Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blunt is the new Black.

by Nikki Raffenetti, VP Creative

I am constantly inundated by numerous emails from photographers, illustrators and freelancers. If you’re like me, you don’t have the time to filter through the mumble jumble and I generally delete them immediately. Then, two weeks later, I’m scrambling three hours before a presentation, looking for an illustrator that can help me out. Where was that email I received last week and who sent it?

The few names that I neatly file away, need to get me within the first 1.5 seconds of opening the email. Call it my Attention Deficit Disorder or my incessant need to get through all of my emails in one day. But the truth is, I am time-starved like most of us in the agency business.
Here is an email I received a week ago.

Hi Nikki, I need work. I have created two illustrations for you as a form of work bait... An illustration of some big ass girls lying on the beach. (worked on to the great Stranglers tune of "walking on the beaches looking at the peaces") this is actually a classy piece. And a piece that celebrates the 80s music scene in all its big shoulder pad splendor.. I have injected a bit of Cindi lauper in there for good measure. Any way If you have an illustration I can help you with let me know, as it would be a nice break from drawing all the madness that is in my own mind. Maybe my madness might just fit your madness. All this and much more can be viewed on my folio. Cheerio Migy

My first reaction, “Is this person serious? Who would start off an email like this and expect me to call?” But then I read through the email just to see what else I would find and found myself clicking the link to her website. She got me. The extreme bluntness (or honesty) of that first line, “I need work” got my attention. Migy is now filed for future work at AMP.

The AMP Creative team is always recruiting for new talent. Here are some things that I recommend you do to get noticed.

• Be creative and get your audience’s attention. Go the extra mile and think about your potential employer’s business. What ideas, thoughts, creativity can you add that will make you stand out from the crowd? Do spec work, it shows that you’re thinking beyond the resume and up for a challenge.
• Find ways to share your personality. One of the most interesting resumes I ever received was from a junior designer who created a book of his life through design. I felt like I knew him before I even met him and it got him an interview that week.
• Be blunt, get to the point and be honest, you might just end up with a new gig. It’s about quality, not quantity. If I had a penny for all of the cover letters that start off with “I am applying for the copywriter position posted on your website. At your convenience, I'd appreciate the opportunity to discuss the position and my candidacy with you. You can find my resume attached to this e-mail.”, I’d be a millionaire.

Oh, and one more important point that everyone should consider. This was an email I received from a copywriter, who has worked with some big name clients like Sony, Toyota, American Express and MTV. According to him, he has worked on hundreds of campaigns, can concept, write, lead, direct and has quick wit.

Subject line read: “Top Copywrtier”

Unfortunately, his talent won’t supersede his proofreading skills. Needless to say, his email was deleted immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of being blunt and getting to the point, your post reminded me of a story I saw on CNN over the summer.

    It was about a company called “” and, yes, it’s exactly what you think it is.

    They custom print your resume or cover letter on the back of a t-shirt to “ensure that you'll never miss another opportunity to let someone know that you're ready, able and willing to work.”

    Interesting part is, all proceeds go towards operating costs for Odd Job Nation, a free resource website for the unemployed.

    So as the state's unemployment rate rose to 9.1% in August, it’s definitely one way to get noticed!