Creative Job Hunt – Part 1

Since completing my Masters I have actively been seeking opportunities in Ad Agencies in Dublin. As this isn’t my first go at getting into advertising, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task.

My  original strategy – other than applying to any loosely relevant job posting – was to contact agencies and/or their Creative Directors via email, introducing myself and asking whether they have any Art Direction positions available. This felt a lot like cold calling, a task I liked no more than when I was doing it in the sales job I had a few years back. The lack of responses was also quite off putting, and the few that I got were negative.


One response was the exception. The Creative Director and founder of Bonfire – a small independent Irish Agency, offered to meet me. I felt very grateful, as he gave me his time and very useful feedback on my portfolio. But most importantly, he pointed out that grabbing the attention of Creative Directors often requires more than an email, and suggested using a more traditional approach.


And so it began. My big project: The Rula-doll

I had this idea a few years back, but never realised it, probably because at the time I lacked the design skill, as well as the courage to post my own work to some of Ireland’s top CDs. Inspired from the paper dolls I played with as a kid, the idea was to create a paper doll version of me. It would come with additional clothes, accessories, and gear that is essential to any creative, as well as a number of items displaying the logo of each agency I was contacting. After a lot of thought, I decided on the main copy: “Make me part of your team”. This would serve as a kind of tagline and convey my message, putting the branded items into context.

I based the design on an Avatar I had previously created and used here on my website, business cards, etc, which consisted of my face and shoulders only. The accessories that I included were: A satchel with creative essentials in it; a Macbook; a blazer; and four branded items: a coffee mug, a name tag, a baseball cap, and a brief. Once I was done with designing all the bits and bobs, I added little quirky notes pointing to some of the items. Last but not least, I added a box with ‘instructions’ on how to make the paper doll, and included a call-to-action, urging the recipients to visit my website. I designed most of the elements in Illustrator, and added some background layers of actual images that I edited in Photoshop, to give some of the items a bit of texture. Finally, I put everything together in its final layout in InDesign.

Designing the paper doll layout was only the beginning of this time-consuming and complicated task, however. A lot of work was yet to come: adding the logos of each agency, sourcing the right paper and envelopes, researching the agencies to find the names of the Creative Directors, and finally printing and posting my gimmicky applications. I will be writing about all that in my next blog post.

Here is the full version that I sent out to agencies, with a generic logo as a place holder. If you’d like to view or download a pdf version to take a closer look, click here.

Make sure to read my next post if you’d like to find out how I got on with the next steps. Thanks for reading!

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