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Your Book, Brand Building to Get You HIRED!

Your Book, Brand Building to Get You HIRED!

Hand it over!

Christina Macres

The Book. Your Book. Do it better than everyone else and get hired!

If you’re looking to get into advertising, there are two things you should to know:

1) Three Martini lunches no longer exist.

2) DON’T neglect your book. Yes, otherwise known as “The Book," it’s arguably your most important tool when looking to get that big, bad advertising job.

This being said, take a look at Part One of our guide to book-building. Read through these popular questions and assemble a book that’ll have potential employers drooling.

What the heck is “a book?”

Simply put, it’s your portfolio – but don’t call it that! Calling it a portfolio is a clear indication that you’re a novice, a newbie, a neophyte. Avoid this at all costs.

Your book is a place to organize and present your ideas to potential employers. In a business where selling objects, ideas and concepts is your main job, they’ll want to see that you not only build a brand and sell a product, but sell them on the idea that you’re a great advertising thinker.

Why do I need “a book?”

Because your ideas, not your outfit, are what’s gonna get you hired. Even if you’re not interested in art direction or copy writing, you should still formulate a clear, concise collection of your ideas. You are after all a great advertising thinker – show off those thinking skills!

What if this is my first foray into the ad world?

If you’re new to the ad world, don’t worry. You can still show off your crazy-good advertising skills. Employers won’t expect that entry-level employees have clips from the likes of Crest ad campaigns, however, they will be looking that you have an eye and a head for the business. The key is to choose a couple products and create your very own campaign for each. A word to the wise – Don’t choose products that already have successful ad campaigns. Instead, choose a brand/product that needs a little TLC. This way, you’ll demonstrate that you can both identify problem campaigns AND properly facilitate in their improvement.

What NOT to include:

  • Ads that use pun headlines: Puns are fun, but not suitable here.
  • The inappropriate use of celebrity endorsements: Boring! Don’t rely on David Beckham to sell your product!
  • Ads that are not creative: Because, why?
  • Ads that contain vulgar or politically incorrect advertising: You’re trying to get a job, remember?
  • Sloppy ads: Again, why?
  • Class assignments. Exception: You may include one or two you feel are outstanding. Otherwise, don’t expect that your schoolwork will fly in the “real world.”

  • Interested in art direction?

    Here’s what you should include:

    Technical education is key. Your book should demonstrate that you have mastered some basic art skills and that you understand type, layout and design. Best to focus on finished ads (as in, they look ready to go to press), as well as, two tight comps as supplemental pieces. Also, keep in mind that even as an art director, you’ll be critiqued on your ideas, campaigns and headlines. Copy skills can be a real bonus.

    Speaking of copy skills…

    Interested in copy writing?

    Here’s what you should include:

    As a copy writer, you’re book won’t be as flashy and colorful as graphic designer’s. Concentrate on demonstrating your skills via a neat and clean presentation and wow them with big ideas and great words. You’ll benefit from taking risks (Avoiding the aforementioned, of course!) and giving much thought to your headlines, grammar and spelling. And, be sure not to neglect body copy! Include at least one, well-developed, long copy ad.

    In the end, future employers are looking that you have presented examples that effectively identify and speak to your audience, that your ads are derived from an original idea and that your presentation is well crafted and thoughtful.