You’d think in an era of social networking, it would be easier to find a job. But I meet young people all the time struggling to find where they fit in and how to get their foot in the door. And I remember those days at the University of Notre Dame, when I decided I wanted to be a copywriter, searching through the Agency Red Book, trying to get internships, mailing clever things to agencies to get their attention. So here are 10 helpful tips that I have to pass on to aspiring agency creatives.
- Be creative. If you want a job in creative, do not follow a so-called professional resume format. I have seen resumes on paper napkins and on video. Be different if you want to break through.
- Study award-winning campaigns. Get award books like the One Show, Archive, and Communication Arts Advertising Annuals. While you can find great award-winning creative online at places like Ads of the World, I think buying old versions of these books on Amazon.com is a great thing to have, to understand what makes a campaign and what makes it great.
- Learn the business. Seek opportunities (in class and out) to learn the business and add to your portfolio. Invent clients, do spec or do real ads for families and friends. The best way to get hired is to have a great book!
- Intern. Intern. Intern. I had two internships before I landed a full-time job. So pursue internships whether free or paid—but only at places where you like the work they do and know you can learn from their talent. Agencies like to try before they buy. An internship at your dream agency could lead to a better future than one at a mediocre one.
- Choose wisely. Big agencies are a great place to start as they hire more people more often. But at a mid-size shop like ours an intern could do web ads, social media, radio and get a shot at TV. Think about what fits you and your career goals.
- Brand yourself. Make your own brand speak uniquely through your website, business card, resume and guerilla. And be consistent with that unique quality that differentiates you from the pool of other aspiring creative. I have sent funny things to agencies over the years to get noticed. Attach a web video to your resume. Or try snail mail because in the digital world it’s a better way to break through and be noticed.
- Understand it’s not about you. It’s about what you can do for an agency. So research different agencies online and through the Agency Red Book at the library so you can talk intelligently at interviews and show them how you could move their business forward.
- Be patient and persistent. Understand Creative Directors and Creative Recruiters are busy. If they don’t get back to you, it’s most likely because it’s not a priority to them at that time. Find the Associate Creative Director or a Senior Copywriter or Art Director to glean info from. Any connection that can give you insight. Name drop their name (“So and so said to call you”) to get you to that next level. Stay visible so when they do need to hire, you make the list.
- Network. Join ad clubs. Freelance for local chambers of commerce. Friend people you admire on LinkedIn. Blog. Vlog. Increase your SEO. No contact is ever wasted.
- Stay positive! It takes time to get with the agencies you really admire but persistence eventually will pay off.
Those are the real secrets to getting a job in advertising as a creative. Take it from me, the school of life is more educating than even the best universities. Let me know if this helps. Or if there are any other tips that a young creative should try. Best of luck to you!
Well you aren’t alone; I myself was one of those lucky graduates who was sent into the real world jobless. Many college seniors and recent graduates are on the lookout for a job in Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations and Communications and are stuck in a rut. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has some promising news to share. Employment in media communications fields is on the rise slowly but surely. Does this mean you can sit back and wait for your dream job to fall out of the sky into your lap? No of course not, but if that works let me know. So how do you go about landing the dream position? Well in one word, ENTHUSIASM.
If you stay positive and motivated that’s the key to getting a gig you love. And if you are one of those college seniors or recent graduates seeking something in these fields go off and show your skills as you are applying! If you are applying for a job in marketing do something to differentiate yourself and show that you can MARKET yourself. If you are seeking a creative position at an ad agency do some research on their big clients, if you know you will be working on the McDonald’s campaign why not submit your resume in a “Happy Meal” box? That means get to thinking, develop a brand image for yourself and make it noticeable so employers will have to meet the mind behind that brilliant resume.
Just in case you haven’t been told by every college professor, your parents, friends and the random guy at the coffee shop, you must NETWORK! Okay, go to career fairs, ask dad to talk to his colleague but it also means whenever you meet someone mention you are on the hunt and you never know their Uncle Andy may have a job opening at his PR firm that just happens to be awesome for you!
Now go out there and get that job that will actually make you want to get out of bed before noon!
Since college, I've wanted to work for Brogan & Partners. I heard great things about both their award-winning creative and warm, friendly work culture. Sadly, it seemed as though I had graduated at the worst possible time in our ad community's history. Then, the clouds opened up and finally shed a bit of light when I was presented with an opportunity for an internship here!
Over the 3 months working here I got back a lot of what I had lost. At the College for Creative Studies ad department, there aren't many boundaries to what you can do creatively. Then, the diploma is accepted and you're spit out into the real world (which does not always involve the mind-blasting creative projects you dreamed of). Things tend to get watered down, over-analyzed and put through the appropriate systems.
But, it's different at Brogan. And working here has reminded me why I enjoy advertising so much and why I wanted to go into this field in the first place. They strive to produce breakthrough, award winning advertising while still meeting the satisfaction of their clients. I've never worked at an agency that was able to find a happy medium between the two.
It's also been fun and educational getting the chance to develop creative for non-automotive accounts. There's a satisfaction that comes from working on creative healthcare accounts, because you really feel like your helping market something that helps so many people.
I've always seen advertising as smart art. It's not just a place to showcase your creative abilities, but it also needs to be smart, intuitive and effective. This is something that Brogan & Partners helped teach me. I will take many good memories and new insights away from my time here. More importantly though, the experience has gotten me excited about advertising again. And at this point in my career I couldn't ask for anything more.
Interested in an internship at Brogan? Let me know if I can give you any pointers!
Media is not something we spent a lot of time learning about in college, so when I came to Brogan & Partners I had no idea what I was in for. From day one, I realized what my future would hold… invoices, lots and lots of invoices!
After learning the daily operations and being able to input five invoices per minute (I wish), the fun began. I have found that there is nothing more exciting than being given the opportunity to pick and choose what TV or radio stations should run our spots. And can you believe we should watch TV for research?! No mom, I can’t help you clean now, I am doing research!!!
Being in the media department has not only educated me on the business of buying, selling and placing but it has also allowed me to be more creative, thinking with a non-traditional mindset. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that media is ever changing and those that can think outside of the box will pave the way for the future.
As I move on in my media career, I will remember what I learned here at Brogan… to be smart, creative and successful at all costs. And I can thank the wonderful media team for beating (no, not literally) those attributes into me!
Healthcare. One of Brogan & Partners specialties and what brought me to the internship program. Being an intern at B&P, I was thrown into everyday life right away, which helped me quickly realize what it meant to be in the “account world.” I certainly can say I’ve had real world experience now. Everyday life here is much more exciting than the hit TV show, "The Office."
As the account management intern, I learned a lot about the wonderful world of advertising. And now that my internship is wrapping up, I thought it might be helpful to share some insights to those that may come next.
Top 5 Insights from a B&P Account Intern:
- Photo shoots are not all glamour. It may seem exciting and glamorous (it is very cool), but let me just tell you it is a LOT of work and a LONG day. (Especially when it’s an 8 hour shoot at 3 different locations and 90 degrees out!)
- Communication is key. Learning the way to interact with clients based on their various personalities is important to sustaining a good relationship. It also helps in making sure everything goes smoothly and everyone is happy!
- Practice makes perfect. Or close to it. The first time I tried binding I messed up. And then I just got better. I can now proudly say I’m the fastest binder in town (or at least at B&P). But this along with everything else I learned all began to come with ease after a bit of practice.
- Smile often. Sitting by the back door to greet everyone in the morning is underrated. How nice it is to have a steady flow of smiling faces bright and early! It makes the morning much more enjoyable...and brings some joy to my co-workers.
- New Business is your best friend. When I was first asked to start developing a new business database, I felt a bit out of my element. But after doing a ton of research, finding good new biz opportunities, and helping create the new biz letters, I realized how important the task was. I can’t even tell you how awesome it was when one of the letters I sent helped result in a NEW CLIENT!
Leaving this internship, I’ll take with me a whole set of new skills/experiences, a greater interest in healthcare marketing, and a ton of memories. Will my next job be as challenging and rewarding? Hopefully! Will I enjoy myself as much with the people and environment? Fat chance.
Are you an intern or looking for an internship? What other insights can you share?