Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10 Things Creatives should not have on a Resume

1. Listing Word, Excel, Windows, The Internet, Macintosh or Microsoft Office as skills.  Ummm, Duh.

2. Any of the following words: Team Player, Multi-Tasker, Hard Worker, Detail Oriented, World Class, Aforementioned, Right Brain, Whole Brain, Holistic Thinker, Marketing Professional.

3. A QR code.  I am not going to pick up my phone, take a shot, then peruse your portfolio on my phone. Ever.

4. More than 3 fonts. More is not more.

5. A 5-paragraph cover letter. I actually think creatives should skip the cover letter.

6. Links to a Blog or Twitter account that have content a recruiter really shouldn't see. If you are going to give me more content that you author, make sure it enforces the reasons I'd want to hire you.

7. Referencing yourself in the 3rd person. Creepy.

8. A design that makes any part of the resume hard to read.

9. A lack of personality. You must show something that differentiates you from the next person.

10. An Objective section that starts with "To Obtain. . ." I already know you want a job, no need to muddle it up with corporate speak.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Inspiration & Your Responsibility to Find It

Last night I gave a talk at Chapman University, as part of their Visual Arts Speaker Series.

One of the points I made was about inspiration and the responsibility of a creative student to continually find sources of inspiration. You can only concept ideas from the contents that currently exist in your brain. If you do nothing to increase those contents, well then, your ability to think up new and innovative ideas is somewhat limited.

But, those who travel more, read more, research more current trends, watch more of the best ads, solicit different points of views, eat at different restaurants, and generally indulge in random and varied activities more, those folks will be the ones who have a wider (and way more interesting) foundation to extract new ideas from.

In this interview of John C. Jay, Global Executive Creative Director and Partner of Wieden + Kennedy, Mr, Jay echos the same thought that creatives have an obligation to search out sources of inspiration. He says, "As a creative, it's your job to stay current. It's your job to make sure you look outside your own silos."

He also talks about his time working at Bloomingdale's under a CEO that made seeking out sources of creative inspiration a top priority. Have a watch of this video, you'll be jealous of Mr. Jay's early experience I'm sure. I am.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Yes, Atmosphere Matters

After a lot of years working at an ad agency, I take for granted the very cool atmosphere within which I work.

Unique Artwork - Check
Ping Pong Table - Check
Funky Wall Graphics - Check
Bright Paint Colors - Check
Dogs Afoot - Check
Amazing Patio - Check
Punching Bag - Check

Yea, coming to work at such a cool place doesn't suck. We say we need a creative environment to inspire creativity. But really, it's just plain fun. My friends who work at other substantially less fun offices are jealous.

This short video showing the walls of Toronto-based BizMedia being livened up a bit is equally as cool. (Thanks @AdBuzz for sharing!) And helps to prove that yes, atmosphere matters.

Hey Apathy! Wall Mural from BizMedia on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cool Resume of the Day

By far, the coolest resume I have seen in a long while.

Vagelis Tassopoulus, a copywriter from Greece.  Go to his site to see the full version. A wonderful mix of work stats, awards, personality and creativity. I just love it.

p.s. If anyone knows anyone stateside, Vagelis is looking to relocate.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Art Center + Team One = Cool Stuff

I love when an agency truly embraces inspiring artistic ideas. Nice work Team One!

"Team One recently collaborated with Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design to transform our everyday white walls into a canvas for artists. In partnership with Art Center’s creative leadership, we launched Space Monkey, an exclusive, semester-long curriculum designed to transform our philosophy of “launching new ideas into the world” into student-created works of art. The course – managed by the school’s trans-disciplinary studio program – is an upper level course for students from different majors to collaborate on and execute unique art concepts. Taught by artists Mark Todd and Christian Clayton, the inaugural Space Monkey course featured 15 students from the college’s illustration, photography and advertising majors.

Throughout the four-month semester, students worked with Team One creatives to develop and pitch their recommended art installations. Space Monkey was the first opportunity for most students to work with a “real-life” client. Students proposed 19 distinct ideas, six were selected, and over three weeks during July and August, Team One’s hallways, collaboration spaces, kitchens and lobbies were transformed into canvases of creativity and energy."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Act like you own it

Last night I went to see a band at a local club. One of the singers was starting to bug me and it made me want to grab him after the show and give him a few performance pointers. Pay attention because these same pointers apply to any somewhat nervous person looking for a job.

1. Act like you own it.**
This singer had a great voice, he was just too nervous for his own good. 

Shore up your confidence, settle your nerves and you WILL shine through, especially when you have the creative chops to back it up.

**This is different than "fake it 'til you make it". This singer had a great voice, he just didn't share his confidence with anyone. I'd assume you had a great book until you prove me otherwise.

2. Find something to do with your hands.
This singer could not figure out what to do with his hands. After a while, that was all I could pay attention to. He'd hold them stiffly at his sides, then hook his thumbs in his back pockets for a millisecond, then put them in his front pockets, then back out again. 

Fidgeting gets you nowhere, just breathe and sit still. Sit on your fingertips if you have to.

3. Shut up. 
Once this singer started chatting into the mic, his nerves took over and he didn't know how/when to wrap it up and get back to the music. 

Nerves make all of us chatty and next thing we know we started a story about our portfolio and ended it talking about our cat. Again, take a breath and relax as much as you can. Answer the question you've been asked, then shut up.

4. Have fun. 
My guess is this singer loves to sing. But combined with being very nervous, not knowing how to perform in front of an audience and squirming a lot, he just looked like he wasn't having much fun.

Advertising isn't rocket science. It is an industry where you can have lots of fun. Remind yourself of that as you head into an interview and feel yourself starting to get nervous. 

Tell yourself: "This is fun. I am fun. This interview will be fun. 
And I will own it."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

If you want to leave, leave

It is a big decision to leave your current company. Perhaps you want to work on different brands or you want a better growth potential. Maybe you hate your boss or your boss hates you. Whatever. You have made the decision it is time to leave.

So you begin interviewing.

Remember now, you have made the decision it is time leave. First. Then you begin interviewing. The order of these two tasks is important.

DO NOT do it in reverse. Begin interviewing then figure you'll decide if you want to leave depending on the opportunities that come your way.

Here is why.

Companies spend time and money interviewing and selecting candidates. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. They may even fly in out-of-town candidates and put them up for a day or two while interviewing.

If you are out interviewing, please be serious about actually taking the job. Do not use a job offer as leverage to stay where you are. Kinda sucky all around.

I've just flown someone in, had a wonderful interview, confirmed a great personality fit with the team, a super strong book, worked the mounds of offer paperwork through the pipes, presented an offer, then. . .

. . .was told "let me think about it."

Ok, that I understand. Perhaps this candidate is so good, there are other companies making offers at the same time. I can understand needing some time to gauge one place against another.

What I can't understand is someone needing time to decide if they even want to leave in the first place.

Remember, you have already made the decision to leave.

I'm happy I just got someone a big fat raise to stay where they are (if it is more money you want, please take a second to ask). I'm sad I used up a chunk of my recruiting budget for someone who deep down might not have been serious about moving on.

Think about where you are. Consider the money + the work + the growth + the culture. Then, decide whether or not to go out find something new. And if you could do that before giving me a call, that'd be great.

Monday, August 29, 2011

U really should use proper english

In this day and age of smart phones, texting and emailing on the fly, I know it is hard to maintain proper use of the english language.


Can we all agree when emailing a recruiter (or creative director, or HR person, or fill in the blank-person who might give you a job) it is a good idea to communicate as best you can?

Which means spelling out the word "you", not using U.  As in, "I'd love to send u my book."

Really? You are trying to get a JOB here, not pass me a note in history class.

The email that precedes someone reviewing your portfolio is in fact one of the most important emails you'll ever type. Take a few minutes, spell out the long words, proofread, show some personality, be succinct and then send.

Your future career will thank you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Big Ad Gig

It's that time of year again. Time to prepare your video entries for the Big Ad Gig.

I was in NYC last fall to watch the finalists present in front of the judges. The room was packed with ad industry folks from all levels and all departments. Such great exposure for any aspiring ad student.

It's contests like this that give the forum to just about anyone to get noticed. Sometimes you have to take an unconventional route to get your foot in the door.

Plus, their website is pretty cool itself.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Portfolios aren't just for Creatives

I was an OC Ad Fed Career Night panelist last week and was asked about the importance of portfolios.

If you are a creative, this is like asking the importance of air. But, for non-creatives, I am finding more reason to believe a portfolio is a great idea.

In fact, in 1998, when I interviewed for a print production job the manager asked to see my portfolio. I was like, whaaa?? She wanted to see a sampling of all the things I had printed, which seems obvious now. At the time, I naively thought portfolios were only for creatives.

Even if you are straight out of college and no real work per se to feature, you could still create a portfolio of sorts to differentiate yourself from the candidate pool.

Take Lauren Murphy. She's in her senior year at UC Riverside, scored an awesome internship at Innocean last summer and has a passion for innovation and product design. Her portfolio site helps to showcase her critical thinking skills together with her creative side.  This is tough to do in an 8.5" x 11" white piece of paper we all call a resume.

Lauren's site gives a peek into her personality, has very cool formatting of experience and skills, links to the projects she worked on during school and an option to download her resume. An excellent showcase for someone looking for a position outside the creative department.

If you are interested in planning or art buying or account, you too could find a way to create content to showcase during an interview. I guarantee you will have such a different experience if you reference your portfolio site during the interview.

For instance, if you are interested in photography and a possible job in art buying. Wouldn't it be great to start researching photographers and shooting styles now? You could show what photographers you are inspired by and state why. You could collect and display samples based on different possible clients or brands. Now I am just making this stuff up here, but I can tell you if a young grad met with me and pulled out this great photo reference they'd been working on, I'd be blown away by their initiative and passion.

Think about your resume and the type of job you want to go after. Is there a way to translate it into a portfolio and give a bit more depth to what you're all about? I am certain those who take this step stand a head and shoulders about the rest.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Color of Diversity

Remember folks, the color of Diversity isn't black. Or should I say isn't just black.

Tamika Cosen contributed an insightful article on the advertising week blog today. She speculates that more black students are not seeking careers in advertising because ad schools aren't doing enough to articulate the successes of black people that made it on the creative side. (side note: watch our film, Pursuit of Passion: Diversity in Advertising; it's goal was to articulate the successes of folks from a variety of diverse backgrounds).

I love what she's written, but I wonder. Is the lack of diversity in advertising really about the lack of african american people? Diversity is such a big word with a lot of components: blacks, asians, hispanics, women, glbt. As an example, the holding company IPG promotes employee groups for each of these categories.

We have to ask ourselves what exactly is it we are trying to solve when we focus on Diversity efforts?

Maybe we really mean less white males. Recall the recent twitter chatter about the Award Show juries being about 99% male (#changetheratio, #toomanywhitemen).

Can you say more black, more brown, more yellow by in fact saying less white?

I don't have an answer on how to get there.

Yet as Tamika writes, exposure at the high school age is a good start. Then put the onus on colleges to inspire students toward advertising careers. Lastly, our industry must embrace and promote multi-cultural employees up through the ranks. Perhaps then we'll start to see less white men in the board room.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Thanks to @flickster for sharing. Such a great video.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Brief, but worth it

Now is the time to switch your high school-ish email address.

No more "swiftygirl72" or "callmeswift" or whatever was cute in 1999.

It takes about 2 seconds to open an email account. I know I have previously posted about getting your own personal email to begin with (not borrowing your girlfriend's email to send out your resume on your behalf). Now it's time to make sure it named something slightly north of professional.

Some personality is fine. Silliness is not.

Friday, June 3, 2011

When in Doubt, Counter

Being offered your first job is exciting, and. . . super stressful.

How do you know it's the right place for you? What exactly are the job duties? How much are they going to pay you? What if everyone who works there is a dork? What if I hate my partner?

All valid concerns. Especially, the "how much are they going to pay you" concern.

The second you hear the actual amount being offered to you, you'll have one of two reactions: total joy or total bummed-out-ness. Hopefully the former, sometimes the latter.

Here's my advice: if you are offered an amount that you just can't swallow, ask for more.

This advice also applies when you've been somewhere a year and you deserve a raise. Ask for it. There is absolutely no harm in declaring your worth (as long as you realize others might not wholeheartedly agree).

My sister got offered a job last week. First thing she tells me is she can't get by on the salary. Mind you, she did NOT say she thinks she deserves more or is worth more or should be making more (all of which may be very true). She said she can't get by on the salary.

It's a great job at an interesting place and she really wanted to work there. Counter them I said. Call them up tell them how excited you are by the opportunity, how great a fit it is for you, AND that you would like to ask for 10K more. Then be quiet. Let them respond. Candidates usually mess up the opportunity by talking too much. Keeping quiet is key.

I can tell you no hiring manager wants to lose a candidate this far in the process. If they truly can, they'll see what they can do. If they can't, they'll say so. No harm, no foul.

She countered, they came up, everyone's happy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cute Resume of the Day

Just love the ones that stand out. . .

Head to Art Director Marcus Chin-Quee's site to see it close up.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Graduation

Congratulations to all the advertising and design students that are graduating this week. Pure awesomeness.

Here is your post-graduation to do list:
1. have a beer
2. thank your instructors
3. take a vacation
4. get the crappy school assignments out of your portfolio

Last week I attended a senior portfolio show at a local college. As one student was showing me his work, I got stuck on a newsletter piece he had in his portfolio.

The newsletter had some pretty heavy, yet really interesting topics like 'Drinking and Sexual Abuse.' What tripped me up was his photo choice in the article. It was a huge, disproportionate photo of a banquet table. Yes there were wine glasses in the shot, which I guess related the drinking part to the story. The size of the shot was off the charts when compared to the copy and I really felt he could have chosen a more emotional and striking photo.

The next page showed something similar: huge photo, uninteresting shot, weird placement. As did the next, and so on.

Well, turns out, this newsletter was the by product of a photography assignment. The students did a large scale photography exercise and then as a subsequent assignment, had to create a newsletter around those same shots. Hence the shots that really didn't fit the stories.

Dude, take that crap out of your book. It is not helping you land a job.

Now that you are done with school, you can be done with the mandatory school assignments that might not be the strongest representation of your creative skills.

Filter through your book and make sure every piece that remains is 100% the best possible work you can do. No one needs to see the assignments that were, albeit for a purpose, not good for your final portfolio.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I promise not to. . .

I promise never to check out your Facebook page.

As a creative recruiter, I have no desire to see your personal Facebook details. None. Zero.

The more I hear about HR folks and recruiters doing background checks on candidates on Facebook, the more I ask myself: Why would I ever want to do that**?

**keep in mind, I am quite possibly the only recruiter on this planet that feels this way.

Isn't Facebook the place we say silly things and post funny tidbits? Isn't it the place to spend mindless, wasteful time? I think it is and I really don't care what silly fun a candidate conducts on Facebook.

Looking on someone's page, someone I don't really even know, is creepy snoopy to me.

I will check out your twitter page, especially if your tweets are about advertising, design or inspiration.
I will check out your portfolio site. Um, duh.
I will check out your blog, especially if your blog is about advertising, design or inspiration.
I will call your references, as well as call people through my own network to check up on your skills.

But really, I have no interest in your dog photos, your foursquare checkins, your self-portraits from your best friend's bachelorette party.

I try to understand the motivation of knowing a candidate's "darker" side. So I guess I can find out if they drink (well, pretty sure I already assume that if they work in advertising). What the heck else am I going to find? Especially at the junior level when the candidates are about 4 minutes out of college. Wouldn't all I find be shots of silly drunk nights and links to even sillier content?

So, I promise never to check out your Facebook page.

But remember!! The 109,583 other recruiting professionals do.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Creative Way to describe a Creative School

The way an advertising or design school advertises itself must prove incredibly difficult. They have to prove the are worthy of calling themselves creative in an ever-increasingly competitive space.

Have you heard of Hyper Island?

"The Hyper Island Master Class is an intensive three-day program for professional focusing on how to create efficiency within your organization and using interactive media as a tool for achieving high growth and ensure long-term success. 

Hyper Island offers the Open Master Class in Karlskrona (Sweden), London (UK), New York (US) and Los Angeles (US)."

I kinda want to go. Especially after watching this cool video.

Hyper Island On a Wall from Hyper Island on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hey you, pay my way!

One way to get into an advertising or design school is to have someone else pay for it.

Check out this scholarship being offered by Langara College in Vancouver.

2011 Rethink Scholarship at Langara Call for Entries from Rethink Canada on Vimeo.

Their site says:
We think it's important to nurture young talent. That's why we teamed up with Vancouver's Langara College. Together, we offer one aspiring art director or designer the chance to win a two-year, fully paid $18,000 scholarship to Langara's Communications and Ideation Design Program.

To apply, students are asked to fill a classic black sketchbook in any way they want. Or take it apart and rebuild it into something totally different. They simply need to convey their ideas, passion and creativity using only the black book. We then judge the sketchbooks to award the scholarship.
You got nothing to lose by entering. Except a free education.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nice Message

Hannah Choi & Rebecca Ullman from VCU Brandcenter created this video promoting the Tomorrow Awards from

Simple. And I love it.

The Tomorrow Awards from Hannah Choi on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I sit in so many meetings  --usually filled with a few too many people-- a bunch of whom don't say one word, that it makes me wonder.

You realize that it is your responsibility to participate. Not just in meetings, but in most everything to do with your job. Sure anyone can be a fly on the wall, sit and listen and take it all in. But is that really the point?

Is that how you are choosing to learn, by listening? I'd advise you to choose participate as the verb you choose to learn by.

Ask a question during a meeting. Make a comment. Let others hear you voice, your brains, your humor -- something. If you participate in meetings, people ultimately recognize your contribution which I can tell you goes a long way.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Your Ideas Printed

I started out in Print Production, so printing has always been near and dear to my heart.

The tactile feeling of paper, the visually cool effects of die cutting and embossing, the layering of ink on a page; all these things are extremely interesting to me. And should be, as well, to you.

Designers have a responsibility to know slightly more than the average joe about printing and how their ideas will execute on a piece of paper. It is not enough to leave that knowledge up to the print producers in your agency. As an art director or designer, you have a big hand in how well projects come out on press.

Make sure you are soaking up as much knowledge about paper and ink as you can. You can do this by asking a bazillion questions of your print producers and print vendors. Every job you are working on and every press check you are going on is an opportunity to learn more.

A couple questions to ask yourself to determine how much you do (on don't) now about printing:

How does printing on uncoated vs. coated paper affect printability?

What is a blueline proof and what are you OK'ing when you sign it?

What's the difference between conventional dot and stochastic dot printing?

What is 4-color process? How do spot colors translate into process?

What is trapping and how does it affect type and images when it is done incorrectly?

How does the direction of the print sheet affect your ability to correct color on press?

Folks, I could go on with a list of 100 questions. But, I'd be very proud if you knew at least the above answers as a junior designer.

Smart and print savvy juniors grow up into smarter and print savvier seniors. Do yourself a favor and learn, learn, learn as much as you can about print and paper. It will serve you well over your career.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


How am I just hearing about this two years later?!

This film, The AD-VENTURE, sounds so cool and all students an juniors should check it out.

"In the summer of 2009, two young creatives began documenting an ongoing journey across the US, discovering the identities of top ad agencies, gathering advice for new graduates, and exploring the future of advertising. Come along for the ride, as they provide a map to your creative future."

Very cool. You can checkout the trailer here. If you happen to live in NYC, there is a screening next week, Wednesday, March 23rd at 7:30 pm. More info on their blog.

What a great way for you to see inside some very cool agencies: Saatchi LA, Goodby Silverstein + Partners, DDB, Strawberry Frog, and more.

Makes me want to go on a road trip. Starting tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cute Resume of the Day

I'm hoping you can see this graphic well enough. If not, go to her site and check it out.

Just a great example of creativity, nice design and not too overboard in a resume. It makes me want to meet her, and that's the whole point.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Couple of Tips

Couple of important tips for creatives, I may have mentioned a few of them before on Twitter (@AdSchoolAdvisor).

* You gotta put a link to your portfolio on your LinkedIn profile. I guarantee you are missing out on opportunities if you don't. See us recruiters are generally lazy and we won't take that extra step to email you/link with you/call you and ask for your portfolio. This goes for Creative Hot List as well.

* Include a note with your LinkedIn request. Please. I don't know you, and still don't if you drop me an anonymous request. Just a one liner is fine, but I really am not interested in people who can't include a few words to introduce themselves.

* You gotta have a digital portfolio. End. of. story.

* When you are checking back in with a recruiter, always remind them of what you are (copywriter/art director), and include a recent link. I am amazed at the volume of notes I get that don't have either. I don't have that good of a memory that you can rely on me remembering you from a year ago.

A whole lot of recruiters and I appreciate you taking the time to following these tips!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Someone else's great advice

Sometimes I come across advice to juniors written by other people and get sooooo jealous, wishing I was as brilliant to write it myself.

This gem on the Ad Buzz site, was written by Mat Zucker, Chief Creative Officer of OgilvyOne Worldwide. It's called "What I Wish Someone Had Told Me" and is capital B-Brilliant.

I have been hounding students about the art of the craft and Mat echos this in his point about typography. I urge students to be savvy and knowledgeable about current events and pop culture and Mat too prescribes this when he says know your content.

Have a read, it is some of the best advice out there for juniors.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two Seconds

Yep, that's what it takes. Two seconds to open an email account.

I can't think of a technology feat that is easier to do than open your own personal email. Hence, why I am so utterly confused when I get emailed portfolios through another person's account.

Like a creative has his wife/girlfriend/sister email me his portfolio through her email address. Weird. Really weird. I truly have tried to think of reasons why people would do this. Yea, none come up.

The question is, when I reply, should I acknowledge the person whose account it really is? "Hi Darcy, I see this is your email, but someone named John just sent me his portfolio from this email address. Could you let him know to get back to me? Thanks."

Take the two seconds.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

To Lock or Not Lock

A couple of weeks ago, I received a link to a portfolio that required me to input a user name and password.

My first thought was, Really?! A creative portfolio does not need to be under lock and key. Plus I am usually short of time when looking at books and having to take that extra step tends to bug.

Is this a Glamour Don't? Well, I sent a note to the person and said I was curious as to why they locked their portfolio. His answer made me think twice about this extra step.

"I'd rather not lock up my portfolio but I've got some spec work that clients would prefer to keep private. I've also had some problems with former colleagues using pieces of my work in their own book when they really shouldn't have."

Smart on both points. Protecting the spec work that wasn't bought by a client but is still strong work. He's right, the client might not want that all over the internet. And protecting your work from the sticky fingers of former colleagues (I am floored this even happens in this world!) is a rightful concern as well.

Lock or Not? I'm leaning towards not, solely because I am a recruiter and I hate taking that extra step to get into someone's book. But for you, a creative, you might want to spend some time deciding if locking up your goods might be a smart choice.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Start your Career in Advertising

The folks behind the blog Makin'Ads published a downloadable eBook about getting your start in a career in Advertising.

"We wrote How to Start Your Career In Advertising for those clueless 20-year-old versions of ourselves. (It's free to view and to download, because our 20-year-old selves wouldn't have paid for advice either.)"

Love it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kenji Summers

We've released some new footage from our Pursuit of Passion: Diversity in Advertising shoot. 

Here the team shadows Kenji Summers, a strategist from BBH in NYC, on a typical day at work. Kenji is a self-described + Strategist + Cool Hunter + Idea Spreader + Connector. He's a guy that I know will be making an incredible journey in advertising for years to come. Find out more about him on his personal site.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wouldn't you want to work here?

I saw this in a job posting a while back and it really impressed me. 

"We also want to know what you’re passionate about. Art, music, history, volleyball, family, the environment, whatever. We’ve found that those that are truly passionate about life make everything we do better. This is a fast-paced agency, but we share real friendships within the office. We bring the company together with a catered lunch every Friday, monthly happy hours and the occasional chili contest. We’re a real team. And together, we’re developing world-class marketing, advertising and technology solutions for our clients."

There are a couple of reasons why I love what they wrote. First, they clearly say your passions (read: outside of advertising) are of interest to them. I always tell this to students and juniors. Hiring companies just want to know what else you bring to the table, because it's those interests that truly reveals who you are.

Second, they give clear clues about their office culture. Heck, it made me want to apply. 

Fast pace + friendships = we're rocking and having fun
Catered lunch + chili contest = we take care of our people while having fun
Team + world class = we have a clear mission and want you a part of it

You sure don't get this kind of detail in every job posting you see, but man, doesn't it help? 

When you get a better feel for the type of place you are interviewing, you have better chances of matching yourself to the right place. Now if every office had catered lunches, happy hours and a genuine interest in hiring passionate people,  job searches would be a piece of cake!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Glamour Don't #572

Dear unknown cell phone user, please don't text my cell phone asking for a contact name. I appreciate you signing your name, though unfortunately I didn't recognize that either.

To me, a text is urgent. Or at least urgent-er than a phone message. So I am not sure texting a creative recruiter or creative director on their cell is such a good idea. Unless you are a candidate accepting an offer of employment or telling me you are going to be late for an imminent interview, I don't understand the urgency. 

Now, had this been an actual phone call to my cell, I'd have been surprised but certainly wouldn't have hung up on the person. I may have even given them credit for being ballsy to call me on my cell, rather than on my office number. A stranger's text to me is a tiny bit intrusive.

Though after being taken aback by this text, I wondered why was it that this startled me? Was it surprise at a stranger having my cell number in the first place? Was it shock at blanking on their name when perhaps I really do know them and in fact gave them my cell last weekend at a dinner party?  Was it that I am just from a different generation and texting is an exception rather than a rule. Maybe anyone of these. 

Use this as a guide. If a recruiter or creative director didn't personally give you their cell number, best not to text it. Give them a ring instead.

p.s. to my texter: The person to contact in HR is Christine Hays. She can be reached at 949-754-2000.