10 Ways to Get a Job at an Ad Agency
10 Ways to Get a Job at an Ad AgencyFrom Apryl Duncan, former About.com Guide
Working in advertising is rewarding and challenging. But for many people just starting out, the challenge seems to be getting that first big break into an ad agency’s door. There are many ways you can overcome that barrier and land a job at an advertising agency.
Agencies look at interns as potential employees. If you have the opportunity to intern, by all means, you should.
Interning will help you get an “in” to the agency but you’ll also be able to work in various areas you wouldn’t otherwise. Speak up and let the agency know you’re eager and willing to learn to get the most out of your internship. The experience you gain as an intern is invaluable and could lead to a permanent position.
2. Take an Entry Level Position
It would be nice to walk right into a corner office with a view, plop down in your leather chair and start working with big name clients. Of course, it doesn’t work that way in the real world.
Many people have successfully started their career in advertising by taking any job in an agency and working their way up. Don’t be afraid to work outside of your job description. Get in there and learn everything you can. If you’re unable to move up within that particular agency, you can still use that experience to get you a job somewhere else.
If you’re interested in being a copywriter or graphic designer, consider freelancing as a way to get into the business. Coming up with your own rates, your own campaign to advertise yourself and approaching small businesses and even agencies are all tools you can use in your agency job hunt.
4. Create SPEC ADS
SPEC ADS are simply your version of a published ad. You might think that you can do better than a major automaker’s print ads running in your favorite magazine. Or your local barber shop’s newspaper ads might need some reworking.
SPEC ADS are known in the industry as work you’ve done on your own. It’s basically pretend copywriting or graphic design but if you have no published work, it’s vital to showing your talent.
5. Contact Radio and Television Stations
Many radio and TV stations have employees who specifically write commercials. They may Intern for Experience
Interning is an excellent way to gain valuable experience and to get your foot in the door with an ad agency. You will make key contacts you can use to get a job but you may not need them right away if the agency offers you a permanent full-time position when your internship is complete.
You want to make sure you get the most out of your internship. Don’t be a wallflower. This is your time to help others, learn the business and get your hands on anything the agency will let you help with.
Create Samples to Show to Potential Employers
Writing or design samples are crucial if you want a job as a copywriter or graphic designer. But if you’re just starting out, chances are you don’t have anything to show a potential employer. Speculative ads, better known as SPEC ADS, are just what you need to show your ability to do the job. SPEC ADS give you instant writing samplesyou can use to show a potential employer your writing voice or your design style.
Prepare Your Portfolio
When you’re called for an interview, you need to be prepared. Put those SPEC ADS or other samples of your work in your portfolio before the phone rings.
Getting your portfolio ready ahead of time means you’re ready to go even if the potential employer needs to meet with you within the next hour because he’s getting on a plane to Tahiti at 4 p.m. And if you’ve researched your potential employer’s needs beforehand, you can change your portfolio to adapt to the company’s specific needsto make you really stand out from the large pile of resumes sitting on the desk.
Land the Interview
Now that you’ve decided what type of advertising career interests you the most, you’re ready to line up those interviews. Be realistic. Be persistent. Be honest. These are the basics to follow when looking for a job but there are <a href="other ways to increase your chances[/link”> of being noticed when you apply for the position so you can be sure to land the interview.
Go Get That Job
Now that you’ve made it to this step, you’re more prepared than most people who want a career in advertising. There are a
number of opportunities out there for you so go get that job in advertising.
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