Interested in building a career in advertising? If you are, then you should be planning your career strategy right away because the advertising industry is very competitive. No matter how creative you are, you will have a hard time snapping jobs left and right with the sheer number of job seekers looking for entry level positions in the advertising field. So before you start sending out your resumes, make sure you have done everything you can to get an edge on your competition.
The most basic thing you need to do and know before you start looking for an advertising job is to truly understand what to expect when you enter the field. Sure, the field may look glamorous from the outside, but do you realize that coming in at an entry level position will mean long hours and low pay? The advertising industry is also not one for the thin-skinned. You have to be able to face rejections and be able to work consistently under a high pressure environment. So if you were expecting to just wow everyone with every storyboard you produce, you’d better start rethinking whether you really do want to be in this kind of industry. Of course, it’s also not all doom and gloom, because once you start working your way up, the pay does get significantly better, even if you don’t land a management position.
Next you should also have a clear understanding of the career path you want to take. This means knowing the different aspects of the advertising industry, from the creative to the management standpoint. Just what is it you want to do when you get into advertising? Do you want to be part of the creative team? And if you do, will it be as part of the writing team or the design team? Or maybe for you it is the management part you’d rather be involved in. Find out exactly what researchers, account executives, media coordinators, and such do on a daily basis so that you will be able to take the proper steps in preparing for the job the that you want.
Once your vision is clear, it is time to take stock of what you have right now. Are your credentials up to par? Do you have the educational background you need to do your job excellently? If not, you should seriously consider getting a marketing or advertising degree. You should also make sure that you take on additional coursework that will add give you the specific job skills you are aiming at. An internship where you can get to shine by performing consistently is also paramount to landing a nice job. Remember, employers are looking for candidates that can handle high pressure environments.
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If you have checked all of the above, then it’s time to prepare your portfolio, creating samples for your potential employers and polishing them before sending them out with your resumes. Once you do land interviews, just be upfront about your background, your skills, and aspirations. Be ready for rejections, and keep on submitting your resume with the mindset that the next interview may be the one that will land you an advertising job.