How to land work at a creative agency

How to land work at a creative agency
Photo: OVAN, Pexels.

Of all the cities in the world, working at a creative agency is considered to be one of the best experiences in the industry. The city is polished, contemporary, and has incredible coastal views.

Yet getting a job in the advertising sector can be incredibly difficult due to the vast amount of competition. So how do you stand out from the crowd and land that highly-coveted job?

This article shares the secrets to getting hired at a creative agency, and assumes that you already possess the skills, education and/or experience needed to succeed.

Make spec ads

If you don’t already have a portfolio of client work, spec ads are the best way to showcase your skills to your potential employers. You can choose to either remake an existing advertisement (adding your own unique twist to it) or make a brand new one. The product you’re advertising doesn’t even have to exist – all that matters is that you are showing off your skillset and ability to problem solve. A good enough spec ad has the potential to go viral online and attract the attention of many a creative agency, so don’t underestimate this technique.

Be enthusiastic

Being genuinely enthusiastic and passionate about this work is essential for succeeding in the field. There are thousands of people who would do almost anything to land an advertising job, and your future employer will be able to tell if you really want it or not. This means you should be willing to potentially work longer than the typical 9-5. Remember, personality often wins more jobs than experience does.

Network

Getting hired at a creative agency requires you to network – a lot. The majority of jobs are given to people the employer already knows, so figure out how to become one of those people! To do this, search out opportunities to meet locals working in the field. Your city may have a club which offers seminars, special events and workshops – this is a great way to meet your future employer or colleagues!

Be sure to be friendly and approachable, whilst being your genuine self. Bringing along business cards can be a great way to stick in the minds of the people you meet.

Freelance

Freelancing is a great way to get your foot in the door with a creative agency. By setting up your own website and rates, you can start to work on small projects straight away, and build up a nice portfolio which you can use to attract more clients and businesses. It’s also a great way to network and meet people in the industry.

Intern

If you’ve tried the previous steps to no avail, it might be time to try for an internship. Interning at a creative agency is a great way to gain experience on the job, meet people in the industry and showcase your skills. Many internships lead to paid work after they finish, too. Again, however, internships can be quite competitive, so be sure to have a solid portfolio before applying.

Start at entry-level

Still can’t seem to land a job? Try going for any entry-level job at a creative agency. While working outside of your desired job description might seem counter-intuitive, many people have started successful careers this way. If you’ve got the skills, you’ll find a way to show them off. Network with people in the department that you want to be in and get on their good side. It’s likely you’ll be able to switch over eventually.