How to Get a Job in Advertising
So you want to work in advertising?
Advertising persuades, informs, competes and entertains. It persuades consumers to change their behaviour or informs them about products and services. It continually competes with a myriad of other messages, all directed at the consumer. To be able to cut through this sensory and information overload and create interest and greater awareness of a product or service requires top notch creative skills. Rapid technological change and the proliferation of advertising means agencies regularly need to find new ways to engage with consumers.
An ad agency can range from a creative studio of two to a multinational operation employing hundreds of people. There are roughly 250 major advertising and marketing agencies here in Australia, with perhaps another 1000 smaller consultancies. Advertising is an exciting and creative field, but it can also be stressful and demanding. Work-life balance is often a concern and you should be prepared to make some sacrifices as well as enjoy the benefits of this dynamic, social industry.
Types of jobs in the Advertising industry include:
- Advertising Account Executive
- Advertising Art Director
- Advertising Account Manager
- Advertising Copywriter
Five key skills that will help you score a job in the Advertising industry:
- Advanced written and verbal communication skills
- Strong relationship building and management skills
- Computer literacy and social media knowledge (to varying degrees)
- An openness to new ideas and concepts
- The ability to remain calm and effective in a high pressure environment
Interview and Job Hunting tips
- Enter advertising competitions for big brands (like the recent Doritos Crash the Superbowl one). If you win something like this you will gain instant career cred. Some of the best agencies in the world would pick you up on that alone.
- Think about choosing graphic design as an elective or studying a short course. If you can quickly mockup what an ad is going to look like or create a fantastic looking presentation in InDesign then you’re going to be ahead of the pack.
- Do your homework on the agency, its clients and its work.
- Interviewers in the advertising industry tend to look for raw skills that can’t be taught, like creativity, hustle and likability.
- The best way to make a good impression on someone is to show that you care about what they think, and curiosity is an important trait to have in advertising, so make sure you have lots of questions prepared!