A Career in the Digital World: Here's How to Get Into Advertising

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 31, 2018

Oct 31, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Advertising is a billion dollar industry. In 2016, over 190 billion U.S. dollars were spent on advertising. This kind of spending means that advertising is a very lucrative field.

If you are looking to get a job in advertising then undoubtedly you have some questions about the best way to do so. Getting into advertising requires a special skill set and a passion for creating.

If you feel you may have what it takes, then read on to find out how to get into advertising.

1. Work on Your Portfolio

Your qualifications may look good on paper, but seeing is believing. You need to show off your creativity to get in the door of an advertising agency.

Whether it's jingles that you've written, copywriting samples, graphic designs or other works of art, you need to show it off in order to impress potential employers. A portfolio shouldn't be filled up solely for the sake of quantity. Always put quality above quantity.

When you go on an interview you may be asked about each piece in your portfolio. Make sure you can speak thoughtfully about each sample. Use your portfolio to discuss your career plans with employers as well.

2. Network with Those Already in the Field

These days, with the advent of social media, there are so many opportunities to network with those in the advertising field. Find advertising agencies that you admire and follow them on social media. Comment regularly on their posts in an insightful way to get yourself noticed.

You should also make sure that you link with people on professional social media sites such as LinkedIn. The more you liaise, the more in tune you will be with what is happening in the industry and opportunities that arise.

Ensure that you also have a strong social media presence. Showcase and display your talent and qualifications there whenever you can.

Start a blog about advertising and make reference to that in your application. When your portfolio and thoughts on the industry are online, it makes it easier for an agency to check you out and find out if you're a good fit for them.

3. Become an Intern

An internship is a win-win situation for both parties involved. You'll gain the necessary insight and skills that you need to get an advertising job, and an Advertising agency will get extra help for free or for minimum wage.

It's a good way for you to make a good a positive impression that could eventually lead to a job with the Ad agency. Even if your internship doesn't lead to a permanent job, you'll still be able to increase your portfolio and include the experience on your resume when you apply for a position in another agency.

4. Get in via an Entry Level Position

An entry-level position is the best way to get into the field. While this isn't ideal in terms of salary, especially if you have a degree, it will get you in the door and you'll have a chance to work your way up.

Take any position you can get even if it isn't within your preferred job description. Once you get your foot in, find a way to showcase your talent and keep up with advertising trends.

Make friends with people in the department you want to work in. Talk about some of your ideas with them. When the right position comes up, you'll already be on their radar.

5. Try Freelance Work

If you're a copywriter or a graphic designer, you're well positioned to do freelance work for small businesses and Advertising agencies to get your career started. Freelancing is a great way to get your name out there and to be the go-to person when someone wants to get work done for an advertising project.

Freelancing is also a great way to build your online portfolio. You'll also find that you become well-rounded since you'll work on several different types of projects. This will make your portfolio look even more appealing when you do apply for jobs.

6. Recreate What Already Exists

Have you seen a print ad or a video ad that you know you could've done better? Why not bring your vision to life.

Once you bring your vision to life, don't just keep it to yourself. Find a way to incorporate it into your portfolio.

Consider sharing your work on video sharing sites as well as social media. You never know, if your work is creative enough, it may garner a lot of shares and likes and even go viral. Then you'll see your career take off.

While recreating what is there already is a cool idea, an equally good idea is to create print and video ads for products that may not exist. You still get to exercise your creative juices and stretch your imagination.

7. How to Get into Advertising with Radio and Television Work

Several radio stations and televisions station employ people to write commercials for them. This is a great way for you to start networking with businesses and other people in the advertising industry.

While this may not be the most exciting route into advertising, it's a viable option. Even if you have to put up with doing formulaic ads most of the time, you can't beat the experience, exposure and networking you get out of this venture.

Final Thoughts

If you've been wondering how to get into advertising, you should now have some idea of how and where to begin. There are so many ways to get in the door. However, most require that you put in the work to get ahead.

Always be willing to launch out on your own if necessary, show off your creativity and network with those who are already in the field. If you're strategic about what you're doing then you'll be well on your way to a successful career in advertising.

If you would like more tips and career advice, then please visit our blog.