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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Big agency CDs won’t answer my emails… HELP!

Big agency CDs won’t answer my emails… HELP!


Hi Ladies,
First of all i would like to thank you for starting such a great site. I got lots of advice by reading some of the old archives. I have been working as junior designer to senior art director in some of the big agencies for the past 13 years in both Asia and Europe. I quit my job and I moved to Toronto with my wife 2 years ago and found myself having a hard time getting my foot back into the big shop. I’ve tried to send resume/portfolio/cover letter to all of the well known agencies (some to hr/job@xyz.com/ca and some to CD’s). Some of them replied politely saying there aren’t any openings at the moment and will keep it for reference should anything come up, while some did not even reply. I found the latter particularly offensive. I do understand that a CD’s time is valuable and they do not have much time but how hard it is to write “We do not have any openings for now or we do not find any job which suits your qualifications or anything which says hey, you are not our kinda tea.” At least, then I know that they looked at my work and say no rather than keeping me in complete darkness. Not sure if you understand that feeling but I am starting to wonder if the work that I’ve done before are completely useless to the Canadian market. I know getting my foot back into the agency is hard but I can’t believe myself that I can’t even get a junior art position. I do not mind starting from junior art again as I truly believe that my previous work experience and knowledge will bring me back into a much more senior position later on but it is totally insane where that I can’t even get a junior position. I’ve tried some of the smaller agencies and after meeting with their CD, they says that my portfolio is very impressive and will have a brighter future in those big agencies. Now the problem is that the big ones either do not reply or have no openings and the small agencies did not want to take me in as they think that I am better off in the bigger agencies. So what should i do? I really hope that you can give me some advice and point me into the right direction. Thank you!

intro Big agency CDs wont answer my emails... HELP!Without knowing your work it’s hard to give an accurate reply, but we’ll make a few observations from your note. Your grammar isn’t great so we wonder if English may not be your first language. If that’s the case it is always a bit tougher to get the foot in the door. That combined with work that has a lot of cultural nuance/relevance elsewhere can make it less obvious to a CD that you’d fit right in. You may want to connect with a headhunter for a frank assessment on where you stand. If that’s not really the issue, we can tell you it’s always hard to get noticed by the busy CD. We could be accused many times of being the sort of CD you’ve had a disappointing lack of response from. We get hundreds of emails every day and like all CD’s we prioritize based on urgency. You can simply be overlooked. All CD’s stand to gain from being aware of terrific talent so it’s not like they intentionally blow people like you off. Rethinking how you get noticed may be the first thing to try. Your subject line should jump out. If you have a really good name as a reference, you could say “X suggested I meet you”. Or, if you’ve won major awards (Cannes, One Show, D&AD), a mention of that can instantly move you up the ladder to be reviewed (“Cannes Lion winner seeks AD job”). Failing either, get creative. What subject line would make it irrisistable for the CD to open?

If you continue to hit walls getting into the CD, try any senior creative people. You’re in need of a reality check, and once you have the audience, be candid about wanting to know where you fit in now that you’re here. Be positive, be open minded and listen. Good luck.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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