Posts Tagged ‘Advice’

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.


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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.

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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.

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Advice for Visiting Greece

After months of anticipation I’m leaving for Greece on Monday!  I would love any travel advice you have to offer, especially if you’ve visited to Greece.  Any travel recommendations would be greatly appreciated.  I’ll primarily be in Athens but will be spending time in Delphi, Nauplion and Kalambaka as well.

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Today was my last Psychology of Marriage class for the semester and we wrapped up with an excellent compilation of questions to consider when picking out Mr. or Mrs. Right. I don’t deserve credit for coming up with this list, I’m just sharing it with you. The real author is Dr. John Buri, St. Thomas professor and marriage and family specialist for 20+ years.

Questions to Consider when Picking out Mr. or Mrs. Right:

1. Are they willing to communicate? Willing and able are two different things, some people just need to be taught how to communicate whereas others are unwilling to try.

2. Do they  have close friends? If they don’t there is a reason and chances are it’s not a good.

3. Have they introduced you to their friends and family? Have you introduced them to your friends and family? If someone is embarrassed by you, or you’re embarrassed by them, it’s not a good sign.

4. If you broke up would you want to stay friends with this person? How much do you “like” the person you’re with? People can love someone without liking them much. Like and love are both crucial elements of a successful relationship.

5. How do they treat others? Not just at the beginning of the relationship but after the honeymoon phase has worn off. Do they yell at cashiers or not tip waitresses?

6. Is it difficult for the two of you to stay out of bed? If your relationship is solely about passion between the sheets you’re lacking the depth to last long-term.

7. Was your life stimulating & satisfying before you started dating this person? If your live revolves around your partner and you weren’t in a good place when you started dating you probably need some time alone. You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.

8. Do you have serious worries about your future happiness with this person? If you have serious doubts, not just jitters, you should reevaluate your relationship.

9. Are there taboo topics in your relationship? Your lives should be an open book for each other. If your partner has topics they refuse to discuss with you, how can you expect to enter into the partnership of marriage?

10. Is this person open to change and growth? People who aren’t willing to grow are not people you want to spend your future with.

11. Do they belittle, criticize or demean you? Do you have to walk on eggshells around them? This is a big red flag and could be a sign of future abuse. There is a respectful way to disagree and a way that is not healthy.

12. Do they avoid conflict? Avoiding conflict is a key sign of serious underlying issues. Don’t carry these into marriage.

13. Do they have a problem with impulse control? Drug addictions, out of control anger, gambling problems, shopping addictions, etc. will not go away when you get married and have a likelihood of escalating over time.

14. Is this person selfish? Self-centered?

15. Do you think seriously of what it would be like to date someone else? This is a sign that things aren’t going well. Don’t ever ignore your gut.

16. Do they have a positive, optimistic and agreeable attitude toward your future? Toward life in general?

Dr. Buri writes an excellent blog for Psychology Today.  He’s also written a book I would highly recommend, “How to Love Your Wife”. It’s not just for married men but anyone who is interested in great relationship advice.

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