glamour magazine does, showcasing the Dos and Don'ts of creative portfolios. For now, the description of a major don't is all I've got.

First off, a candidate called yesterday and told me he left his book with reception and asked if I could have look. Sure, no problem. And, oh, could he get the book back as soon as possible. Again, sure, no problem.

After that brief conversation I naively equated his urgency to quality and I imagined this guy had scores of recruiters all in line to get a hold of his portfolio.

Yea, well, not so much. First, if you can't respect your resume I have a hard time being open to the work that follows it. This candidate's resume looked like it had be carried around in his back pocket since the 8th grade, was folded into quarters and, as an afterthought, had been shoved into the folds of his work for safekeeping.

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to think. Isn't a resume your calling card? Should I just have been glad to get it no matter what the condition? Maybe I'm being a snob when it comes to the presentation of your work. But, I truly feel like your creative pieces should be presented to prospective employers as the evidence that you are a true creative professional. Now, I don't mean that every book needs to be gilded in gold, but to err on the side of quality and presentation would certainly be a good thing.

Chalk it up to a Don't and take heed.