Friday, November 13, 2009

Another great read

Anthony Kalamut, the Program Chair of Creative Advertising at Seneca College School of Communication Arts passed this link on to me. It falls into the "must read" category for juniors.

"How to get a job in advertising (a good job)" is posted by Scott Goodson, the founder and CEO of Strawberry Frog. It is a discussion between Kalamut and Goodson providing insight into preparing youth for a career in advertising. It struck me because my last post touched on a similar topic. Personality, passion and pursuit being of the essential traits for a young creative looking to break into the business.

Kalamut covers five major pillars in this conversation:
1. Passion
2. Opportunity
3. Honesty
4. Youth
5. Optimism

Good stuff, have a read, take something away.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Show it

A simple reminder about interviews.

Exude interest: in the company, in their work, in actually wanting the job.

Exude personality. You'd think this would be a given. But, interviews are nerve wracking and sometimes you forget to just relax and be you. Remember your personality is what defines you from the next candidate. If an agency has asked you to come in, they already like your work and now it's just about you as a person.

Exude interest. Wait, I already said that.

Exude passion: for learning, for the industry, for creating great work.

We recently interviewed a young woman who, at first glance, seemed quiet and reserved. Once she began showing her work, she lit up. She was descriptive about each piece in her book and clearly proud to talk about her ideas. Not only that, but she expressed whole-heartedly her genuine interest working at our agency. And with every subsequent contact I've had with her, she reiterates how much she'd like the position. Add that to her very strong talent and she got herself an offer.

Personality, passion and pursuit. It all adds up.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back it up

If you are a junior copywriter making the rounds with your portfolio, you'll be asked at some point for long copy samples. Most of you have a book full of work written with a headline and a couple of sentences of body copy. You need to be able to back that up with a few longer pieces that show you can actually write. A paragraph, a story, anything longer than 3 sentences.

This is akin to an art director showing they can design to back up their ability to concept. I don't want to see a book chock full of work that is essentially a photo with a headline. I want to see layouts that show a range of skills. This art director book does just that. I see the evidence that she can design, which backs up her ability to art direct. I need to see similar evidence for a copywriter.

I received a copywriter book a short time ago. The writer had interned at some amazing places: Crispin, Fallon, Energy BBDO. Impressive and obviously his concepts warranted these places being interested in him. Cut to his long copy section.

Let me explain. First, I was a couple classes shy of being an English major. Second, I love to write. Both make me hypersensitive to the correct use of the English language. The proper cadence, sentence structure, grammar and usage are mandatory in my book, lest we not forget spelling. Well, not so much in this one.

Please, please, please elevate your ability to craft a sentence, know the difference between possessive and plural, and master grammar. I'll forgive the occasional typo (although some recruiters don't), but I'm stringent on the others.