What Do Advertising Agencies Look For When Hiring Candidates?

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Perhaps it’s only because of the success of Mad Men, but more people seem to want to break into the advertising agency business now than ever before. And with good reason: over $180 billion was pumped into advertising efforts last year. So not only is it a lucrative business, but there are clearly plenty of advertising agencies taking work.

However, all of that renewed interest can make it particularly difficult for someone who wants to break into in a marketing agency position for the first time. You may know all of the benefits of hiring an advertising agency, but what benefits will advertising agencies get from hiring you?

Here are four top tips for getting your resume or portfolio noticed.

  • Versatility. Few ad agencies have the luxury to focus on just one client or industry. They may work with hotel chains, pet food suppliers, and everyone in between. A good portfolio should show the range of your work and your ability to represent a number of diverse client perspectives.
  • Enthusiasm. It’s not just about the money. You should be passionate about what you do, and that should show through your work and your personality. Do you throw together the bare minimum or strive to go above and beyond for your clients? Show off the ways you’ve exceeded expectations to land great results.
  • Team Independence. Ad work is often a fine balance of working on your own for long periods of time mixed with team collaboration. You need to be able to work well independently while also remaining a team player. Communication is key, but so is self-management.
  • Personal Branding. In this day and age of constant connectivity, you should exemplify the ways you’ve cultivated a “brand” out of your own personality. This means that your Facebook page and Twitter accounts should reflect how you see yourself as a professional. (Psst: That means untag the college party photos!)

Ready to break into the wonderful world of advertising? Get your portfolio ready and a winning smile to match. With the right tools and knowledge, you should be able to pitch yourself to any creative agency who will be lucky to have you on board their team.

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