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I like// Trash ready CV paper

For all your job hunting needs,, paper that is just ready for filing under T for trash

For all your job hunting needs,, paper that is just ready for filing under T for trash


Filed under: Career Planning, Career Planning & Self Promotion, Graphic Design, I Like

I like// Beef jerky business card

If you get stuck in the wood you can always eat your business card. etched beef jerkie

If you get stuck in the wood you can always eat your business card. etched beef jerkie

Filed under: Career Planning, Career Planning & Self Promotion, Graphic Design, I Like, type

I like// being blogged on

The smallest good deed

The smallest good deed

Filed under: Career Planning, EMP/, Good Deeds, Graphic Design, I Like, Print, self promotion

Career Planning and enterprise// Identity Guidelines.


Love this piece of work from Christoper Doyle a designer from Australia who has used himself as his design and branded himself accordingly using the traditional branding guidelines.

Came across this back in 2008 and was very inspired by it and as this unit deal with self promotion i thought it would be very apt to include it as this is obviously a very memorable and eyecatching piece of work that would get definitely get the designer remembered by potential client. It gives a great insight into the nature of the designer as well as the personality of him. Love it.


Filed under: Branding, Career Planning, Career Planning & Self Promotion, self promotion

Career Planning and enterprise// The Denver Egotist

Stop Emailing Creative Directors

By Creative Director Norm Shearer

As adjunct teacher at CU Boulder and Cactus CD, I’m often asked to do informational interviews. I’m happy to do them when I can. I like giving young creatives feedback and helping them out, even when we aren’t hiring. Plus, I like to meet new people and stay connected to what’s going on. I have reviewed portfolios in the classroom, online and in every imaginable plastic, metal or leather case known to man. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, I have a few thoughts to pass along to young, passionate creatives looking to break into the industry during one of the most competitive times I’ve seen.

Don’t email your portfolio. We get hundreds of emails a week from job-seekers. When you use email as an ice breaker, you become one of the masses. Custom mini-books, thumbnail samples, interesting snail-mailed items break through the clutter better. When I was out of school, I once mailed a post-card-sized chunk of dry wall to a CD. I hand-wrote something witty about “breaking” through. Maybe cliché. But, it was unique and customized to the person I wanted to reach. He called me back right away. Your first impression needs to be thought through and relevant, not just gimmicky.

Be pleasantly persistent. If you make a connection with someone and get a good vibe, follow up with them. Stay in touch in a cool way that’s not bothersome, but interesting. I used to send handmade postcards about once a month. Sometimes they’d feature my own work, or sometimes they were more obtuse and artistic. But they helped me stay in touch and top-of-mind.

Ask for advice in every interview, but don’t overreact to suggestions. While you should heed experts’ advice, ultimately you are representing yourself and you have to believe in your own portfolio. Don’t be afraid to express what makes you unique in your portfolio or in an interview. People want to hire individuals who have life experiences and not just a great book. That said, execution is everything in a great book. Keep it simple, but give it a point of view or personal touch to stand out. Everyone who I have hired at Cactus has shown me a few samples of their personal work from travel photography to blog writing, and videos to fine art. The balance is to know when to show it in an interview and how much of it to show. Keep the focus on your portfolio.

Only show your best work. It’s better to show fewer great pieces than a ton of crap. And you know what the crap is. A friend and previous boss who has taught me a ton, Mike Sukle, once said of a photographer’s book, “Look at his worst work in his book, and ask yourself, ‘Would I be happy if that’s what he delivered on this project?’” That’s great advice for any book.

Before your interview, check out the firm’s work and know who you are interviewing with. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many blank stares and B.S. responses I get from people when I ask, “So, what work do you like that I/we have done?”

Don’t interview somewhere you don’t want to work. It’s not fair to the interviewer or yourself. However, Mark Fenske used to tell me about all the crappy places he worked and all the crappy assignments he worked on before he broke through to work for bigger, more notable places. Each individual needs to determine their own path and gain their own momentum, but just make sure you have an exit plan if you start somewhere as a stepping stone.

Portfolios aren’t just for creatives. At Cactus, we require everyone to show us a portfolio of their previous work. Many places don’t require or even think to ask this of non-creative position applicants. So if you walk in as a media buyer, planner or AE armed with a few killer samples and present them really well, you could land yourself on the short list.

Anyway, just thought I’d share a few thoughts during a time when every trick to get a foot in the door helps. Good luck, everyone. And I look forward to not getting your emails.

Norm Shearer is Creative Director at Cactus, a Denver advertising agency.

Filed under: Career Planning, Career Planning & Self Promotion, self promotion

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