In this industry, persistance is the most valuable attribute to have.
To kick off the placement marathon, you’re going to be needing those portfolio crits in abundance. You’ve got to email, email and email again. Network ’til you sweat, to gain 30 precious minutes, from the agency of your choice.
Make that email fun, and hard to ignore. Think of it as a pre-portolfio, an amuse-bouche if you will.
Once you’ve got there and have internally screamed through the directors picking apart your work, you’re going to get one of three outcomes; ‘We want you’, ‘Your work is not for us’ or ‘We’ll get back to you’. All of which will ignite a quick and important reaction from you.
If it’s ‘We want you’ – Congratulations, this is your foot in the door.
You have just two weeks to prove everything you just said. To mingle, to make your presence known to everyone and most importantly, to graft like you’ve never grafted before. So that when those 14 days of mayhem are up, you’re too important to let go.
Getting the ‘Your work is not for us’ response – Triggers your 1 week countdown to a new and improved portfolio.
Instead of accepting ‘no’, ask for the same 30 minute slot but in 7 days time, for a chance to present a new portfolio built upon their criticisms. Not being deterred will show them that you are motivated, driven, being more than willing to listen and act on advice.
Creating a new portfolio in such a short space of time, will not only impress, but give you a certain level of respect, even if your work has a lot of improvements left to be made.
A painful disclaimer, is that you will have to experience this insane amount of pressure multiple times, to multiple agencies. This will bring a tidal wave of contradicting opinions your way, which you have to choose which ones you agree with and an agency’s ethos that works best for you.
Being told that ’We’ll get back to you’ simply means, you get back to them.
Don’t let them forget about you.
Agencies are looking for fresh brains to feed on, for someone who is a good addition to their team and for someone who they can bounce ideas with.
Show them that you’re energetic, a little weird, original and relentlessly creative. Don’t over compensate, keep it natural and trust in your personality to guide you into an agency, that’s not only right for them, but coincides with your way of thinking.
While you are with the team, have a conversation, don’t be scared to talk about your current ideas, hobbies or to ask questions about their career.
Present a portfolio that is current and has quality over quantity.
Quality doesn’t mean that you have to have an all singing, all dancing digital portfolio. Your portfolio could simply be an A3 notepad filled with 3 – 5 sharpie scribbled ideas, that can spark endless conversations, resulting in being the best portfolio there ever was.
Your portfolio is going to be scrutinised, so study your campaign ideas over and over again. Make sure that you can talk about every single aspect of your campaign, why you did what you did and be ready to answer every question under the sun. ‘I don’t know’ is no longer allowed.
Remember, have fun with each and every portfolio crit. No one is there to catch you out. Everyone in the creative industry truly wants to help you grow as a creative and will give you invaluable advice every time.
A part of my blog was used in Future Rising’s, social media content posts. Have a gander at their site… A lot of us creatives unite there for some much needed support.