Friday, July 18, 2008

References Available

If you’ve been reading the news blogs lately, you may have noticed that our economy is not doing so well (the technical term is, “in the crapper.”) And that means it’s time for all good creatives to roll up their Volcom sleeves and update their resumes.

It’s a good weekend project. Just down a couple of beers, pick your poison (Word, Illustrator, Photoshop) and dive in.

But before you get too far, you’ll have to deal with a major dilemma. Just how creative should a creative’s resume be? (Cue Sex and the City theme music)

Should it have a standard layout, with Objectives, Education and Employment History? Or should it demonstrate your creative abilities?

It’s a tough one. Stick with the old-school style, and you’re liable to look like the dullest copywriter or art director on Earth. Seriously, agencies are crawling with people in suits who can write corporate-speak and create Word docs. Why would they want to hire you?

Of course going creative with your resume can cause problems too. Do it right, and you’ll look like a totally hip and cool creative. Do it wrong, and you’ll look like a pretentious douchebag.

Copywriters like to go for humor. Lots of retro pictures, funny descriptions and a general "hey, this whole resume thing is a load of shit” attitude. A more “emo” cw might write out a wild prose poem, with only vague allusions to advertising and their name buried in anagrams.

Art directors tend to use their resumes as tiny canvases where they can show off their design skills. An 8 ½ x 11 masterpiece filled with teeny-type surrounded by acres of white space (And if there’s room, which there won’t be, name and phone number).

(Oh, and if you do go creative, MAKE SURE IT’S AN ORIGINAL IDEA. You are not the first person to think of doing your resume in TV script form or as a piece of XML code.)

So what should you do? Create a piece of corporate crap or turn up the volume on the wacky knob?

I suppose you could just create different resumes for different situations. Send the straight one to the conservative agency and save the art for the hot shop.

But that seems like an awful lot of work. And it’s time for another beer.

1 comment:

Joker said...

In my case I have two documents. My résumé, straight forward info and the Top 10 reasons to hire Joker. It's worked quite well so far and gives me a chance to be both creative and professional. Is it extra work? Yes. Do I run the risk of the person only reading one? Yes. but if that's the case, they aren't looking hard enough for a copywriter because I give ample chance to prove if I'm a typo ridden asshole or if I can at least write something good to try and get me hired. Also, use of humor is there but not overboard, but hey that's just me and I'd probably need to do something real crazy for a "hot shop", for now though, this be my bread and butter.