How to get a head or foot in agencies
Do you want a job at a creative agency? How the hell do I do that? Two very good questions to which there’s no right answer to either. But where do you start?
Well, being passionate, energetic, willing and talented are pretty good. But having the ability to sell yourself is also pretty important. It’s the hardest brand you’ll ever have to sell (you know all the limitations and weaknesses as well as the strong points, after all), but if you can do that one successfully then everything else is easy. Here’s some thoughts we’ve had on getting your first foot through the door.
Understand your target audience.
It’s is also pretty fundamental to success in any agency. So here’s some things that you might be useful to know. The people looking at your work are busy. They haven’t got much time to look at your work. Undoubtedly we’d love to meet each and every one of you in person and give you full and far reaching feedback. Unfortunately we have clients and they can be very demanding on our time.
We also see a lot of people’s work. You’re not the only one. Yours isn’t the only CV. Yours isn’t the only portfolio. And after a while names and work start to blur a bit. So cut to the chase too. Your life story in a covering letter may be fascinating, but your work is more relevant to us.
It’s pretty essential if you’re going for job in the creative industry. Here’s a hint – you don’t have to play by the rules. Why send a CV and portfolio in? Why not do something else? One of the best hires we made turned up at our office with a cake she’d baked as well as a handmade portfolio. She’d seen in the job ad that we like cake. She got the job. Here’s another hint – we still like cake.
How are we going to remember you? There’s a lot of good designers, art directors and copywriters out there. How are you going to stand out. I used work with a creative team who when they were doing the rounds out of college, used to put a small explosive banger in their portfolio. If the portfolio came back and had been unopened, they knew because it would go off in front of them. And if it had been looked at by the people at the agency, they knew it, and immediately had something to talk about. ‘The exploding portfolio’ guys’ have had very successful careers since. It worked for them.*
*They were different, more relaxed times though. We do not recommend delivering explosives to agencies. Also, come up with your own idea.
An application doesn’t have to be an application
If you’re thinking of applying, don’t wait to be asked. We advertise for interns and junior positions, but what would make it better for us is we didn’t need to. If we already knew there was someone we wanted to bring in, that would save us a load of time. And we’re busy.
An interview doesn’t have to be an interview
Again, think about how to get to talk to us. We’re often happy to share information and advice without being a formal interview. If you’re smart and impress, you’re on our radar already.
Digital doesn’t have to be digital
We get a lot of emails. They all look like emails. They all have attachments, which all look the same until you open them. But we have to open them in the first place. Sometimes the best way is actually to send us something physical. We’ll probably open that.
Work doesn’t have to be the work, but it does have to work
Show us some work and your ambitions. You might not have finished work that’s run that you can show us. That’s fine. You might not have worked on live briefs before. We’re looking for potential and ambition with interns as well as finished output. So show us what you have done and what kind of person you are. Creativity comes in many different forms, your instagram feed might be the thing that stands out as much as your design work. Your best writing at the moment may be your twitter feed rather than that flyer you wrote. But if you’ve got good stuff, show us. We can give you briefs to work on too.