One of my first tasks at Jack Morton in New York has been to look for some new creative talent to join our team. Within a week of posting our ad we had almost 1,000 applications, which was slightly overwhelming.
The disappointing thing is that, while the numbers have been overwhelming, the quality of the applications has not been. Why? Because people have failed to apply problem-solving creativity in order to earn themselves a job as a creative problem solver.
So we got boiler-plate emails and cover letters. We got standard resumes and links to generic online portfolios. We got great stuff and we got mediocre stuff. We got emails from well-qualified people, and emails from people whose skills lie elsewhere. That's all to be expected...especially at a time when so many people are looking for jobs.
What was unexpected was the lack of people who had identfied the creative challenge and found a way to take it head on...who had found ways to cut through the application clutter...who had found a way to force us to meet them...who had done something brilliantly creative, but ensured that there was rich content and meaning behind it.
We've now shortlisted 60 today (out of 1,000) and will be culling again before the face-to-face interviews. In the meantime, here are my threetips, having been on the receiving end, for wannabe creative job applicants...
ONE. Identify the problem and solve it with your application...creative challenges aren't homogeneous, so why is your resume?
TWO.If you're going to make a great promise...with a cute animated device or a great piece of copy...congratulations, you've cut through the clutter....but now you have to keep the promise your initial creativity just made...so make sure you do
THREE. Don't confuse having a creative streak (which most of us do) with being a creative thinker at a marketing agency level. I know I couldn't do it...however much I have a passion for dance, theatre, film, music, art, and photography. It's not about qualifications, but about a genuine ability to be brilliantly creative around communication, engagement, and brand-building. It's a rare skill. Clearly.