27 Feb 2015

Tips for Your Creative Job Hunt and Mistakes to Avoid

An Interview With Y&R’s Global Creative Talent Recruiter

Katie Lever

Alexis Gianoulis, Global Creative Talent Recruiter for Y&R explains the process for juniors in getting their first job, working with the recruiter and mistakes to avoid.

Katie Lever: Once a creative recruiter sees a candidates book and likes them what happens?
Alexis Gianoulis: Recruiter contacts the candidate by email or phone to discuss the opportunity and learn more about them personally. The recruiter might then send their portfolio to the Creative Services Director or a Creative Director for their opinion and feedback. Assuming everyone is still interested, the candidate is brought in to meet with the recruiter in person. Then, the candidate will be brought in again to meet with other members of the creative team (people they would be working with or working under). Final decisions are then made about hiring.

KL: What tips would you give junior creatives who are looking for their first job?
AG: Admittedly, these are basics, but you'd be surprised how often these are overlooked: 

  • Always include your contact information (email and phone number) on your personal website/portfolio. Include your real name somewhere on your portfolio. I often see a team name, nickname, stage name, etc. but that's not helpful when I'm trying to contact you.
  • If emailing a recruiter, make sure to send a link to your portfolio in the email. Otherwise, we probably won't go through the trouble of figuring it out. Keep emails short and sweet with a clear message about what you want. Most recruiters won’t take the time to read something that looks like an essay.
  • Get on LinkedIn. Do it now! Make sure your website/portfolio is available through LinkedIn.
  • Have a partner in mind even if it's someone you're willing to work independently from. At the junior level we most often hire in teams.
  • Take this time to network with as many people in the industry as possible! Don't be afraid to set up informational interviews/casual meetings and ask lots of questions.

KL: What are the biggest mistakes you see juniors make?
AG: Not following the above tips, harassing recruiters for jobs, thinking you're too cool for school (not willing to consider a paid internship or freelance gig if a full-time job isn't available), not knowing anything about the agency you're interviewing with (recent work, top creative leaders working in the agency), and copy and pasting the same email message to multiple people in the same agency (we will know). There are more mistakes that can be made,—as you might imagine—but these a

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