For a copywriter, here’s the starting line:
- You have over three years of experience of some sort. (We might be able to fudge that a bit.)
- Words are your friends. And putting them together in interesting ways to sell stuff is one of your favorite things.
- You have a killer book demonstrating great conceptual thinking and an understanding of headline/visual synergy.
- You have a degree in something loosely related to the English language, like journalism, communications, creative writing, etc.
- You know all the grammar rules. And you know how to break them.
- You know the inner workings of Microsoft Word in a way that others may find disturbing.
- You’re hungry for juicy opportunities, you’re a quick study, and you play nice with others.
Any copywriter should feel the following rings true:
- You are a stickler for details.
- On more than one occasion people who are not your parents have complimented you on your wit and/or intelligence.
- You’re collaborative and generally well-liked.
- You are not afraid to raise your hand to ask a question or throw out a suggestion.
- Ideas. You got ’em. Lots of ’em.
- Great copy sends shivers of joy up your spine.
- You want to learn and grow at a place where creativity is celebrated.
- You can explain your work and defend it without seeming like a pompous jerk.
- You can internalize and interpret direction.
- You can do the above without rolling your eyes (mostly).
- You hate sheep.
- You don’t find the notion of a fast pace to be disagreeable or problematic.
- You laugh in the face of pressure.
- You have a genuine interest in the history of advertising.
- You have genuine interest in staying on top of current social and cultural trends.
What do copywriters do? What don’t they do?
Copywriters write and edit the words that go in the creative work produced by SHS — with the guidance and direction of a senior copywriter or creative director. That could be an ad. A website. A brochure. An outdoor board. A Facebook post. Innumerable things. Most work begins with a brief or other useful info provided by brand management. The copywriter — often working in tandem with an art director — helps imagine and produce the answers to any client challenge. Whether the project is a campaign or a single item, the point should be to create something that has a positive impact on the brand.
A copywriter shouldn’t be surprised to be asked to:
- Contribute to new business efforts.
- Present ideas to clients.
- Write content for a client presentation.
- Work with and direct audio/video production and talent.
- Set an example for and mentor associate copywriters.
- Talk to students or other groups about working at an agency.
- Salary commensurate with experience; 401k plan with employer matching.
- Great health insurance plans, wellness incentives and many other perks.
- SHS is an equal opportunity employer, of course.
— 03.21.18 —