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This is just plain funny. Thanks to Sandy Willats, account planner extroardinaire at Martin Williams for sharing!

Sandy used this ad as an example of how advertisers should “challenge assumptions”, the first step of creating Martin William’s signature 20 Ton Ideas. This ad re-frames what gum is all about and captures a human connection, not just how chewy or minty the gum is.

Normally I’m the person applying for jobs but today the table was turned as I got to weed through email submissions from people applying to my current internship position.  While I’m not an expert, I noticed a few things that could be of definite help to people applying for jobs via email. Some of these tips may seem like common sense but I was shocked by the number of resumes and cover letters I received that made the most basic of errors.

My 6 Tips:

1) Save your resume as your name
If you are sending any attachments make sure your name is included. DO NOT save as “resume.doc” While resume.doc makes sense to you, think about how many resume.docs the person reviewing resumes has to weed through.

2) Save your attachments as PDFs
Not everyone has the same version of Microsoft Word so there is a good chance your resume will look completely different on my computer screen than what you saw on yours. By saving as a PDF you ensure your content is displayed exactly as you intended.

3) Include your cover letter in the body of your email
Unless requested to attach a cover letter, I would highly recommend putting your cover letter directly in the body of your email. This saves the person reviewing applications time as they can quickly scan through your information without having to open an additional attachment.

4) If submitting multiple writing samples or examples of work, combine them into one PDF file
Every single email I reviewed today had 5+ attachments. Times that by 20 or 100 and you have a serious headache for the person reviewing applications. Combine all files together in one PDF that can easily be scrolled through and your reviewer will be happy you know how to streamline and saved them time. If you don’t know how to create a PDF file or combine PDF files, look online! There are websites that will turn your docs into PDF’s for free, just Google it.

5) Use relevant examples and if they’re not obvious explain what they are
As I tweeted earlier, an applicant attached his sister’s wedding program as an example of his work. I think he was trying to showcase his InDesign skills but irregardless I found it completely odd and irrelevant to the position he was applying for. The reviewer shouldn’t have to guess why you attached something. Many of the samples I saw today were class assignments and I had no clue what they were. If you’re going to send something that’s not as obvious as a press release, find a way to briefly explain what it is.

6) Don’t just talk about what you have to gain
One applicant today had a whole paragraph about what he could gain if he were chosen for the internship but nothing to offer for why my company would benefit from hiring him. An obvious point of internships is for the intern to learn. I’m glad you have a lot to benefit from taking my position but I already knew that. Why does this make me want to hire you? It doesn’t. Tell me what you can do for me and I’ll start listening.

Hope these tips  help in your job search!

As I said before, I’m no authority but the experience of being the person reviewing applications as opposed to being an applicant was eye-opening . Try to put yourself in the person’s shoes who will be reviewing your cover letter, resume, etc. Make everything as easy for them as possible and you’ll be that much more likely to rise to the top of their list.

Fast forward through the boring introduction. The rest is crazy cool.

I love this commercial. Matt Burgress, a copywriter at OLSON, showed this at last week’s UST Ad Fed meeting. I like that my Dad wears Old Spice (i.e. it’s for old people) but Old Spice has been able to successfully reinvent their brand and give Axe some stiff competition. A million+ views in ten days and now it’s on tv.

The Student Ad Summit was fantastic.  My only qualm is I never attended before!  A major hands down to the volunteers who devoted so much time to the event, you all did an excellent job.  In case you couldn’t make the event or are curious about my experience, here’s a blow-by-blow recap of the day.

Breakout session 1 – Lisa McEllistrem, VP/Management Supervisor, Periscope

“The Changing Roles of Marketers: The Super AE”

Key Points:

  • Periscope – 240 employees, tagline = “We wrap more talent, more tightly, around our clients’ brands.”
  • Account executives need to be an advocate for both their client and their agency
  • Be inquisitive, have an insatiable curiosity and stay on top of the curve
  • Don’t be afraid to bring big ideas to the table, you are valuable
  • Don’t write a creative brief in 30 minutes, they take time
  • Come at problems at a different angle, advertising is about building relationships, not just putting ads on tv
  • Favorite tweeters: @TEDnews, @gapingvoid, @jtwinsor, @cliffbot

Breakout session 2 – John Jarvis, Managing Partner/Chief Creative Officer, The Lacek Group

Great Power, Great Responsibility: Becoming an Agency CEO

Key Points:

  • John’s had 10 jobs in 27 years – don’t worry about your first job being perfect, you will move
  • Read Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company – learn to love the world of business
  • The Lacek Group specializes in Loyalty Marketing, owned by Ogilivy
  • Don’t be a motormouth, develop your listening skills
  • Be able to think like a client, interact with them as must as possible
  • Remember, at the end of the day it’s just advertising

Breakout session 3 – Jodi Grundyson, Director of Brand & Retail Strategy, Sara Nelson, Design Director, KNOCK, inc.

People Do Judge  Book by its Cover: Branding & Packaging – *My favorite presentation! I have major appreciation for great design.

Key Points:

  • KNOCK is a branding and design firm, they’ve created awesome packaging for a variety of consumer goods and have worked extensively with Target
  • Create brand stories
  • Subtlety is nice
  • Let your clients be the experts they are

Keynote Speakers: Bob Ballard, VP/Management Supervisor & Charlie Callahan, VP/Executive Creative Director, Periscope

Key Points:

  • Be a simplifier not a complicator
  • We (advertisers) solve business problems, if you want art get a loft
  • Manage the jobs that aren’t hot so you can manage the ones that are
  • Don’t shove things around (when making changes), make them better
  • Focus on the important, don’t get distracted by things that aren’t

Cool people I met during lunch and networking roundtables:

Periscope Agency Tour

The Summit wrapped up with agency tours and a portfolio review session.  I was lucky enough to score an agency tour at Periscope. The thing that sets them apart from all the other agencies I’ve visited is the ability to do almost all their work in-house. They have a full photo studio and printing center. On our tour the photo team was doing a shoot involving grilled fish so the whole place smelt like salmon.  Periscope also has lots of cute dogs, definitely a fun atmosphere to work in.

Final Thoughts

Despite the reality of seeing hundreds of other cutthroat students trying to land a job, just like I am, overall the Ad Summit was uplifting.  Sometimes I question if advertising is for me but when I attend events like this and get excited by great creative and friendly professionals I know advertising is where I want to be.  Despite the bad job market nearly every professional I’ve met has been friendly and willing to help. That says a lot about the Twin Cities ad community.

Still have not posted pictures.  I’m working on it.  It has been a crazy hectic week but I have some thoughts to share:

1) I’m extremely greatful for the thriving Ad/PR/Marketing/Interactive community in the Twin Cities. I cannot express enough gratitude for the kind people I have met through AdFed, Ad2 and MIMA.

2) I’m extremely excited for tomorrow’s Student Ad Summit. Wish it were here at St. Thomas instead of the U (my bias of course) but it’s going to be a huge day. Major problem will be deciding which breakout sessions to attend.

3) I have secured a free  copy of Seth Godin’s Linchpin and cannot wait to read it.  My Aunt donated to the charity Acumen and received a free copy of the book. As a thank you from Seth she just received a second copy, for free, and was kind enough to pass it along to me. He is a marketing genius! I love good causes.

4) I officially signed up for the Susan G. Komen 3-day. I’ll be walking 60 miles and raising $2,300+ for breast cancer research. Looking forward to the experience and will be posting my fundraising site soon.

5) Time to go to bed. I’m getting up at 5:30 to get ready for the Ad Summit tomorrow and pack for my V-day trip to Mankato.

I clearly overestimated the amount of free time I would have available while abroad.  Class time, homework and site visits left no time for blogging.  If you were looking forward to gorgeous pictures from Greece I promise they will be up shortly.  I’m currently uploading and editing.

Hope you’ve had a great January.  Pictures soon!