Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lets Sing of Advertising! Rebecca Sanders from Team Detroit

I’m very happy to have Team Detroit be apart of this blog. This agency takes 5 major contributors of the ad world (JWT, Y&R, Wunderman, Ogilvy and Mindshare) and places them under one roof. It is a very new-age, progressive way to conduct business and generate great ideas.

I was able to get in touch with Rebecca Sanders, head of creative recruitment. From the second we began ‘talking shop’ I could hear the passion in her voice and sense her willingness to help others succeed. Overall, she was a very powerful person to talk to.

On another note, I’ve been typing up a lot of articles as of late and feel like this blog needs a little shake. For this interview, I am going to relate all of the advice to various songs and lyrics. I hope you enjoy it!

“Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing…” – Abba, Thank you for the Music

Don’t forget to send a thank you note. Rebecca emphasized that many fail to remember this. As a result those people are either forgotten about, or discarded. Don’t let something as simple as dropping a ‘thank you’ note destroy your chance at a potential position.

“Call me on the line · Call me call me any anytime ·Call me!” – Blondie, Call Me

A nice, polite phone call is a great way to show your interest and stand out among the rest.
Don’t rely solely on email to generate a response! HR is usually super busy and gets slammed with a ton of emails on a daily basis.

‘Questions, I've got some questions. I want to know you, but what if I could ask you only one thing…’ –Jack Johnson, Questions

Do your research and know the agency prior to the interview. Be prepared to ask questions relevant to the agency’s current clients, culture and opportunities. Rebecca also declares that “taking light notes during the interview is a great way to demonstrate your interest and impress the employer with your preparation.”

“That's all I get if this is communication…” - The Cardigans, Communication

People in the ad world get distracted easily. Be able to communicate what you can bring to the company in a short, clear, concise manner. In a nut shell, know your “raw deal”.

“Name it, rate it, tune it, print it,Scan it, send it, fax - rename it, Touch it, bring it, pay it, watch it,Turn it, leave it, start - format it.Technologic [4x]…” – Daft Punk, Technologic

To be in the ad world, you need to be digitally savvy. Get on Linkedin, facebook, twitter, etc. and post your interest for a position followed by your skills. When Rebecca needs to fill a position, she migrates through facebook and linked in to find the right people.

“Get out (leave) right now · it's the end of you and me ..”–Jo Jo, Get Out

“If you don’t adapt you will have to get out”, was a comment Rebecca made in relation to the rising of digital media. As striving advertisers, we must stay updated on the newest forms of communication. Always be doing your research and striving to say on the cutting edge.

“Think (think) think (think) think (think) think (think) think (think) think (think) You better think (think) think about what you're trying to do to…” -Aretha Franklin, Think

On a designer portfolio specific note, looks are not as important as communicating a good idea. A design portfolio should show how you think. As fresh graduates, we haven’t had the opportunity to work on real brands. Therefore we must demonstrate HOW we will work on brands when given the opportunity. Show your THOUGHT PROCESS! Use your designs to show how you see the world.

On another note, your own blog is also great way to do this.

“There are only 2 types of people in this world, the ones that entertain and the ones that observe…”-Britney Spears, Circus

Do something that will make you stand out among the rest. One way of doing this is to create a non-traditional resume or pitch. For example, I know a woman who sent bubblegum, with her resume printed on the wrapper, to various agencies. What an attention getter!

“I go humble.You're so curiously pure,only before you I'm humble,I go humble.You amaze me,only before you I'm humble.” -Bjork,I Go Humble lyrics

Be humble and willing to learn. Rebecca stated than many entry-level job seekers “toot their horn too loud.” This can cause a major disconnect between you and the employer. As entry levels, we need to recognize that we have to put in our time and climb the ladder.

“Dream until your dream come true. Dream on, dream on, dream on” – Aerosmith, Dream On

Be willing to take an internship or something that isn’t quite your dream job. In general, planning your perfect position is impossible and you must make the best out of any opportunity. Remember that a job is only as good as you make it.

“Because you gotta have faith!” – George Michael, Faith

When I asked Rebecca for some words of encouragement, she told me to be persistent, be patient and have faith. If you keep trying and stay positive YOU WILL LAND SOMETHING.

Thank you Rebecca! Your advice is an asset to us all.


  1. I knew there was going to be a reference to Britney. haha. Interesting approach. I can't believe 'Fancy' wasn't in the post!

  2. glad you like it! Maybe if I revisit this approach, Fancy will make the cut.

  3. Excellent article and advise! I actually read this right after trying to get in touch with Rebecca. Hopefully she emails me back:P