Can’t find work? It must be the portfolio size!

Since we all know that age discrimination doesn’t exist in the advertising industry, I have been totally puzzled as to why I’ve had to work so hard to find work in the past few years. Gratefully, that mystery was cleared up for me with your article, “Lay Off the Astroturf” [Careers, March 15].

Darn, who would have guessed it was the size of my portfolio. There it was, this startling insight: “Anything larger than 11 by 17 will look positively outdated.” Fool that I am, why couldn’t I have figured that out? I’ll just have to remove all my award-winning spreads and full-page New York Times ads and just show my 8 1/2 by 11 award winners. If only I had known.

Now I know that when I call headhunters and creative recruiters, all I have to say is, “Don’t worry, nothing is over 11 by 17.” In fact, inspired by this article, I may go down to playing-card size. That should make me really hip. Or is it cool? No, it’s edgy. Well, anyway, large portfolios are so messy. You can break your nails and have all sorts of problems picking them up and putting them on the desk to look at.

Hopefully, this incisive article on portfolios will reach the unemployed art directors and copywriters who sit in Starbucks staring at their oversized portfolios. That’s what they get for not having a subscription to Adweek.

Earl Carter
Freelance copywriter
New York and Singapore

For the record: A photo on page 9 of the March 15 issue was of Initiative Media’s Rosa Serrano, not Carolyn Bivens. Serrano is svp, group account director, multicultural. The Obie Awards will be presented April 20 in Scottsdale, Ariz., not New York [“The Great Outdoor,” March 15]. Also, there are 12 Obie categories, not 13.

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