40. A creative director who wants opportunities

If you've got knowledge and skills, is that enough to get a recruiter's attention? 🤔 In this week's episode, we work through this challenge with A.C., a creative producer. A.C.'s got experience, but isn't sure how to translate that experience in a way that's appealing to recruiters. Lauren and Phil give him the best advice on all things jobs, from reaching out to recruiters to an elevator pitch to writing a cover letter.

Life Phase:

Guest Career:

Brand Problem:


Like so many people who work in the creative space, A.C.’s main challenge is a hard one: recreating the in-person experience online.

In A.C.’s case, he’s a creative producer, which makes showing his work even harder. That being said, there are a few workarounds that we cover in the episode.

Think Like a Recruiter

Recruiters’ entire livelihood is based on matching hard-working people with companies. It would be to their disadvantage to disqualify a job seeker who could get a job somewhere.

With that in mind, it’s recommended to put feelers out every six months to every recruiter you can. Search for them on LinkedIn, set up a quick call, and set a reminder in your calendar to touch base every six months—even if you have a job. Keep them updated. Recruiters are more in the loop than you are with career opportunities so it’s your second job to stay top of mind.

Paint a Picture

If you work in a creative, field, you know that portfolio examples are paramount. But even if you have proper photos and videos that do justice of your work, hiring managers need to understand the thought process behind the experience. Create your own case studies for the projects that make you most proud and clearly explain the problem, the process, and your ultimate solution. Not only will this emphasize the amount of preparation that went into your creative work, but it will show your communication skills to the hiring manager too.

Work Your Network

I say this to business owners and job seekers alike: Keep your network warm. I recommend keeping a simple Excel sheet with exports of every contact you know. Similar to the recruiters, set a calendar reminder to touch base with your network regularly. My preferred method is every three months for high-priority people (who could hire me on the spot), four months for mid-priority people (those who might not hire me but could know someone to hire me), and six months for everyone else. Ask them how they are and be very clear about your goals.

Don’t be Desperate

Speaking of being clear about your goals, sharing a goal with someone is not the same as asking for a job. When it comes to getting a job, it’s not about you: it’s about the company. Here’s an example of what not to do:

Person A: So, what are you doing for work these days?

Person B: It’s funny you should ask because that’s part of why I reached out. I would love to work for your company. Do you have any available positions?

Note how Person B makes their response self-gratifying. There’s nothing said about Person A’s company except for the potential exchange of money. I’ve been there and it’s off-putting. Here’s a revised strategy.

Person A: So, what are you doing for work these days?

Person B: I’m in a really interesting point in my life right now. I’m looking for an opportunity to contribute to companies who are looking for a way to meaningfully connect with customers. This year, I’ve had the privilege of getting a true understanding of the brand loyalty that can come from an in-person event activation, so I’m keeping my eyes out for an opportunity.

Person A: Wow, that’s interesting. Have you thought of approaching X, X, or X companies?

Person B: I haven’t yet because I find that introductions often work better than cold outreach. Is there anyone you’d recommend I speak with to help me find a company like the one I’m looking for?

See the difference? Be Person B in scenario 2.


What’s job-hunting advice do you have for A.C.? Comment below!


Phil Pallen