Are you looking to learn how to get a job in advertising so you can join the ranks of this glorious industry? Then look no further because I’ve put together 4 tips that will help you break into ad land. The advertising industry has always had a reputation for glamour and big bucks and there are a ton of job openings at the agency I work for alone. But there seems to be a disconnect between the people looking for jobs and the ad agencies who are looking to fill open roles. Here is some advice from someone who is always looking to hire good talent.
Did you know?
In 2014, there were over 225,200 jobs in advertising. It has been predicted that the job opportunities in advertising is going to grow 9% from 2014 to 2024. You should take note that this predicted growth rate is higher than any other average occupation in the U.S. Brands are also increasing investments in digital and mobile marketing. Learning SEO, Paid Search, Paid social, Social Media and how to code will help you become a commodity where recruiters are hounding you instead of the other way around.
4 Tips to help you get a job in an Advertising Agency
This might sound like cliche advice but growing your career and business half the time is about leveraging and growing your network. The more time you spend making real connections with people at events the sooner you will be able to network your way into a job. You can also search your LinkedIn contacts, or get in touch with people that are in connection with your friends and family. Get in touch with the people that graduated from your college who are working in advertising. Meet them to get a better sense of agency life and what it’s like to work where they work. Building a strong foundation with them will help open the door to potential job opportunities down the line. Your strategy when networking with people whether they be your friends, family or stranger should be to learn and offer value. Don’t go to these events events or setup meetings with a friend of a friend just to ask for a job. That’s probably the best way to not get a job. Instead setup these meetings so you can ask for advice and see if you can help the person in anyway. Most people in advertising always have some project they are working on on the side. If you can help them with their side project you can show your value which will help you further develop your skills, show how good you are and may even get you paid. I learned a long time ago if you ask people for money (or in this case for a job) you will probably get nothing, but if you ask them for advice you will get a lot more than that.
Action Steps: Join Meetup.com and find and go to advertising events. Setup some meetings with friends or family who are in the industry and ask them for advice on how to get in and what they should expect. Ask them about how they got in to advertising and for any advice they want to share. Make sure to ask the about the funniest advertising story they know. If they really work in advertising they will have at least 3 and telling the story will but them in a happy place.
2.Build your skills
The number one reason I usually don’t hire people is because they don’t have the skills to actually do the job. If you are just starting out fresh from College this is less of an issue because most places will teach you. However if you want to be a boss and give your self an edge over the next person then developing your digital skills is essential to getting your dream job.
- Google Analytics Certification: Getting your Google Analytics Certification is the best thing you could possibly do plus it’s free. They give you a good overall sense of attribution, analytics and how it all works together to help business find out more about their customers. Plus most companies use Google Analytics and if they don’t learning GA will make it easier to learn other platforms.
- Learn Excel: Excel is one of the main programs that are used in advertising. Mastering Excel will help you excel (see what I did there) in any advertising shop. There are a ton of free Excel courses on YouTube. What I’ve done is learn one new trick a month and then practice it on various projects so the trick sticks.
- Facebook Blueprint: Learn how to market on Facebook by taking course on Facebook Blueprint. The courses are free and according to eMarketer brands will increase spending on Facebook. This means that they will need people who know how to manage that spend on Facebook.
For example: David Ogilvy, who went from a farmer to becoming known as the “father of advertising.” had a rough time while pursuing his degree and never graduated. His hardships never discouraged him and he kept continuously building his skills. He took a job as a chef at Hotel Majestic in Paris and worked there for one year. After sometime he returned to Scotland to sell Aga stoves door to door and got so good he wrote an instruction manual for other salesmen. In 1939, he migrated to America leaving his mixed career behind. He worked at George Gallup’s Audience Research Institute in America. This agency offered him great success in the world of direct mail. Then he grabbed a job at British Embassy in Washington by nurturing his skills with analysis, human behavior, consumerism, and nationalism. So by continuously building his skills, he was appointed as non-executive chairman of WPP, the world’s largest marketing communications firm. Then he eventually started his own advertising agency and the rest was history. David Ogilvy never let schooling get in the way of his education and you shouldn’t either.
Action: I taught myself SEO and digital marketing by learning from the internet and applying my knowledge. Now I’m SVP of a Global Advertising Agency and continue to develop my craft by always learning. Pick the skill you want to develop and start a side project that will force you to use and develop that skill. Building your own website on a site like Word Press would be my advice. It will teach you many skills that will be needed to thrive in advertising, if you get enough traffic you can make money from it and if it’s good it is guaranteed to help you get a job.
3.Develop a Personal brand
Your personal brand is all about who you are and what you want to be known for. It works wonders for your career success and can take you to new heights.
When you think about a personal brand you should think about Steve Jobs and Apple. Steve Jobs is the person who built Apple and one of the main reasons for their success. Once can even argue that Steve Jobs personal brand is as strong as Apple’s. There is even “The Cult of Steve Jobs” because his personal brand was larger than life and had such an effect on people. In the SEO world there is Rand Fishkin who is the co-founder of Moz and but has such a strong personal brand he is basically a celebrity. You know you are a celebrity when his Google Suggest shows people looking for his net worth.
A cohesive personal brand can serve as your résumé, highlighting your accomplishments and showcasing the projects that you have personally worked on. Building a personal brand takes time but it will set you apart from everyone else who is summiting their resume. Later on your personal brand can turn into a real business like Gary Vaynerchuk. He is one of the leading marketing experts who branded himself by launching “The #AskGaryVee” show on YouTube in 2014. Before that he became famous for using social media to help grow his wine business. He now has a large agency in New York and is a successful author.
Where to start:
Build a Website: If you don’t have your own website or blog then you really need to build one now. Having your own site allows you to test new developments in digital media and allows you to take a hands on approach to learning. 10 years ago I didn’t know how to build a website and now I built this website (adculture.com) in 48 hours. First buy a domain name something like yourname.com or think of a clever name for a site and just build it. Contact me if you need help or advice and i’d be happy to help.
4.Be Willing to Work
If you want a job in an advertisement agency make sure that you’re willing to work hard. If you don’t have a job, consider freelancing to get an idea about the advertising business. The more freelance projects and even internships you take the more you will be able to show future employers. Willingness to work and help people with their projects will also develop your skills, your network and your portfolio.
Action: If you have the time say yes to the next person who need help with digital marketing work. Get in the game so you can start racking up experience and eventually you will get a job in advertising.