WS: What impresses you when you’re looking at a student book, and what do you think impresses creative directors?
GT: It will always be the concept and ideas that matter first and foremost. Expanding on that, I am now looking at books with campaigns that may originate from a digital or viral medium. Every portfolio should have campaigns that include digital work, and it’s a plus if the students have enough knowledge to build the site. All books now need to be viewable online and should be easy to navigate.
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WS: Any thoughts on résumés?
GT: Yes. Résumés are very important to me. It’s normally what I will look at first. It is inexcusable to have a typo, so students should triple-check it before sending it out. Also, your résumé should fit on one page and it should be very easy to digest the information. Student awards and internships are important to add. Also, make sure your site is designed so that if someone wants to download or print it, it is easy to do so.
WS: And you already mentioned some but do you have any more tips for people trying to get into the industry?
GT: If you can, try to get a face-to-face interview with a creative director, as opposed to just emailing your work. And then make sure you follow up with a thank-you note. If you do get in to see someone in the agency, make sure you have done your homework and researched the agency and the people you will be meeting with. Come prepared with some intelligent questions. Your first job is very important—it could define your career—so stay focused on finding the right agency for you. Is there a mentor there who you can learn from? Will you have a partner? How integrated is the creative department? What’s the culture like?