So You Want to be a Launchpad Intern? Part 2: Creative

Calling all copywriters and art directors! 

Although there’s still quite a bit of time before Launchpad applications are due, that means for creatives, it’s time to start working on those portfolios now.

In honor of the fact that Dave Mikush, Associate Creative Director here at HLK, and Meredith Osborn visited Creative Circus in Atlanta for a portfolio review last week, we decided it’s time for some tips for creatives when it comes to resumes, cover letters and, yes, creative portfolios too.

Thanks to Ross Bradley (also an ACD) and Dave for the great tips – check out what they’d like to see from potential copywriting and art direction interns below!

Creative Resumes / Cover Letters

1. When it comes to creative positions, having an objective on your resume is key. Dave and Ross suggest being clear about your commitment to either copywriting or art direction right off the bat.

Dave Mikush, ACD

Dave Mikush, ACD

2. Be honest about your skill set. If you’re an art director, you should distinguish between proficiency and working knowledge when it comes to programs used regularly in these positions.

3. Don’t be too cute. Having a consistent personal brand is nice, but you don’t need to overdo it.

4. Be creative, but also communicate the important information. If you can get across what you’ve learned in your experience while still making it interesting to read, that’s awesome.

5. Use your cover letter to show that you know what kind of work the agency does and why you are a good fit. Convince Ross and Dave that your portfolio is worth looking at – they’ll see a lot of them so you need to stand out.


Creative Portfolios

1.     First and foremost, if you’re applying for a creative position, you MUST have one.

2.     Website or PDF? When you’re applying online, sending a link to a website is fine. If you go to an in-person interview, a PDF or a physical book is better. The order in which you show your work is very important.

Ross Bradley, ACD

Ross Bradley, ACD

3.     If you’re going to show a physical book, make sure you pay attention to detail and that it is finely made.

4.     You should open and close strong. Your best pieces should be first and last.

5.     You don’t need to show every piece of work you’ve ever done. You should show the kind of work you want to be doing, and you should pick your best stuff. Five great pieces are better than ten mediocre ones. Creative directors know when you’re proud of your work – and they also can tell when you’re not.

6.     Avoid having a portfolio full of only one-offs. Ideas are the most important thing, and creative directors want to see that your ideas can create a whole campaign.

7.     If you’re a writer, it doesn’t hurt to have an art director design some of your work for you (Ross and Dave are both designers and appreciate visually appealing portfolios, even from writers), but don’t sweat it if that’s not possible – the idea is still the most important thing.

8.     If you’re a designer, do your best to incorporate different design styles and show a breadth of work. 

9.     Try to show different brand voices, whether that is being communicated through design or copy.

10. As always: PROOFREAD! 

There are also tons of great resources on the web for help in developing a creative portfolio. It’s a long process that will take some time, but trust your gut and love what you do, because it will show.

Keep watching out for more tips on applying for other Launchpad positions! You can view our first post, So You Want to be a Launchpad Intern? Part 1: Research / Analytics, here.