What does it take to make a career in advertising?
How to Start an Advertising Career
Advertising is an important part of business. It is a part of the marketing industry, but unlike most other types of business employment, it employs many creative professionals, such as artists and writers. Most people who work in advertising are employed by an advertising agency. This is a firm of people dedicated to attracting and contracting with businesses to provide advertising ideas. In order to get a good job in advertising, you must get a good education, create a portfolio and impress an agency with your ideas. Read more to learn how to start an advertising career.
Foster a passion for marketing and advertising.If you find yourself impressed with advertisements and critical of others, or you often think you could market a product more effectively, then this is probably a good path for you. Advertising is a highly competitive and stressful field, so in order to be successful, you should have the drive to succeed.
Decide what job you would like to have in the advertising field.Advertising agencies must attract clients and keep them, plan out an advertising program and come up with creative pitches. The following are departments within advertising agencies:
- The creative department is responsible for thinking up innovative ideas, illustrating them and producing advertisements. Agencies usually employ art directors to draw mock-ups of the ideas, copywriters to come up with pitches and flesh them out and creative directors to pull the 2 sides together into an effective pitch for the client. This is the part of the advertising market that usually attracts artists, writers and other jobs requiring creativity.
- The planning department draws up the necessary information for the creative department. They use the information given by the client to research the how, why, when, where and who questions of the advertising. They are a mix of business and marketing analysis and creativity.
- The accounts department finds and communicates with the clients. They tell the client what is possible and work as the liaison between other departments and the client contacts. They are responsible for keeping the client happy and committing clients, bringing in new contracts to keep the agency going.
Order a copy of the "One Show" advertising annual or the "Advertising Arts" advertising annual.These books are the outcome of awards shows that honor the year's best advertising. You should get an idea of what is considered the best advertising before you look get involved in the advertising industry.
Order a copy of CMYK, a quarterly book of the best student advertising, if you want to be a creative.Under each featured advertisement, you will see what school the students are attending. Look for the most commonly mentioned schools.
Get a college or university degree.If you want to be involved in the planning or accounts portions of an advertising agency, then a bachelor's degree in marketing or a similar field will serve you well. If you want to be a creative, then you can go to art school to develop your art or writing skills, before getting advertising-focused training.
- If you want to be part of the creative part of an advertising agency, then a few schools have advertising programs. You should look into the University of Texas and other 4-year schools that are known for helping students produce portfolios by the end of their degree.
Apply for internships at advertising agencies.While you are in school or waiting to go to a portfolio school, you should apply for internships that help you to work in an ad agency setting. An internship also allows you to develop contacts and references in the industry.
Request information from these "portfolio schools." Unlike generic business or marketing degrees at universities, portfolio schools focus on advertising and advertising portfolios. These schools employ successful advertising professionals to teach and help you to leave school with a professionally produced portfolio to show to potential employers.
Apply to portfolio schools.You should choose the schools that are well respected in the advertising community for producing successful advertising graduates. These schools are usually 1 to 3 years long.
Go to a school and develop your portfolio.Create ads throughout your training that are of professional quality. Submit your best ads for publication in CMYK.
Apply for entry-level jobs at advertising agencies.Send your portfolio along with your cover letter and resume. Almost all advertising careers start at the bottom of the ladder and work their way up.
Dress professionally to all interviews and be ready to be tested creatively.Some advertising agencies will test creative hires with writing or art tests.
Work diligently when you get an advertising agency job.It may require overtime and stressful deadlines. Apply for promotions to art direction or creative direction when they become available.
- Don't be discouraged if you don't get a job immediately. This is a very competitive field and usually requires persistence. Focus your search on major metropolitan areas if you are not able to find enough job prospects in your town.
Video: Getting an Advertising Job | Career Advice
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