Advertising jobs have a reputation for being glamorous and fast paced, which has led to a great deal of competition for every available position. If you're interested in advertising career opportunities, enthusiasm, persistence, and a willingness to continually improve your skills are key. A college degree with almost any major is considered suitable, but some employers prefer people with an advertising degree or a background in journalism, English, communication studies, or a related field.
Although most people associate advertising with working for a large ad agency, there are plenty of other career opportunities in the field that you may wish to consider. Be flexible when looking for positions that might be a good match for your skills and career interests. For example, very large corporations often have an in-house agency that handles all their advertising needs exclusively. Advertising jobs can also be found by investigating freelancing opportunities, since smaller companies don't have the resources to keep full-time ad people on staff or to hire a large firm for their campaigns.
When searching for advertising jobs, networking is vital. Research has consistently shown that a large portion of professional positions are never officially advertised on websites. Consider joining a professional organization such as the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation, the not-for-profit industry association that conducts the ADDY® Awards, to provide yourself with an opportunity to meet people in your industry. General groups, such as those for women in business or young Hispanic professionals, may also be a good source of job leads.
Having a clearly organized resume can improve your chances of landing the top advertising jobs. Your resume should convey that you are creative, decisive, flexible, intelligent, motivated, and able to handle stress well. It should provide specific details about key campaigns you have worked on, with statistics that prove how you achieved the desired results for your clients. If you're having trouble writing your resume, consider hiring a professional resume writer.
Advertising, like other creative professions, often relies on a portfolio as a tool to assess an applicant's qualifications for the job. If you're new to the field and don't have a lot of samples, consider volunteering to create a few campaigns for a worthy non-profit organization in your community. Creating speculative ads, also known as spec ads, is another great way to fill out your portfolio as a beginner in search of advertising jobs. Rip an ad out from your favorite magazine, create a version in your own words, and place the two side-by-side in your portfolio to allow the interviewer to make a quick comparison.