Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to get a job in advertising

Chapter 4-The headhunter

Okay, you’ve got your book together, your resume is filled with action verbs (Oh, shit, I forgot to mention action verbs!) and your website is in the digg top 10. So now you’re ready to hit the street and go looking for an actual job, right?

Wrong. Looking for a creative position is not something for amateurs to attempt. To succeed, you need the help of professions. You need a headhunter.

There are basically types of headhunters, traditional and staffing agencies.

You know those moves where the agent works his ass off to make sure the actor gets the role of a lifetime? Well that’s how traditional recruiters operate. Except you get to do all the work, and they get way more than 10%. Here’s how it works. Take your portfolio to a recruiter and show them your work. They will laugh at you. They will say your book is shit and you need more classes. You’ll go home, polish your book and return in a few weeks. They will laugh at you again, and say you’re not ready for big-time advertising. You’ll go home and polish your book some more. After a few rounds of this, they will begrudgingly agree to take you on as a client. It’s a cruel system but not as bad as…

Staffing Agencies
Sign-up at one of these places and you will never have an empty email box. Every morning you will get tons of emails that look like this:

Direct Mail Copywriter-Health Services and Fast Food-$35/hr-Mid-Town-Duration-4 days-Starts 9/23!

There’ll be fun jobs, cool jobs, really really really inappropriate jobs. Art directors will get listings for writing jobs, writers will get listings for graphic designing jobs. And the money always sucks. Remember, $35 an hour is NOT good money for a creative. So why is the pay so bad? You see, the agency skims a little for their services. Like 100% or 200%. You might take home $250 a day, while the agency is making $500. And if that freelance gig turns into a permanent position, then you’re really fucked. The staffing agency could get half your salary for a year or two. (Read the contract before you sign it!)

Now that you have your headhunter, you are ready to enter the world of advertising. All you have to do is make it thorough one more hurtle. One more armpit staining, dry-throat making, stress test. It’s time for…The Interview.

1 comment:

1Letterman said...

If you can't find a headhunter, just apply a leach to any major artery near the surface of your skin.