Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Commercial: Just another Adland rejection letter

I pass on the following exchange without [much] comment. It's real, by the way.


Dear [Applicant dude]

Apologies for the delay in responding to your enquiry and thank you for your interest in ['Who? I've never heard of them' agency] and for sending in your details.

I'm afraid that we won't be taking your application any further at this stage. Though I can't answer each application individually, the reasons for not proceeding with you are probably more to do with your "fit" with this particular agency rather than advertising in general so don't get disillusioned. Keep at it. Remember, everyone turned down the Beatles at first!

In the meantime, even if we can't offer you a position here, we can give you a few tips that might help you elsewhere:

• Read Campaign as often as you can
• Learn about recent events at each agency you apply to
• Tailor your covering letter to each and every agency
• Be concise (your CV shouldn't be more than 2 sides long)
• Make your CV involving – pick-up on some of the more unusual things you've done and bring them to life
• Don't do what everyone else does and use long lists of adjectives to describe yourself (e.g. I'm an articulate, creative and helpful team worker, etc, etc)
• Try and communicate a sense of your personality – not by describing it but by demonstrating it in the way you write your letter and through the things you've done in the past
• Don't expect agencies to spend a long time reading your application – they'll probably spend no more than two minutes flicking through it, so bear this in mind when you write it
• Take risks

I hope that this helps and good luck with your future applications.

Best wishes

[HR Babe]

Dear [HR Babe, although frankly I doubt that. A lot]

With regards to your response to my application may I make the following suggestions:

- Either give individual feedback or don't give feedback at all

- Vague value statements such as 'probably more to do with your fit' are are best unhelpful, at wost frustrating

- Avoid platitudes such as 'everyone turned down the Beatles at first!'. Graduates tend to be over 12 years of age

- Read the actual CV as often as you can

- Tailor your rejection letters to each applicant

- Alternatively, be concise - 'Thanks but no thanks will do'

- Make rejection letters involving - pick-up on some actual criticisms rather than tell someone who has studied in 3 universities, read 3 subjects and worked on 3 continents to bring their CV 'to life'

- Please recommend a viable grammatical alternative to the adjective

- Try and communicate a sense of personality - not by copy/pasting rejection platitudes but by demonstrating it in the way you take the time to actually assess a CV

- Don't expect the advertising industry to continue being a bottomless pit of money for much longer - two minutes is far more than you can ever expect a customer to remain interested

- Take calculated risks - business school grads may be a bit on the wild side but at least we won't blow the budget on AbFab furnishings...

Kindest regards,

[Applicant Dude]



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