The Most Important Job Fair Secret

I know it seems funny talking about coming home from Bootcamp before you’ve even left. But it won’t be long before you’re walking through your front door, Bootcamp an exciting memory.

Trust me, Bootcamp will fly by. Before you know it, you’ve got decisions to make. One of the biggest of all is about Job Fair. (I’m assuming you’re going to Job Fair. It’d be a shame if you didn’t.)

Last week, I talked about a few important secrets to Job Fair success. These are things you need to do to get the most out of your time at Job Fair itself. So today, I’m going to tell you the single most important secret about succeeding with a Job Fair spec.

So what is it?

What is the one thing you must do to succeed with a Job Fair spec … or any spec for that matter?

Write one!

Seems simple, doesn’t it. You cannot succeed with a spec assignment if you don’t write one. But year after year at Bootcamp, copywriters with the best intentions go to Job Fair, interview with the marketers, make notes, take the specs, and walk off with every intention of writing a killer spec to send in.

But they never do.

Think about it. They’ve invested a great deal of time and energy into believing they have what it takes to win the spec. And when it comes to writing the spec, they probably have the skills. (I know you do.)

Something stops them dead in their tracks.

I’ve asked AWAI members in the past why they went through all the trouble of going to Job Fair but didn’t actually write a spec headline and lead. Their answers all sound similar. They all sound familiar. I’ve heard things like “When I got home, I was so tired I couldn’t …”

Or “I put the stuff aside and intended to, but …”

Or “I just didn’t have time because …”

I’ve heard these reasons many times. But you know what? I really don’t think they or any of the dozens of variations really get to the truth of the matter.

The real reason for inaction …

I sense the reason relates to why I might not have tried writing a Job Fair spec when I first started copywriting. (I didn’t have Job Fair back in those days, but I had similar spec opportunities that scared the dander out of me.)

You see, as hard as I worked at it, deep down inside, I didn’t think I was very good. I was afraid to write specs because I was afraid to reveal that I wasn’t good. And this, I am sure, is why so many Job Fair attendees leave with good intentions but let this golden opportunity slip by.

Don’t let that happen to you! You truly have nothing to lose by submitting a spec headline and lead. It’s very simple: You cannot succeed if you don’t try.

I’ve spoken to some AWAI members at Bootcamp who hadn’t submitted in a previous year. With the perspective of time, they realized why they hadn’t taken the leap. It had nothing really to do with time. Or tiredness. Or whatever. It was that fear.

And to a person, they regretted it.

Nothing to fear …

One little fact about presenters at Job Fair should put your mind at ease. It doesn’t matter how far off the mark a spec assignment is, presenting companies don’t have a master list stashed someplace that says, “These Guys Didn’t Make It.”

These are marketing professionals. They’re not looking for the “Golden Copywriter” who’ll be able to write a control first thing out of the box.

They’re not looking for perfection. What they’re looking for is a copywriter like you who wants to succeed … who’s willing to try … and who’s eager to learn. After all, that’s a basis of success in this business.

And if you don’t try by writing and submitting your spec, they’ll never know you are exactly that copywriter.

So now you know the deepest, most important secret of succeeding with a Job Fair spec. Next week — while you’re on your way to Bootcamp — I’ll give you some pointers on how to give the spec you do submit a better chance of succeeding. If you don’t have time to read it before you get to Bootcamp, it’ll be waiting for you when you get home, eager to write a winning spec.

But don’t forget, it will not succeed if you never write it and submit it. So …

Do it.

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Published: October 15, 2012

1 Response to “The Most Important Job Fair Secret”

  1. Thanks for the article, Will!

    I've said this before, but I think it needs to be repeated: Education is not the key to success in this country. Action is. Plain and simple.

    Keep up the great work!


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