Friday, December 4, 2009

Practice and Polish to Get Hired

Guest post from Kathryn Lorenzen, Principal/Career Development Coach with AfterSchool Career Workshops (Much of what I write about, I learned from Kathryn.)

If you’re a soon-to-graduate senior, I don’t mean to scare you, but…the unemployment rate among young college graduates is the highest in the overall population (as high as 18% in some areas), the highest it’s been since the government started counting in 1948. And because so many firms are deferring hires of entry-level talent, a high percentage of graduates are not finding jobs in their chosen fields.

What that means is that you must be as competitive as you can possibly be in order to get hired. You must be smart in your research, how you organize yourself, how you network and communicate, how you interview, and how you build your support system.

The most successful job-seekers, those who get an offer for the job they want, have practiced and drilled and mastered the basic, building-block skills. They have crafted their own personal marketing statements, they can introduce themselves and initiate effective networking conversations, they can tailor a resume and cover letter for target companies, they can present themselves professionally in an interview, and they know how to negotiate an offer. Hiring managers look not only for competence, but also for polished communication and confidence.

These are skills that can be practiced in classrooms and workshops, and with mentors, counselors, and peers. There is no substitute for practice! The most important things to practice include: what you say about yourself; how you describe what you’re looking for; how you ask others to help you; what you say in dialogue with an interviewer; and how you follow up after the interview.

Here is some good news. There’s a whole new way for you to prepare to compete effectively for the job you want. Lisa Correu and I have created AfterSchool Career Workshops, which kick off next week. Each workshop is a self-contained, one-day session which covers all the bases and equips you to leave with a game plan and all the tactics you need to make it happen. We’ve had lots of terrific support in putting this together, including our logo design courtesy of Springboard Creative (thanks, Kevin!), and we’ve poured our collective experience as recruiters and hiring managers into giving you intensive coaching and guidance.

Our first sessions will take place next week, on December 9 and December 12 in Kansas City, MO. If you’d like to be our guest as we bring this training to the market, we’d like to give you an opportunity to attend free! (We will be charging $125+ after January 1st.) In return, we’ll ask you to provide us some video feedback on the content during the final half hour.

If you’re interested in attending free (this is a one-time-only opportunity), visit our website and email us through the Contact Us button before Monday, December 7. While you’re there, be sure to read the list of everything you’ll learn, check out our blog (tips galore), and help yourself to the free downloads.

Let’s get new graduates hired!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Show, Don't Tell

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

"I want to be in advertising."

And then I don't see a single ad.

"I want to be a magazine designer."

And I see nothing but logos and posters.

If you want to be in advertising, your portfolio better be full of concepts. If you want to be a magazine designer, you need to show editorial work. Etc., etc., etc.

I'm not going to take your word for it that you can create ads, write taglines, design logos, animate videos or anything else. You have to show me.

Don't have the kind of work in your portfolio you would like to do? Simple. Create it.

Your portfolio doesn't have to be full of graded student projects. It doesn't matter if it was for class or not. I just want proof you can do the work. And do it well.

Show me that, and you might get the job.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Don't Derail Your Job Search With This Mistake

There's one consistent mistake I see that completely derails a person's job search. And I'm seeing it more and more.


I don't know if people get frustrated, embarrassed or just lose their desire, but I'm seeing way too many job seekers drop out of sight. As important as networking is in any job search, disappearing (for even a little while) will ensure that your chances of getting a job will come to a screeching halt.

I know quite a few people looking for work (happens when you write a career blog). However, if I hear of a job opening, maybe a quarter of those people will come to mind. I have no idea if the rest are still looking (I assume they are) because I haven't heard from them in months. Which means they may miss out on a great opportunity.

Keep yourself visible. Go to industry events. Volunteer. Post regularly on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Let people know you are out there. If you disappear, you effectively end your chances of finding out about available jobs. Because, if you are counting solely on job boards, you are, to put it bluntly, screwed.

I've mentioned before that finding a job is your full-time job. So set aside a part of everyday to follow up with a set number of people. Don't be afraid to let them know you are actively seeking employment. And remember, at the end of every conversation, ask "Do you know anyone else I should be talking to?"

How will people know you are looking for a job if you don't tell them?

Writer's Note: Funny I should write about disappearing after having disappeared from this blog for the past six weeks. Sorry about that. Anything you want me to write about? Just post a comment with a question and I'll be sure to cover it, or get back to you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

And You Are... ?

Last night I attended a great Art+Copy Club event.

My favorite part of those events is the networking (and, no, not for the beer). I love talking to old friends and meeting new people. In fact, I'm the guy who goes around the room and tries to talk to everyone.

It's not uncommon for people to come up to me at these events. What throws me is when we're a minute or two into conversation and the person makes a comment that makes me realize we've met before. I then spend the next few minutes trying to remember where.

Sometimes it's someone who's heard me speak. Or someone who's portfolio I've reviewed. Or someone I talked to at the last event.

When you approach someone at an event like this, reintroduce yourself and remind them how you met ("You reviewed my portfolio last spring."). Usually that reminder will do the trick and they'll remember you. It's rare that I just don't remember someone.

That little memory trigger will keep them engaged in your conversation instead of trying to remember where you met before.

It also allows them to introduce you to other people. The whole point of networking.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Best Pay for an Intern Isn't Always Cash

When looking for a job, connections are more valuable than money.

And the best way to make those connections is through an internship. Even if you've already graduated.

Many of the best internships don't pay a dime. They pay in connections, opportunities and experience. And during a job search, those are far more valuable than cash.

Look at small agencies, especially one-, two-, or three-person shops. They might not be able to pay you. But they can give you better opportunities and are more likely to assist you in your search.

At a large agency, you're just another intern. At a small shop, you can become an important part of the team.

How do you find a post-graduate internship? Approach the owner at a small shop. Volunteer to go in and help with anything. Tell them you don't need money, you just want the experience of working with them. Who knows? Someone who isn't considering an intern may take you on.

Sound simple? Not really. Here's the catch: it has to be someone you have a relationship with. A small shop isn't likely to take on someone they don't know.

So, do what you can to develop strong relationships. I have several recent grads doing that with me right now. When my current intern lands a job, I'll look to bring in one of them.

How I (like other small shops) pay interns: access to my connections, a strong referral, feedback on resume and portfolio, use of my studio and its equipment, as well as active assistance from me in the job search.

And that's worth quite a bit.

(Side note: Normally I don't advise working for free. But in unusual times you have to do whatever is going to help you out in the long run.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prepare for the Rebound

When I graduated from college, desktop computers had just entered ad agencies – which meant fewer people were needed to do the same work. It took me months to find my first job.

What you’re experiencing is unmatched. 

However, the rebound is on its way. It might not happen next week or next month, but it is coming. You need to be prepared in order to land a job. 

Build your skills // If you don’t have interactive skills, stop reading right now and sign up for interactive training (that includes you writers). You can register at your local community college. Many have two-day or one-week intensive courses. Just make sure it gives you a good foundation. And then dive in and learn, learn, learn. The people who are going to get hired have an understanding of interactive. If you don’t have that knowledge, you will likely end up in the “no” pile when companies are reviewing resumes. Print isn't dead, but it has all the people it needs. It’s simple. Want a job? Know interactive.

Create a team // My intern Mike is putting together a team of creatives to do pro bono work for an acquaintance. It shows initiative. It shows leadership. It shows well on his resume. He and the rest of the group are sharpening their creative skills and proving their ability to work as part of a team. Plus, they’ll get a nice portfolio piece out of it.

Be fearless // Introduce yourself to people. Follow up. Ask people if they know of openings. What’s the worst thing that can happen? They don’t respond. Big deal. Move on to the next person. If you don’t try, you don’t stand a chance.

The rebound is coming. Are you prepared? 

Have a question? Post a comment and I’ll be happy to respond.

Friday, July 10, 2009

There Are Jobs Out There

Seriously. There are jobs out there.

Last night I heard about two job openings at an AAF-KC after hours event. The day before I heard about two others.

However, these openings are not widely known. Many hiring companies now keep openings to themselves. They don't want to be inundated with resumes and phone calls. And, with the load of talent out there, companies are being very picky about who they talk to, let alone hire.

Depressing? A little. But now that you know, you can work it to your advantage.
  • As I mentioned in my last post, keep in touch with people. What may look like lucky timing is usually consistent follow-up.
  • Attend industry events. It's the best place to meet people who can tell you about job openings. But, you have to do this over time. You can't expect to pick up job leads your first time there. People share leads with people they know. You have to attend consistently.
  • Follow agencies or people you've met on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. You'll learn when they land clients, which means they may be hiring. They may even post job openings.
  • Be sure to update anyone who provides you with a lead. Let them know if the lead turned into something or even if nothing happened. They are more likely to help you again. If I give you a lead and you don't let me know how it worked out, I'm very unlikely to provide you another.
It isn't easy. But remember, these rules apply to everyone. And now you've got a leg up on the competition. Because you know there are jobs out there – and how to root them out.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The KEY to developing your network.

Stay in touch.

Swear to God, it's that simple.

Just because you've met someone doesn't mean they are part of your network. You have to develop a relationship with them. 

Drop them an e-mail once in a while. Or make a quick phone call. But always have a reason for contacting them. And, this is key, the reason should be about them. Not you. A relationship is a two-way street. It can't just be about what they can do for you. They have to get something out of it as well.

An example: Anyone who knows anything about me knows I moved into a new studio recently. I've written about it on Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is the perfect opening for a conversation. 

In fact, here's an e-mail I received:

How's the studio? I know, not a catchy line, but you start to run out of ideas after awhile. How's everything going? Has the transition been smooth? If you need help with anything, let me know. Mike.

I've known Mike awhile now. He's kept in regular contact with me. And it's always relationship-building. Never "Do you know where I can get a job?"

He asked questions. That encourages dialogue. Dialogue builds relationships. He also volunteered to help me out. And, he kept it short. He did everything right.

I called Mike that day and offered him an internship at Springboard Creative. Not because he asked for one (he didn't). But because, after all this time, I felt I knew him well. As part of that internship, I'll be helping him find a job.

And it was all because he kept in contact.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't Facebook Yourself Out of a Job

"I'm trying to keep this on the down low, but ..."

So started a post from one of my Facebook connections. He thought of it as a private conversation between him and a friend. Unfortunately, he broadcast it to everyone connected to either of them.

Never, ever, ever, and I mean ever post something on Facebook, MySpace, etc. that you don't want everyone to know. Especially prospective employers.

I've written on the career dangers of this before. Just about anyone who is in a hiring position (within our industry anyway) is on Facebook and all the other social network sites. And they will check your page out. Do you feel comfortable with what they'll read or see?

Visit your own page with the mindset of a potential employer. Would you hire you based on your page?

Clean it up. Delete embarrassing photos (and remove tags from other people's photos). Remove unflattering comments. Rework you profile page. Start over if necessary. If they don't like what they see, this may be the only "contact" you have with them.

And making your page private will not solve your problems. There are easy ways around that.

Don't miss out on a great opportunity because you think your social pages are private. They're not.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Expand Your Network with One Simple Question

"Do you know anyone else I should be talking to?"

End every conversation you have with that one simple question.

The beauty of the question is that not only do you get a name or two to contact, you get a name to use when making contact.

"Hi. Kevin Fullerton said I should talk to you. I'm a writer ..."

People are much more likely to talk to you, and more importantly listen to you, when you've been sent to them by someone they know. They're also more likely to be helpful.

Even if they don't have a job opening, they may know someone who does. In any event, after thanking them for their time, ask:

"Do you know anyone else I should be talking to?"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Do I Send My Portfolio to an Agency?

Kevin – Is a physical book something you bring to an interview, or is it something you send off to agency? I've noticed most agencies have a stack of books that were sent to them. And if you do send your book off, do you get it back or do you have multiple copies? – Hudson

Your book/portfolio will be viewed in two ways:
  • During an interview // After reviewing your resume, the agency will determine they want to meet you and view your portfolio at the same time. In fact, viewing and discussing your portfolio will be the majority of the interview. You will usually leave with your portfolio in hand. Occasionally the interviewer will ask you to leave it behind (especially if they want someone else to see it). Ask them when you can return to pick it up. A day or two is the longest they should hold it.
  • Pre-interview // An agency may ask you to send in your portfolio to determine if they want to interview you. They'll call in several portfolios at once so they can narrow down their interview pool. They should hold it no longer than a week. Again, ask them when you can return to pick it up.
Since you may have to leave your portfolio with an agency for a few days, it is best to have more than one copy of your portfolio. The last thing you want is to have someone call you in when you are sans portfolio.

Also, don't be afraid to ask if you can send it to them electronically instead (just be positive it works perfectly on any computer). This gives them what they need and doesn't leave you minus your portfolio. If fact, for interviews, carry a copy of your portfolio on a CD as a leave-behind. 

Lastly, if they don't understand you can't be without your portfolio for more than a few days, run the other direction. You don't want to work there. 

Any interviewers out there have other recommendations?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Why Can't I Get a Job?"

I've been hearing that question a lot lately.

For each person, it's a different reason. Right now, it's mostly the economy. However, some people immediately take themselves out of the running by bone-headed moves.

So I posted the following question on Twitter and Facebook: "What mistakes do you see from recent grads during the search/interview process?"

Loads of people responded. Most of their responses fell under the following seven mistakes:
  • Don't know what they want to do // "I could do account service or creative." No. No you can't. If I'm hiring a writer, and it's between a writer and someone who could do whatever, who do you think I'm hiring? 
  • Don't stand out // Boring resume? Generic cover letter? No interview for you. If you can't effectively market yourself, why would I hire you to market my client?
  • Irrelevant information // Unless one of my clients is HyVee, I don't care that you worked for HyVee. You only have about 20 seconds to capture my attention with your resume. Don't waste it on things I don't care about.
  • Mistakes // As my friend David so eloquently said "Proof. Proof. Proog. Oops." 
  • Not prepared // "So annoying when students come in for an interview and don't know a flipping thing about my company." Why would you want to annoy the interviewer?
  • Following bad advice // This comes from a recruiter: "Following really bad advice from a parent or relative. Like asking for upper 30s for a first job in advertising." Make sure you're getting advice from people who know what they're talking about.
  • No follow up // "A thank you note afterwards is a nice touch. Hardly anyone does it anymore and it can really make you stand out." And when she says note, she mean handwritten.
I'm sure you've heard most, if not all, of these before. However, these are the common mistakes recent grads continue to make. Want to have a chance at getting that job? Make sure you don't do any of the above.

Good luck.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hire Yourself

Nothing out there? No one returning your calls? No job in the foreseeable future?

Hire yourself.

"You must be on drugs. In this economy, and with my lack of experience, you want me to start a business?"

Well ... yes.

Many of the best companies started in crappy economic conditions (including loads of great, small companies). In fact, I believe conditions like these are great for starting your own business.

Here's the thing – maybe it works out, maybe it doesn't. But you'll learn, grow and gain valuable experience.

My most valuable learning experience happens to be my greatest failure. (I affectionately refer to it as "my bobsled ride to hell.") I was part of a start-up company that lasted only a year. We did everything wrong. And I learned more in that one year than all other years combined. It also set me up for the career I have now.

Several students/recent grads I know have started businesses. Check out Brendan's Love Sick Clothing, Chases' Wicked Threadz and Tosha's TYPOGRFX. Whether these businesses succeed or fail, the people will definitely succeed. Because they have that entrepreneurial mindset. 

I'm not telling you to stop your job search. I'm telling you to take control of your career. The business may grow into something big, or become a nice side project once you are employed, or may be that glorious failure that propels you to something bigger.

Plus, it will give you the answer to the interview question "What have you been doing since graduation?"

And saying "I started my own business" is a great answer.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Your Full-Time Job Is Finding a Job

Congratulations on graduation and the start of your new full-time job – finding a job.


Your. Full. Time. Job.

Responsibilities include:
  • Researching possible employers // Find the firms who do what you want to do.
  • Targeting possible employers // Your cover letter, resume and all other communications should be specific to that employer. Don't just replace one name with another.
  • Constant networking // Keep yourself top-of-mind. You want people talking about you. And remember, for it to be true networking, you have to give back as much as you get.
  • Creating new portfolio pieces // Never stop improving your work. Always aim to knock the weakest piece out of your portfolio.
  • Keeping up with industry news // Know who's hiring, who's firing and who's the right fit for you.
  • Attending industry events // Best way to meet people. And make sure they know you.
  • Following up with contacts // See previous post for importance of this.
  • Finding a pro bono client // Gives you a professional reference, another piece for your portfolio and keeps your skills sharp.
  • Other duties as required // In other words, whatever it takes.
Hours: 9:00 to 5:00, minimum. Some evenings and weekends required.

Qualifications: tenacity, tenacity and, did I mention, tenacity.

Pay: your first professional job.

So, welcome to your new job. Let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

Large or small, your network of contacts is only as effective as the work you put into it.

Regular follow up is an important part of that.

Did someone give you a lead? Let them know how it turns out.

Did you meet someone at an industry event? Get their card and send them a quick e-mail telling them you enjoyed meeting them.

Did someone review your portfolio or resume for you? Let them know what changes you made on the basis of their advice.

You get the idea.

And it's not just about thanking them (which you should do). It's also about keeping yourself top-of-mind so they think of you when they hear of an opening.

Even now I regularly hear about job openings. If I haven't heard from someone in a while, I assume they found something and don't pass on their name. Or, if I've only had contact with them once or twice, I may not even think of them.

So follow up on a regular basis with your contacts. It can be a short e-mail, a quick phone call or a hand-written note (wow, that would stand out). It's all about developing an ongoing relationship.

People are more likely to help someone they know than some stranger off the street – which is what you'll be if you don't maintain contact.

Plus, you never know who may give you the lead or advice that helps you land that job.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Samples Can Help Land You the Job

Over 100 people applied for an entry-level job opening I had several years ago.

Each resume initially received about 20 seconds of my time before it was relegated to either the Yes pile or the No pile. The resumes in the Yes pile would be closely reviewed later to determine who would be brought in for an interview. Only about 15 resumes made it into that pile.

One resume was about to be placed in the No pile when I noticed an attached page. The attachment showed three samples of the designer's work. The work was impressive, so the resume went from its original position in the No pile to the Yes pile.

The resume was a No pile candidate because the candidate had no experience as a designer – no internship, no related clubs or activities, no freelance work, nothing. (I later learned it was because he had to work for his way through school. However, that's still no excuse.)

But, he was smart. He knew he didn't have the resume materials, so he sent samples of his work. That's all it took to move him from the No pile to the Yes pile.

Which lead to an interview.

And then the job.

Remember, the only point of the resume is to get you an interview. If you don't have the resume for that, then send a few samples of your work as well. When it comes down to it, we're more interested in the quality of your work than we are your experience.

It worked for one designer.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hogblog: A Great Career Resource

Check out this great post from Sally Hogshead. If you are not following Sally, you should be.

2) Simple, brilliant ideas kick ass over fancy execution.

Go to her blog to check out the other 11.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Take the Long View on Your Job Search

Not that you don't already know this, but this economy officially blows ... and it's going to last awhile. Especially in our industry.

The hardest hit? You. (Or at least it feels that way.)

So, what should you do? Stay in school (or go back)? Find a job in another industry? Try even harder?


You need to do whatever is right for you – with one huge caveat. Continue your job search while you do whatever else you need to do. Just make sure you take the long view on your career.
  • Interview at places that don't currently have openings.
  • Get involved in local industry organizations and meet as many people as possible.
  • Regularly follow up with people you've met. Build relationships.
  • Continue to build/improve your portfolio.
  • Do creative work for non-profits that otherwise couldn't afford creative services.
  • Keep your skills sharp.
Think of this as setting yourself up for a job in three, six or 12 months. And if you get one earlier than that, bonus. Eventually, hiring will pick back up and you want to be top-of-mind when it starts. (I know the first three people I'm going after when I'm ready to add staff – one's in college and one graduated a year ago.)

The key is persistence. With this economy, unfortunately, you have to change your expectations. It's going to be a long, hard search process. Prepare yourself for that fact.

There is no better way to make a living than as a creative. After all these years, I still find myself thinking "I can't believe I get paid to do this."

And you will too. You just have to stick with it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Your Instructor Isn't the Only One Grading Your Assignments

It's time to change the way you look at class assignments.

You're not doing them for the grade. Or your instructor. Or, worse yet, just to get them done.

You're doing them for your portfolio.

Because when it comes down to it, creative directors don't care about your grades, your instructor, or your school. They care about the content of your portfolio. Period.

And where do those portfolio pieces come from? Mostly from class assignments.

So when starting an assignment, think about how it will fit into your portfolio. Will it show creative growth? Or will it show boring repetition? Will it show new skills? Or that you only have a few tools at your disposal? Will it show the kind of work you are passionate about? Or simply show what you did?

Create work that shows your true capabilities. Go beyond the assignment and put more into it than required. And once you've received your grade, go back and make it even better. (Yes, improve it even after you've received your grade.)

Trust me, your instructors will appreciate it.

And, more importantly, creative directors will too.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Follow Your Connections to the End

Last year at the ADDY Awards, an art director named Matt introduced himself to me.

He then thanked me for helping him land his current job – three years ago.

It may seem odd that he received help from someone he had never met, but it's not unusual. Smart networking and consistent follow through include contacting many people you've never met. And you have to be persistent to continue the chain of connections until you reach your goal.

Matt was ready for a job change and our mutual friend Greg told him to contact me. I trust Greg's judgement so I talked to Matt on the phone and told him to send me his portfolio.

His work was outstanding and very specialized. I happened to know the perfect place for him. I sent him to a guy I didn't know at the time (but do now). Matt followed up with with that connection and got the job.

In the end, Matt landed his job by connecting with Greg, who connected him to me, who connected him to his current boss.

The sad thing is most people never follow through and make that second or third connection.

More often than not, someone will tell me they advised a friend to contact me and I'll never hear from that person. In fact, I'm usually surprised when I do.

Be smart. Follow each connection until the end. 

You never know which connection is going to lead you to that elusive job. Just ask Matt.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Be Selfish. Volunteer.

I just wrapped up one of my favorite weekends of the year – ADDY judging weekend.

As judging chair, I was responsible for putting together our panel of judges. After a few months of searching and calling, we landed some of the top talent from around the nation.

This past weekend, they came to Kansas City for two days to judge 1,200 or so pieces.

In order to make judging weekend happen, we needed volunteers. About 25 or so.

Our volunteers included creative directors, art directors, writers, photographers, account managers and, yes, students. And they all worked together to make judging run smoothly. 

What a great chance to get to know people in the industry (and for them to know you). How often do you get the chance to work on an equal level with a creative director? Or a well-connected writer? Or even a potential co-worker? (Remember, the best way to get in the door is through a current employee.)

Want to get hired? Be known. Want to be known? Get involved as an industry volunteer. 

I know many volunteers who landed jobs based on connections made through organizations like Ad Club.

You just have to be selfish – by volunteering.

(And who knows? You may even get the chance to meet people whose work you admire. I did.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Follow and Be Followed

Most job openings are never advertised. You just have to know about them ... or luck upon them.

Unfortunately, luck is an inconsistent (and unreliable) ally. So you need to become an information junkie. And the more information you have, the "luckier" you become.

Target the places you want to work. Yeah, yeah, you've heard this before. "Read their web site, Google them, blah, blah, blah ..." Yes, you need to do that, but everyone else is doing that too. You need inside information. How to find that?

Simple. Follow them. On Twitter. On LinkedIn. On Facebook.

You'll be amazed at the daily going-ons you learn through following people. Especially on Twitter. I've seen tweets that tell me about layoffs, job openings and job changes (which means their old job is open). The secret is to follow people who work there rather than the company itself. You'll get the real story that way.

Armed with that information, you can "luck in" to calling the hiring person just as they need someone. Amazing how timing can change their reaction to your call.

Get out there and follow, follow, follow.

By the way, to get you started: Kevin on Twitter, Kevin on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Read "You Are The President Of Your Career"

Here's a great post by Chris Brogan about taking charge of your career. 

Here's a sample:

"Understand that just doing what you've been doing won't really work for more than a handful of months, because everything around you is changing. If you don't change, you'll fall behind."

Then he gives a simple prescription.

Give it a read.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Print-Only is Dead

"I'm a print designer. I don't do interactive."

Sorry. Then you don't stand a chance of working here.

If you can only deliver print, your chances of getting the job drop – drastically. We're in a digital world. Our clients need digital solutions. And most of us older (over age 35) advertising folks are counting on you to help us deliver. If you can't, we move on to someone who can.

And in this incredibly tight market, you'll be left high and dry.

What to do? Upgrade your skills.

Learn programming, yes. But also make sure you have a good understanding of a variety of communication methods. How can you offer your clients the best solutions if you're not aware of the options available?

We all need to know digital communications. And for recent grads, it's simply the price of entry.

Print isn't dead. But print-only communicators are.

(By the way, my good friend Alistair Tutton lectured me for not being on Twitter. Now you can follow me here. Or, if you're LinkedIn, you can follow me here.)