So you want to get a job at a marketing agency.
Who doesn’t want to work in a creative agency? It’s clearly where all the fun people work. Bar carts, candy stations and games like foosball and pool are the norm. It’s like a fun version of Mad Men, minus the rampant sexism and is where creativity goes to flourish – in theory, at least.
talonX is no exception, not too be too modest, but we’re insanely fun to work with. We are always listening to wicked tunes, drinking mad amounts of coffee and we never (ok, rarely) take ourselves too seriously. Our team nights are pretty epic too. Naturally, people are regularly contacting us about potential employment. We have seen it all from people trying to get hired, the good, the bad and the downright WTF? Being the kind people that we are, we thought we would help out potential creative agency employees with a little list to help them get gainful employment at an agency.
Read The Label
You should read the job posting thoroughly, if it says that they want a graphic designer it’s because they want a graphic designer. If you are a videographer that did some graphic design in school 5 years ago, the job is not for you. Responding to the job posting is the first test, it’s simply just to see if you can follow instructions. If the posting says to include a cover letter and a resume and you just send you resume, you clearly cannot follow a simple instruction.
Do Your Research
When you see a job posting that you think you could be great for, go online and read up about the company. Get a little creepy, don’t just look up the website, but their social media channels too. Get an idea of their corporate culture and their vision/mission. This is for you to get an idea of whether or not this is a place that you want to work. If you can tell you’re not a culture fit don’t waste your time or theirs. Don’t apply. If you have done your research it will help you greatly on the next point.
Include a cover letter and for the love of god don’t let it be boring. Creative agencies are by essence, creative, so don’t be an automaton in your cover letter! You HAVE TO tailor your cover letter to each company you apply to, if you send everyone the same generic cover letter we will see right through it, people in agencies talk to each other. Your cover letter is where you talk about not just your qualifications but also how and why you’d be a great fit culturally. Your certificates and experience and what not matter, but not nearly as much as your understanding of the company and your potential place within it.
Having a portfolio should be the norm for potential creative employees, so why isn’t it? If you don’t have an online portfolio of your work yet, stop reading this and go make one, immediately. What are you still doing here? Go! If you’re stalling because you are a recent grad and don’t have a ton of portfolio material, then go make some. You’re never going to get a job at a creative agency just because you say that you’re creative. You have to prove it. Write about music, coffee, cars, sports… whatever you are passionate about and use that, take video of things that are interesting to you and put that in your portfolio. The only thing limiting you is your imagination and in the creative world a limited imagination is not a good thing.
Finally, spell check. Make sure that you have spelled the COMPANY name right. Nothing is going to get you thrown in the “HELLLL NO” pile faster than misspelling the company name, or To Whmo it May Concren.
Happy Job Hunting!