How to Get Past the Gatekeeper

For many people right now, the economy has left them without a job or thinking they better have a back up plan, just in case.

So in walks a young Automotive Designer, who was doing just that- hedging his bets.

He had put together his resume and his book of design work on a CD. Also, he had designed a very graphically strong “label” for his CD that truly represented his style and who he is as a designer.

But, imagine just putting that in a padded mailing envelope- with or without a cover letter. Does that strike you as being bland, boring and some what invisible, like every other piece of mail going through a corporate mailroom, hoping that standard kraft colored envelope finds its way to the proper destination?

And imagine what might be sitting in the “in box” of a Human Resources Manager right now- tons of mail. Letter size envelopes in grays, whites, light shades of blue, or something corporate like and dozens of manila colored flat mailing envelopes hoping to stand out.

Assuming the envelope gets opened, some intrepid individuals will try something gimmicky, like neon yellow or a Post-It note that says, “The Boss says this looks like a great fit!”

How do you increase the odds yours will get opened and considered? First of all, get the name of the person who should see your resume. That requires homework on your part. If you don’t know how to make the call to get that information, ask a sales person how they make cold calls. They have to do this every day of their lives.

If not, go to your local library (the insides I bet you haven’t seen in a very long time) and ask your local Reference Librarian for help. You will be amazed at what your local library can hook you up with in terms of very specific information.

Next, skip the gimmicks and come see us. Because we understand about packaging, and how the first impression is likely the only one you will get.

Take a look at what we did for our Automotive Designer. He was on the right track himself, but needed help executing the final steps to ensure that his CD showed off his best talents.

First, he knew he needed sketches of his work, to prove that he could draw and conceptualize ideas. It was clear a full size one was going to cost big bucks- not only in reproducing but also in mailing expenses. So we developed the proportional size book so his work demonstrated his abilities as a designer.

Why did we pick that size? It worked with the size of his CD and a box that we could fit both in together. The box itself was just white- so we followed through with his color scheme of red and black by using a paper fill to support the book and CD- then created a sleeve of black paper to cover the box. The best part- we took the cover from his existing, full size sketch book and created a “Label” that we sized to act as a “sleeve” or “band” that could slip off, intact, so it could show some design ingenuity as well as be re-assembled to pass on to another decision makers.

Shipping was merely a decision on where it had to go, how quickly it had to get there, and how much we wanted to spend to get it there.

Bottom Line- a very talented designer was able to put his work “out there” in a more compelling fashion. We certainly don’t take any credit for his design philosophy- but what we did for him was ramp his presentation up just a notch or two, so that his body of work would get noticed.

Stay tuned for an update on what his job search nets him. We have our fingers crossed- although I suspect he won’t need too much more of our help.


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