Observations from reviewing portfolios*:
Include copy in your portfolio.
Preferably several sentences in a row that demonstrate your mastery of the english language.
For Art Directors:
Include type design in your portfolio. Preferably several sentences in a row that demonstrate your ability to select, set and thoughtfully use type.
Yes, this is an industry that's all about ideas. And all about "I want to see how you think". But it's also an industry that's about ROI. And that means agencies need to be able to assess your ability to contribute from day 1.
I saw 25 books. and of those, I saw something like 15 ideas for "elevator door wrap."
I get it. Elevator doors. Cool. The first time. Which was, i believe, eight years ago.
I saw a lot of logo-in-the-bottom-right-hand-corner visual solutions. In fact I saw entire books like that. Copywriter books, even. If you're going to take that risk, you'd better blow me away with ideas, photography, and everything else that comes along with visual solutions. You'd better present visual solutions that make me want to pull money out of my own wallet to hire you.
Beyond that? Describe how you'll make an invaluable asset to a good creative department. Have a sense of humor. Be professional. Do the things that get you remembered: write thank you notes and follow-up emails. Especially emails that prove you (copywriters) can actually string two sentences together with eloquence and proper grammar. Use your spell check. Have someone who knows what they're doing proofread your work.
It's hard to get a job as a creative.
It's equally hard to hire one.
Make me want to take a risk on you.
*This is not an indictment of Miami Ad School. I thought many of the books I saw were great. And I thought several of the students I met were more than qualified. And I can't wait to get them down here and put them to work.