January 22nd, 2014
Today’s post discusses the topic of professional internet etiquette and how to properly follow-up after an interview with a creative agency. This is a continuation of our Career Advice series. You can find Part 1 here.
Professional Internet Etiquette
One very important factor to consider as you are applying and submitting your resume to different agencies is what’s NOT on your resume. You need to be aware that many agencies, creative directors and human resource offices WILL GOOGLE YOU. It is crucial that you maintain and engage in keeping your online persona professional at all times. Regardless of your own personal opinions, lifestyle, or tastes, the internet is public domain and your online life is a fish bowl.
Here’s a list of things we recommend you consider before applying for jobs. We do speak from experience on a few of these items.
1. We suggest that you Google yourself and see what comes up, if there are things that you don’t want your future employer to know, it’s best to get rid of them before you apply for jobs. Questionable photos from college? Consider taking them down ASAP.
We know this seems a bit obvious, but it is quite surprising how many people still take something like this for granted and don’t take action.
2. Make sure that you have not written anything on your website or blog that would be construed as rude, inappropriate or unprofessional. One incident that comes to mind, was when we came across a recent blog post by a potential applicant who was being arbitrarily critical of a creative agency she had interviewed with for not hiring her. Ask yourself, is this something I should be discussing in the public forum? You just never know who will be viewing your website.
3. This same kind of scrutiny also should be applied to any of the social media platforms you participate in. From Facebook to Instagram and Linked In, remember that your comments, photos on other’s profiles, anything in social media can be seen for the most part if people haven’t set up their privacy settings properly.
The Follow Up
1. Follow up promptly within 24-48 hours of your interview
It doesn’t matter if you liked the agency or not, follow up. Either by e-mail or a handwritten note (preferred method), let the agency know you appreciated their time. And, if they asked something of you like tweaking something in your portfolio or working on a small freelance project, do it. Let them know you have intentions for doing what they ask and when you think they will see it from you.
If you want the job DO IT. If you don’t want the job, respectfully decline by e-mail. If you don’t follow up, it is unprofessional and may lead the firm to think you’re not interested. Agencies talk with one another and they definitely share résumés and recommendations of the talented and professional people they’ve interviewed. Leave an impression by following up.
2. Know that interviewing with an agency is a process
Finding the right fit for an agency is a process. Be patient with the process. It is common in this day and age to be asked to freelance on a project or two before you are hired full-time. The agency wants to get a feel for how you work and if you meet deadlines. A second interview also is common as they let you meet the staff and get to know you better. It may take a few months before you are offered the job. Don’t see it as pulling your chain, but as the agency caring about you and their employees enough to take the time to get to know you.
3. Have a good attitude and be honest
If you really want the job, go with the flow and invest the time the agency is asking from you. Even if you don’t get the job right away, they know who you are and hopefully you’ve learned several things from the process. Also, when asked direct questions about your skill set, be honest. A creative director needs to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, so they can help you polish your skills while trusting in your talents.