Ask Esther // 64


Greetings Esther,

I am trying to get into the industry as a copywriter but I do not come from an advertising background of any sort. I have never really had any experience writing ads as my university degree was basically writing thousand word essays and less about creativity. I have been trying to build a portfolio of my own but am finding it extremely difficult without any guidance (or a proper brief even for that matter). Metaphorically speaking it feels like I have to write a book with an empty pen.

I am considering enrolling in Miami Ad School for the portfolio program but also because I really want the internship at the end (I’ve tried applying for internships on my own, no luck). My question is this, it might be a ridiculous concern but I am wondering if enrolling in a “copywriting” program would be worth it as it seems like the industry these days are setting their sights on just art directors/ designers. Miami Ad School is a huge commitment and I don’t want to end up committing 2 years and coming up realising that nobody really wants to hire writers anymore. Thank you for taking the time to read my unnecessarily long question. I truly appreciate it.

Best Regards,

Dear Frustrated,

It is simply not true that copywriting is becoming redundant, so your question is based on a misguided premise. But I think these days a smart Copywriter should certainly learn some basic skills in areas such as coding, editing or photoshop etc.

It all comes down to getting a book (website) together that will get you a job or an internship. I would aim for a job. You can do that on your own or by completing an industry course. Or both if you’re really hungry. Getting briefs or making your own has been covered in a few earlier posts, so I won’t repeat that advice here. You can refer back.

A Copywriter’s portfolio should demonstrate good thinking, some fresh ideas and witty, concise writing. The opportunity begins with creating a website that reflects your personality. The website itself can have an idea. The bio section should be clever and well written.

It certainly helps to have a mentor in a creative department who is willing to provide constructive feedback.

There are so many ways to begin building your portfolio and constantly tweaking and updating the content to be sharper and smarter.

Most importantly, you have to stand out.

So, if you have the money to pay for a course such as Miami Ad School to achieve your objective, it certainly has a track record in placing young talent around the world. There are of course other courses which are less expensive and will also provide the tools to get a job or an internship, even if you have to get out there and make it happen yourself. If you have a great book, it will happen.

Good luck

You can ask Esther Clerehan anything about putting your book together, getting a job, what salary to ask for or what to do when someone steals your ideas. Go on, Ask Esther. There is no other creative recruiter with more experience to educate us on the art of the job hunt. You can email her here at junior at (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 23/04/2015
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .