How To Score a High Profile Internship

Be Creative and Score a High Profile Internship

Before you have real job experience to put on your resume, you need real job experience to put on your resume. This catch-22 has been around for decades, forcing recent grads to take any position they can get at a company to try to work their way up the ladder. At many companies, internships serve as the bottom rung of that ladder, giving both employer and candidate an opportunity to feel each other out, and providing early-career employees a chance to learn and gain valuable experience.

Scoring a high profile internship might mean scoring a high-profile entry-level position as well, but as Alf Zapata proved while snagging his advertising internship with Draftfcb, landing a high profile internship often requires more than just words on a resume.

Thinking “Inside the Box”: The Story of Alfonso Zapata

In April 2013, Kmart unleashed an online commercial that has become a viral success for the company. A month and a half later, the commercial is approaching 20 million views on YouTube. The 30-second spot advertises Kmart Online, encouraging users to “ship their pants” from anywhere.

When Alfonso “Alf” Zapata wanted to score his internship at Draftfcb, the advertising agency responsible for the Kmart spot, he didn’t just send in a resume. He shipped his own pants to the agency along with his resume, and made enough of an impression that he got an interview, which led to him getting the job.

Incorporating Creativity Into Your Employment Search

Searching for employment in a creative field typically demands more than the knowledge and drive it takes to secure a common office job. Creative companies are looking for fresh ideas, and your ability to show them that you have those ideas up front may mean the difference between getting the job or getting your resume tossed to the bottom of the pile.

It’s a fine line to walk. You need to show a company who you are, and what you have to offer, while still maintaining a level of professionalism. Remember, Alf shipped his pants, but he shipped them along with his resume.

The Creative-Professional Line

As you search for work in the fields of print, marketing and web design, start by seeking that line where professionalism meets creativity. Keep in mind that how much freedom you have to be creative and how much professionalism you need to convey varies widely.

An established advertising agency with banking clients, at which the staff dresses in business wear, expects a different level of professionalism than a start-up agency where the staff wears jeans everyday. Before sending out your resume, it’s always advisable to do some research on a company, learn its personality and behave accordingly. When Alf shipped his pants to Draftfcb, he did so with some knowledge of their sense of humor and, at the same time, acknowledged their successful ad campaign. By knowing something about the company, he connected on a more personal level than he would have if he had sent his resume alone.

Creative staffing isn’t just a descriptive phrase. When it comes to staffing creative fields, there is some actual creativity involved. Finding the right mix of traditional business savvy and originality can be key in scoring the position of your dreams.

For help finding your balance, contact us today to learn more.

Riley L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


Artisan Talent is a Digital, Marketing and Creative Staffing Firm placing talent in jobs perfectly matched with their skills all over the US.  For available jobs, to submit your resume, or learn more about working with Artisan Talent, contact us here.

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