CDs + Hiring Managers: What all are you looking for in a junior creative’s book? What do they need to get a foot in the door?

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as much as everyone says “ideas are all that matters”, craft is pretty important, to a reasonable degree. you’re not gonna work on big idea stuff right away. you’re gonna be dropped in on some execution-based projects, like banners and print and social posts, so you’re gonna be expected to execute.

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For a junior, I want to see unique, unexpected ideas first and foremost. This part is the hardest to teach and the hardest to find. Once I have a few books with the idea part down, it’s about who executed those ideas best.

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I like to see non-ad stuff from side projects. Can only stomach so much advertising in my regular day and it’s nice to see people show off other hobbies. Makes it seem like you’re not some ad obsessed robot and have a life outside of work.

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Right, I feel you. But if I’m looking for an AD and there’s someone that spends some (not all of their time - just some) of their free time making fun stuff outside of work that gets me excited and interested in talking with them. Just my two cents. I know plenty of ADs that do anything from oil painting to spec movie posters when they’re off the clock. Not because they have to, but because they want to. No shade if you’re not into that. I get it. Again, just giving my opinion. But, yeah, I think it’s sorta fucked that the industry is pushing for people to always be optimizing and finding ways to even mine their hobbies or free time for stuff to put in their book. Although, at the same time, side projects give me a better window into who you are as person compared to general book pieces.

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Attitude + hunger trump creative talent for me.

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@CW1 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Great ideas, executed simply. If a CD needs to read a paragraph just understand an ad or post or whatever, then you've done it wrong. Campaigns should be self-evident. If you're an AD, then your shit better not look like shit. If you're a CW, same with your writing. CDs want the best creatives they can reasonably hire. It's just that simple. So, look at the student and junior portfolios out there and ask yourself, is mine as good or better? Side note: Please don't put scripts in your portfolio. Side side note: Unless you're actually a talented maker of video (HUGE PLUS BTW), don't try and film your own videos.

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Let me add, that a great way to start is to reach out to CDs asking for feedback on your book. And when you do this, do it earnestly. Listen. Absorb. Try things they suggest. Maybe it won't work, but as a junior, you need to try things to learn what works and what doesn't. So, find agencies you admire. Find CDs at those agencies. Reach out. Your success rate for responses will be low (most likely) but keep at it. Reach out to other CDs at other agencies you respect.

The ability to think. Ideas. Ideas. Ideas. Craft can be honed and and developed. But they need to see you ability to develop an idea with a clear insight and strategy. And if it can live beyond just TV, even better.

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