Mar 11, 2011

Ask WAS! Me answers: To email your portfolio or not. That is the question.

The questions keep on coming and we're eager to help you out! I mean, let's not waste all these years of experience just in alcohol, right? Oh yes. Alcohol. Get familiar with it, because at the end, we all become drinkers. But I digress... The new question is:

Should I send my portfolio on a pdf via email? Even if it's another country?

Ah. This is a tricky one. I will have to go by what has happened over the 16 years I've been doing it and over all the agencies I worked on. And now, as a agency owner, I will give you my own opinion on how I would hire for internships - and paid work.

First of all let me get this out of the way: if you live in another country, don't send me your book. If you cannot be here by Monday if I want you, I will be very pissed off when giving you a call. Send the portfolio when you are ready to go and live near the agency. Period. Now that we got that clear, let's move on...

Let's start with the basics: in agencies, time is the single most important thing, and usually it's wasted on people not being organized, clients demanding loads of artwork for tomorrow, creatives taking their sweet time on doing stuff... so you can imagine that if you want to walk in and have a meeting, you have a great surprise coming. In all my years, seldom was the time I saw my Creative Director interviewing anyone... and usually they left it to me to handle it. So, you by now know that NOT ALL CREATIVE DIRECTORS WILL INTERVIEW YOU IN PERSON.

It is usually left for people like Seniors, and well... we're just busy sometimes, you know? So you can try to get an interview and see what happens, but in my book, just send your book on a great pdf format.

Now the most important part is this: you need to send it to as much key people you can get your hands on. Call the receptionist on the hellhole you want to work for - damn, I keep making that mistake, I meant ad agency - and tell her to give you the names of the CD, all his seniors and if you can, ask for the Traffic Director's name as well. Now send each person a separate email with the attachment. Be brief, be funny, don't talk crap. Give in less than two sentences what you are interested in doing and click send. DON'T SEND A MASS MAIL, ok? It'll just get lost.

Now. If you are looking for an internship - or work - you will have to bug the shit out of people. And I mean by phone. Yup. Get your ear warm and ready, 'cause you need to make some calls. If you are looking for an internship, I would call any senior, the Human Resources or the Traffic chick to see if they are spots available. If you are working for work, then hold on to your horses: you need to call a bit more. Call the CD, call his assistants. Try to get a date when they will see you and get your butt there IN TIME. Get ready to wait for a lifetime, by the way.

So yes, I would vote to send your portfolio by pdf because even if they are not looking for people right now, your files usually end up in a mass pile of all the people like you, looking to get in. When they need people they do browse to see what's in the pile...

And now comes the big question: is your book cool? For God's sake don't sandwich your doodles with a blank page and click save. You need to have a very cool resume. You need to stand out and trust me, an old boring resume tells us that you're not that interested in coming and that your artwork will be as that page: lame. So get cracking, the first great ad you will ever do is your own. Your resume is the one thing you have to sell yourself, so don't send the first crap that you come up with.

And now that we are talking about what you need to have, at least I like books that have the following...

If you design:
1) Image Campaign Examples
2) Retail Campaign examples
3) Logo design
4) Packaging Design
5) Collateral Designs (Flyers, Brochures, Billboards)
6) Websites (if you can do it, show it)

If you write:
1) Five amazing radio spot scripts
2) Three great TV spot scripts (Have them on storyboard? That would rock)
3) Examples of brochures, long copy items.
4) Image Campaign Examples
5) Retail Campaign Examples

Rule of Thumb: NO MORE THAN 20-25 PAGES. Yep. We don't have much time, so make it count.

More ideas? Sure! Start up a simple website with your work. If you are a writer and you have a blog that doesn't include the profanity that here at WAS we love to engage in, by all means send your URL. Open up an profile and send it via email to anyone you want. Not everything needs to be so strict.

Did you get an offer? Did you get the job? Then grab on to it, kiss some ass (you will need to), don't be cocky, don't be a douche that thinks that by graduating you now know everything (honey, you don't), learn, listen, arrive early, don't bang the secretary and don't touch my desk or my toys. You'll be ok.

Much love to all our interns and Juniors out there, keep tweeting your questions. Look forward to Joker's or Restrictions' answers soon. Me.

UPDATED! Restrictions writes:
No. It'd be even better if you had a website and put in online in the form of a gallery... (See? He does agree on the net thing. Explore it!)


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