Ask Esther // 23

Hey Esther,
I’m currently 2 years through an Arts course majoring in Communications with a few design electives under my belt.
I am competent with Photoshop and currently teaching myself/being taught how to use the rest of CS6.
As well as this I have done an internship with a copywriting firm.
My question for you is, will the skills I’ve learnt independently combined with my formal education and a folio that I’ve
built by myself be enough to help me pursue a professional career in Advertising?

Cheers, Aspiring junior

Dear Aspiring Junior,

The course and the experience you have described is certainly “enough” to help you pursue a professional career in advertising.

In theory.

The work on your website doesn’t really demonstrate enough breadth of conceptual or craft ability yet. You seem to have gotten stuck on one particular idea that you are exploring, rather than demonstrating that you can solve a variety of marketing problems.

Your site also could do with a good bio to demonstrate your copywriting ability.

When assessing graduates’ portfolios, employers look for a variety of fresh ideas for different products. They look for strategically sound campaigns that touch a combination of all media – traditional, integrated, digital. They look for good craft skills in layout, design, typography, illustration, photoshop, editing, copywriting. You don’t need to be great at every single thing (although that would be a huge advantage).

But you need to excel at a couple.

I suggest you try to approach agencies during your holidays to try to find a mentor. Maybe someone who graduated the same course a few years before you. Someone who can help guide your portfolio and make it more marketable.

I also recommend the AWARD School. It concentrates more on the concept development side while you continue to build your craft skills. It’s not essential that you do AWARD, but it will certainly help.

I would also remove the reference to working “for a small fee” on your home page. The market decides your value, and hopefully you can can increase your worth in time for graduation.

Good luck!

You can ask Esther Clerehan anything about putting your book together, getting a job, what salary to ask for or what to do when someone steals your ideas. Go on, Ask Esther. There is no other creative recruiter with more experience to educate us on the art of the job hunt. You can email her here at junior at wtf@lifeatthebottom.com (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom NULL.com).

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 27/09/2012
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .