How can I get a job in advertising?
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How can I get a job in advertising?

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A presentation to students at my alma mater, as an alumna.

A presentation to students at my alma mater, as an alumna.

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  • 1. Liliya PlotkinaAdvertising/PR ‘11Account CoordinatorRoberts Communications
  • 2.   Account Coordinator at Roberts Communications.  In the industry since August 2011.  Work primarily with Xerox branding, sponsorships, regional/local events, but also touch pieces of Ad Council business.
  • 3. I get it. This is a huge period of change, upheaval, and uncertainty in your life. You know where you want to be…now how do you get there?
  • 4.   Intern, Intern, Intern.  Make and keep connections.  Develop a portfolio.  Lots of legwork.  Start early.  Don’t get discouraged.  And after you get the job…groom your brand continuously.
  • 5. WHAT: Working for free (or for pay) at an agency you admire.WHY: Develop experience, comfort, and interests. Get peopleto know you. Get people to recognize you. Get to knowpeople. And yes: Resumé fodder.HOW:1.  Start with a Google search: “Advertising agencies [city name here].”2.  Don’t just apply to places with huge, well-known programs.3.  Find work you love, and follow it to the source.4.  Ask, and you shall receive.
  • 6. WHAT: Be friendly. Be hardworking. Be humble. Rememberpeople’s names, faces, titles, and jobs.WHY: Everyone likes to be recognized…people in this industrywork hard. Many people will say that it’s all about “who youknow”…well, get to know people! It’s easier than you think.HOW:1.  Start with professors. Ask them if they know anyone in the industry in the area. Many do.2.  Remember to check in with former internship heads, supervisors, etc.3.  Contact the people you admire, and ask them for an interview for advice.
  • 7. WHAT: A collection of work you’ve done. Strategic, creative,written…whatever! Presented in a clean and stylish manner.Get help with the design if you don’t feel comfortable.WHY: There’s a lot of young, unemployed ad people outthere. Set yourself apart—you are bringing something new tothe table, right? Show it off.HOW:1.  Do schoolwork you’re proud of. No, really.2.  See #1.3.  Ask professors, industry experts, friends, designers, math majors, whatever for reviews of your portfolio.
  • 8. WHAT: Blog. Apply to jobs. Go to coffee meetings. Attendindustry events. Offer to do favors for people you admire.Don’t be afraid to sweat…how bad do you want it?WHY: This is a tough industry. Hard work now pays off later.Your reputation starts now, in everything you do.HOW:1.  Start a blog: constant supply of writing samples.2.  Send out promos.3.  Research and read books—become an expert!4.  And get used to it…because once you get the job, the legwork doesn’t stop.
  • 9. WHY: It’s going to take you a while to get out of “collegemode” and into “workplace mode”. Do the kind thing foryourself and leave plenty of time for learning.
  • 10. Remember to cultivate your hobbies, interests, and self. A job is important, but it isn’t everything.
  • 11. …What can you expect?•  To not know everything. Or, really, anything. At all.•  To feel totally overwhelmed.•  To feel excited, motivated and ambitious some days…•  …and worried, exhausted, and hopeless the next.• To be uplifted…and humbled.• To experience some of the coolest, most rewarding work andpeople that you ever have in your life to date.
  • 12. Ok, you got the job. Great work! But it doesn’t stop here. It’sOK to take a break and get your feet (and mental state) backon the ground. But you should remember to:•  Keep in touch with the people who helped you.•  Keep working hard.•  Keep up with your legwork.
  • 13.   Account Coordinator   Jr. Copywriter  Account Assistant   Jr. Art Director  Jr. Account Planner  Assistant Account Executive  Media Assistant  Jr. Media Buyer
  • 14. …Sure, kid. Knock yourself out. ;)
  • 15. Entry level salary expectations:Between $25K and $35K (average). Entry level doesn’t get tonegotiate, usually. Sorry.Don’t say no to less pay with a betterenvironment.Better to take an imperfect position thanto have months of joblessness onyour resume.