Career Launch

Searching for a job is exactly that – marketing yourself.

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But, you know that already, don’t you? Unfortunately, most creatives view building their portfolio as another project – with a beginning and an end. “My portfolio is together, so now I can focus exclusively on my search.”

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“Dishonorable Discharge.” Right there. On the resume. What the ****?

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I started this blog to help college students avoid the mistakes I made, as well as witnessed, during the job search process.

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Nothing sucks the creative life out of you like a job search.

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You know the drill. You arrive armed with a few questions to ask during the interview. They are evidence you’ve done your research and you’re interested in working for that company specifically — not just any company.

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Want to increase your chances of obtaining an interview? Hand deliver your resume.

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Whew... “I finally landed a job. Now I can put all that stuff behind me. No more networking. No more working on my portfolio. No more nothin’.”

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That scary person on the other side of the desk – he’s pulling for you.

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Big surprise – experience matters most.

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My good friend George Weyrauch is constantly preaching “It’s not who you know, but who knows you.”

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“Thank you.”

 

So simple. Yet so often overlooked.

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Avoid the wastebasket. Carefully write and proof your cover letter, resume, e-mail correspondence and thank you note.

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True story: A student working at a coveted internship sent her supervisor a link to her Facebook page. The supervisor proceeded to read an entry about how the student liked getting stoned during her lunch breaks.

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“Man, I nailed that interview. The job is mine. I don’t need to keep applying for jobs.”

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Find a way to show your abilities – even though you don’t have the education or training of your competitors. Creative directors hire education over training every time.

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I review a lot of student portfolios. Right up front, I ask students what they want to do for a living.

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Interviewer turns the interview into what appears to be a casual conversation.

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Some people focus on salary. Some on perks. Others on titles.

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Given the choice between hiring someone who is passionate about being a designer (or writer) and someone who is willing to be a designer (or writer), who do you think the creative director is going to hire?

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Your resume has one job and one job only – to get you an interview. You will be judged in less than 30 seconds, so make sure your resume is top-notch.

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This weekend I ran into Angie, a student who heard me speak earlier in the week. She thanked me for the advice I had given. When I asked what helped the most, she simply answered “the basics.” Seems a good place to start. When starting your job search, these are the five essentials:

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After a few years off, we are relaunching our career advice blog. We’ll rerun some of our earlier advice, while regularly adding new stuff. Check back often.

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BOLD TWEETS