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Get The Interview, and the Job, With This Advice.

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It's a sad fact, but true: bBreaking into advertising is almost as hard as breaking into music or acting. The top agencies are very tough to get into. When you’re starting out, you may often be asked to work for free, for a period of weeks, months, or even a year. This is not uncommon, but if you can afford to do it (some people live with their parents for that time) it will pay off.

However, if you actually have to support yourself, free won’t cut it.

You’ll need a paying job, and you’ll have to do your very best to get into the agency, and stay there. Here is some advice for getting your foot in the door, and keeping both feet planted firmly in the industry for a long time to come.

Create a Spec Portfolio That Gets You Noticed

If you want a job in the creative department, you need a portfolio. Over the years, although the style of advertising has changed, and the level of finish has become much more polished, the same old mistakes are still being made.

Your portfolio, which should be online these days, should be a concentration of your skills, featuring solid work spanning multiple mediums and product segments.

The work you show, and do not show, is paramount. So here are some things to avoid when preparing your book. Make It A Great Spec Portfolio


Ace A Creative Interview By Avoiding These Traps

You will interview at many different advertising agencies throughout your career.

It's unavoidable. Agencies fold, they merge, they lose clients, and they downsize. You may also get bored, frustrated, move out of state or just want a change of scenery.

So, when the time comes to interview, you need to be completely buttoned up. That means preparing well for the interview; and knowing what NOT to say is just as important as knowing what to tell the interviewer.

Here are five major landmines you need to sidestep. Some apply to all types of roles, a few are specifically for people in the creative department.


How To Get Your First Creative Job

Breaking into advertising can range from tough, to almost impossible. You’ll need luck, skill, people on the inside, and the kind of determination that would make a Ghengis Kahn look like a couch potato.

However, if you apply yourself, and sink your teeth into the task, you can do it. You may have to take less money than you’d like, and you will definitely have to make sacrifices, but it’s worth it. Here is some quick advice on getting into an agency.


What to Expect When You Get The Job

If you're still in school and ready to launch your advertising career, or you're looking to switch professions, you need to know exactly what to expect. And that can vary greatly depending upon what role you want to fulfill in an agency, and which area of advertising you want to work in. What's more, location can have a defining factor, too.

However, before you get into advertising, you have to decide what you actually want to do when you get to an agency. Here’s what you need to know.


What Makes a Great Advertising Employee?

If you’re a brain surgeon, the personality traits you have don’t really matter as much as the skills you posses.

The same goes for mathematicians, scientists, and anyone else who has a job based purely in doing with a very definite right or wrong answer. Advertising is different.

As there are no right or wrong ad campaigns, and no definitive ways to do much of what goes on in the industry, personality traits come into play. If you’re going to succeed, you should have at least a few, if not all, of the following traits. Five Tips To Make You a Great Advertising Employee