Four Words That Will Kill Your Job Interview

A really smart co-worker recently wrote a post about four words that will end a job interview. Can you guess what they are?

I've done jail time.

I'm not a reader.

I don't watch TV.

I hate my co-workers.

The answer is here.

Are Award Shows for Losers?

This piece was penned by Prentice Mathew, a senior art director. In the current annual fervor of Cannes, he claims "advertising awards are now for losers." You might agree. You might find it heresy. Either way, it's an interesting read. Anyone agree? Disagree? (And is it easier to agree or disagree based on how many awards you won this year?)

What NOT To Put In Your Portfolio

In this article, Cannes jury members share what they're sick of seeing. If they're sick of seeing it at Cannes, they'll be sick of seeing it in your book.

The two biggest offenders? Vending machine work and case study videos. Just something to keep in mind as you're concepting.

The Lipton Millionaire

Not every project you're asked to produce will be as sexy as a 60-second spot or an interactive microsite. You'll work on table tents, tray liners, 40k online banners that can't handle animation, annual reports and brand standards guidelines. It happens at even the best agencies. In fact, it happens especially at the best agencies. Because clients know they can turn more work over to teams that can turn something mundane into something remarkable.

Most of us couldn't imagine putting a brand guidelines project in our portfolios. But if I had this idea and this case study, it would be one of the first things I'd show off in my book.


Trouble viewing? Click here for Lipton Millionaire.

Q&A with Cecilia Gorman

Cecilia Gorman is Director of Creative Services for Oakley in Orange County, and Creative Career Management where she runs workshops and career development for junior creatives looking to break into the industry. With so many of our readers graduating and entering the job market, we though we’d ask her a few questions.

Q: What are you looking for in junior creatives?
A: Mostly I look for Individuality, Conceptual intelligence (lack of cliches and sameness), strength of design style (art directors/designers). I want juniors to be different from one another and allow me the variety to choose from. When they blend into one another, it is hard to make a choice.

Q: What is the most common mistake junior talent makes?
A: Not being daring enough to take a risk and stand out. Being cocky or presumptuous.

Q: What do you see when you look at the job market today?
A: I see a lot of opportunities for folks who are willing to try a different job market or a slightly left of center position. If you are seeking a junior job in Los Angeles with no openness for anything different, you are up against thousands of others. But, if you are open to other states, other related jobs you have way more choices.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing junior talent?
A: Competition definitely. Portfolio schools are getting stronger every day, graduating very strong candidates every quarter. That is your competition, so juniors need to keep finessing their portfolios and adding new, strong work even after they are graduated.

Q: What advice would you give someone about to take a first job?
A: Be humble. You are new, you are learning, you are at the bottom rung. If you stay humble and remind yourself you are there to learn as much as you can every day, you will climb those rungs quicker than others.

Follow Cecilia on Twitter here

2013 Radio Mercury Award Winners

The Radio Mercury Awards have just been announced. Click here to listen to the winners.

Radio is still a writer's medium. It's awesome to have an A-list director and a crew of 100 working on your TV or video spot. It's really cool to see top designers and programers bringing a web site or an app to life. But it's equally amazing to sit down with a small team of a producer, a sound engineer, and some great talent to pull off something like this.

It's hard to promote books on Vine.

Jim and I compiled our most popular posts and a comprehensive review of portfolio schools into The Best of Makin' Ads, now available on Takes a little longer than six seconds to tell you about it, though.

Highlights from the Maker Generation

Last month, I was in Richmond, Virginia for the recruiting session at the VCU Brandcenter. I saw a ton of books - copywriters, art directors, and creative technologists. I continue to be amazed by the Maker Generation. When I graduated VCU forever ago, I left with a suitcase-shaped black portfolio full of double-page magazine spec ads that had been trimmed with an X-acto blade and spray mounted to black mounting boards. But today, if students have an idea, they go make it. Here are three examples from the VCU Brandcenter recruiting session that stuck with me (shown with permission).

After Margaret Thatcher died, Maddison Bradley and Jon Robbins were listening to some of her quotes and thought, "These sound like the kind of things Bane would say." So they created I don't know British Conservative politics of the mid-1980's well enough to comment, but I'm amazed that they pulled this together in a couple of days.

Harry Potter Ipsum

When Olivia Abtahi and Christina Chern needed some lorem ipsum, they thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if this weren't just gibberish, but Harry Potter gibberish?" So they created Harry Potter Ipsum. Feel free to accio your own text on their joint Most Auspicious.

Dragon Grips

Sam Cantor, Nick Marx, and Hunter Pechin didn't just go to portfolio school to make spec ads. They came up with Dragon Grips, an actual, functioning product. (That just happens to be surrounded with some well-thought-out marketing.)

"People's Choice Award" Winner: DragonGrips from Nick on Vimeo.