To creative leads: do you appreciate it when job-seeking designers contact you or are you annoyed?

I moved to Colorado Springs over 4 weeks ago and since then I have been pro-active with making attempts to contact local ad-agencies as well as agencies and in-house departments in both Denver and Boulder. Out of all of the places I have attempted to reach out to, less than a handful actually reply.

So my question is this: If you are a creative director or the owner of an agency, do you appreciate it when job-seeking designers attempt to network with you or is this an annoying task that you simply avoid?

Just trying to gain some perspective.


It's probably not "annoying" as much as it is that they automatically delete it, or barely give it a read, and then delete it. Persistence can be rewarded, but patience is key. I would say to:

A.) Make sure your initial cover letter/email has something in it to grab their attention right away, or want to at least go scope your portfolio. I (personally) like to go with humor, or embedding a relatable image.

B.) If you don't get a reply right away, try again in a few weeks to a month. If you do get a reply to the effect of "we'll keep your info on file", then try again in a 2-3 months. The important thing is to stay on their radar without pestering.

Also, if you're revisiting a connection, always go back and reply to the original email, even if it's months old. A good way to do this is, when you've updated your resume or portfolio, just shoot and email like "Just checking back to see if you have any new openings, and wanted to let you know that I've updated my resume/portfolio [insert resume and/or portfolio link]".

Hope this helps.

It's a tough job market, so I don't begrudge anyone for trying hard. I would encourage you to do some research before sending any resume and tailor your email to the employers' needs. Do your homework and figure out how you can help me. Position yourself as a solution to my problems and send me work samples that are relevant to the work I do. And stay in touch with me without being a nuisance. Send me a short email with work samples every month or two to stay fresh in my mind.

I will say that 75% of job seekers who email me don't make much of an effort, so you will stand out if you do. Most don't send resumes or work samples. They just write a two sentence email asking if I'm hiring and hit send. These emails immediately get deleted. It makes me wonder how universities are preparing students to enter the job market. Most of the work samples I receive bare no resemblance to work I do. I have no use for someone who does oil painting or sculpture. So don't waste either yours or their time and only approach companies you are qualified for.

If someone respects my time, prepares their resume/samples and does their homework; I always send a friendly reply to say I'm not hiring but will keep their resume on file. And I do indeed keep an email folder with resumes. Here's the single most important piece of advise I can give you if you receive an email like this: Always always always send a two sentence email thanking them for their time. 99% of job seekers never reply to my emails and I think to myself "Why did I waste my time replying?" I can't even count the number of times I took the time to offer job search advise and never even got a reply. This speaks volumes for how these job seekers would act as an employee.

One last word of advise. Don't impose on anyone's time. I once received a reply that said "Thanks for getting back to me. If you would not mind networking for me, please keep an eye open for other suitable opportunities with other businesses you know." As if I have time to carry out a job search for some college kid and would risk my reputation vouching for a complete stranger.

So, chin up and always present yourself in the most professional manor. Good luck.

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