I'm an experienced copywriter -- how do I find a job in a city where I know no one in the industry?
September 30, 2008 6:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm an experienced copywriter -- how do I find a job in a city where I know no one in the industry?

I have a fairly strong book of copywriting work, including for some A-list clients (BMW, Coca-Cola), but most of that work was done for agencies overseas, and much of it was freelance. I never became a part of the ad industry circles. I recently moved to Los Angeles and I don't know anyone in the industry here and have few contacts. What's the best strategy for finding a job in such a situation?

I never had to look for a copywriting job before, so I really don't know how it's done. My previous opportunities came through people I knew. How do I find a job when I don't know anyone?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you on Linkedin? That's the first place I'd start. If you're not already set up with contacts on Linkedin, spend a little time doing that: finding old colleagues on Linkedin so you have some networking ability. Then you can ask your peers what to do.

Also, all the recruiters are on Linkedin: search for "recruiter" with the appropriate location criteria and so on, and look for companies that you recognize. Add them to your network - they'll usually accept a connection request if you select the "I've done business with them" option, even though you haven't, since they're recruiters.

Basically, you need a network, and Linkedin is the best resource, I think.
posted by dammitjim at 7:13 PM on September 30, 2008

Get a copy of your local industry magazine or find it online. They should have jobs listed there. Start applying. Find who the local creative recruiter is in your area, talk to them. Talk to your industry friends back home, creatives move around a lot - ask them if they have industry friends in LA. Use facebook, and tell people you're looking. Find the email addresses of CDs and send them a sample or two of your work. Be creative!!

In advertising, it's mostly about your networks. You need to know people just to get you in the door to see the CDs, so work on getting one fast. Maybe turn up to industry functions, or find out where the local advertising watering hole is and go there and start chatting - I've had friends get jobs like that.

It's a very tough market right now pretty much worldwide from what I understand. Good luck, if you have good work you're halfway there.
posted by Jubey at 10:40 PM on September 30, 2008

please provide a link to your pdf/cv. I -as well as any other advertising creative worth their salt- will not make any introduction without having seen your work.

also: consider approaching the advertising headhunters in los angeles. laurie brandalise or gilly taylor come to mind. art center has night classes, which are probably good to meet a few people. the instructors are awesome and will point you into a few directions if they like you work/style. full disclosure: I am an accd adv dep alumn.

there are tons of agencies in LA you could call/email directly but any place you do get in touch with is going to be off-limits to headhunters as they won't get anything for getting your book in front of the right CD. alas, if still want a list, here are a few shops: TBWA Chiat/Day, Y&R Irvine, 72andsunny, Ground Zero, BBDO West, Deutsch, Wongdoody, Kastner&Partners, DDB, Ruben Postaer, Ogilvy. this list is not nearly complete.
posted by krautland at 5:44 AM on October 1, 2008

It looks like taproot foundation started in LA. You could volunteer. They do brochures, annual reports, stuff like that for nonprofits and have a team of experience people, so it can be way to meet others in the area. It takes awhile to get on a team, complete a project, etc., but might be a way to expand your network there.
posted by ejaned8 at 5:54 AM on October 1, 2008

Thanks, all of you, for the helpful suggestions.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:18 PM on October 2, 2008

Kraftmatic, your strong book is your best friend. Make it easily available on your web site. Other than that, the networking stuff is the way to go, as mentioned above.
posted by Mister_A at 7:57 PM on October 2, 2008

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