I am often asked why did I choose to work in the creative industry? How did I start my career in the industry and why did I open my advertising agency?
Yesterday I was asked to join a panel of super-talented individuals and talk about our journeys into the industry, but most importantly to give some of my top tips for someone wanting to embark on a career in the creative industry.
As a reference for the guys I spoke to yesterday, and for anyone else looking to enter the creative world, I have listed what I believe to be the most important factors when applying for a role within the industry. Please feel free to email me at any time should you have any questions and make sure you apply for the S3 Academy (click HERE to fill out the application form) where you can gain and learn some real life skills from me and the rest of the team here at S3 Advertising!
#1 – Do Your Homework
Most agencies are looking for people who have determination and superb communication skills, but more than that a real passion for the industry. The advertising industry is first and foremost a people business so the ability to communicate on every level is so important and this shines through in any interview process. I know within minutes of meeting someone if they are right for my agency.
Do your homework and know what’s going on in the industry; track the major agencies, find out about their latest work, form your opinions. Sign up to RSS feeds Google Trends. You’d be amazed how many people I see who’ve done little or no research on the industry.
Be the most informed person out there and have your ideas. Be persistent and BE BOLD!
#2 Get To Know The Different Roles Within The Industry
We receive so many CVs, emails from graduates asking for placements or positions, nine times out of 10 the person applying tells us all themselves but has very little understanding of the services, departments and roles we have at the agency.
My tip to you is do your research, find out about all the departments, then once you have aligned your skills and passion with the right staff, look at the work produced and align yourself with it.
Form your opinion and contact the agency about a piece of work you have seen and tell them you would like to discuss your skill set and how you could add value. The IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) site is a good place to start with this. It’s always difficult to find a role for someone who ‘just wants to work in an agency.’
#3 – Stand Out!
I had my HR Manager check emails we’d received in the last 30 days from people applying for roles. 43. 43 emails. As my email address is on our website I receive the bulk of these and if I am totally honest they turn into wallpaper. If you’re applying for a role at an advertising agency, or any other business, in fact, you have to stand out. However, as the advertising industry is full of creative people, it takes a lot to impress us.
An email won’t cut it. You need to think of the most creative way to get noticed. Have a look at the company’s values and tailor your approach to fit them. To achieve something completely new, you need to be prepared to do the things you have never done before!
We had someone deliver 20 pizzas to our office with a CV attached to the inside of the lid; he wrote, enjoy the pizza and I’d love a slice of the action! Call me to say thank-you for the pizza and to offer me an interview. I forward all the CVs I receive to HR, but do look them over too, and you’d be surprised how many look very similar. Standing out is key – through experience and content, but also in the presentation and delivery. Nothing worth fighting for is easy!
# 4 – Don’t Be Afraid of Rejection
Don’t give in; agencies love people who have persistence. In the advertising industry, you have to be strong when it comes to dealing with rejection. When you don’t win a pitch or your work is scrutinised, when your managers give their advice!
So showing you don’t give in will put you in a better position of finally winning! Demonstrate that this is what you want and you won’t stop until you achieve your goals!
#5 – Prepare To Be Stalked
Make sure the person you portray online is the very best version of you! Pin to your profile the Tweet you are most proud – something that you’ve recently achieved and would like your future employer to read.
Your social media accounts are the closest version to a shop window that you’ll have! Ensure the information you share is relevant, personable and different to everybody else.
#6 – Be Prepared To Work… Hard!
It is not an average 9-5 you have to be on it from the moment you walk through the door until the moment you leave (or are allowed to leave).