I speak to student groups several times a year about the exciting, glamorous world of advertising. I usually recommend changing majors immediately. But if you get the Ad Bug, you can’t imagine doing anything else. So what can you do now to land that dream job when you graduate? Be prepared for What’s Next!
Learn to write in complete sentences. You can’t always communicate in 140 character tweets. Punctuation is important. Always spell-check.
Mac computers may rule the creative industry, but your clients are using PCs. Learn to use them both. Learn Excel, PowerPoint and Word along with the graphics programs.
Become a confident public speaker in front of small and large groups.
Learn to deal with difficult people in classroom group projects. You’ll meet these same characters in the business world. One will likely be your cubicle partner and steal your lunch from the kitchen.
Keep the textbooks for your major classes. One of my professor’s gave me this advice when I called for help: “Read the next chapter.”
Don’t waste too much time applying for every job you see online that makes you think, “I could do that.” So can thousands of others who have seen the ad. Target your job search and find out everything you can about the companies you are interested in.
Experience pays. Get an internship/job in the field. Volunteer with a non-profit. Work at the student paper or radio station.
Network – let everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Don’t be afraid to tell your Mom’s tennis partner that you are looking. You may be surprised at who she knows!
Get a professional email address. HotBod123@yahoo.com is NOT professional! Check the greeting on your cell phone, too.
Become fluent in Social Media. Clean up drunken party pix on your FB page before you start the job search. Employers are checking.
Join a club like Dallas Society of Visual Communicators, American Advertising Federation, Public Relations Society of America, American Marketing Association. Then actually PARTICIPATE!
Collect business cards from everyone. Write notes (with ink and paper) to professionals you meet along the way. Stay in touch, even if you don’t get the job. It took me almost 18 months to land my job at the B. It was worth the effort!
Cultivate a good attitude. It’s going to be hard work, long hours and low pay. The grace that you exhibit under pressure will take you far.