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How to Get into Advertising

Published: Tuesday 9th October 2018

Outdoor bus billboard in the night

Working in advertising and TV is often perceived as exciting and glamorous, but for exactly those reasons, these can also be some of the hardest careers to get into. Today, however, advertising and marketing careers are more multi-faceted than ever before with a host of niches and subgenres, such as digital marketing and social media. This means, if you’re ultimately looking to secure your dream job at an advertising agency, there are more pathways than ever to take you there.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a career in advertising:

Getting your foot in the door

While advertising might appear like an appealing profession, you need to do your research to make sure it’s for you. Many roles in advertising demand long hours, working weekends and late nights, some of which may be unpaid – especially when you’re working on a pitch for a potential client. In such as highly competitive career discipline, you will be expected to demonstrate that you’re committed to working harder than rival candidates to secure the best roles.Male employee kicking door open

Of course, there are many universities and other educational institutions offering courses in advertising and associated disciplines such as digital marketing and social media. These can all be invaluable when it comes to interviews to give you the edge on other candidates when it comes to getting that first job. However, many people in advertising had no training whatsoever. They started from the bottom as a junior or intern and worked their way up.

Look for an internship

The problem with this route is you may need to take on a low paid or even unpaid role as an intern while you learn the ropes. Even then, there’s a lot of competition for these positions and you may have to go to a major centre to have any chance of securing an internshipFemale intern smiling at the camera. While London is where most agencies are based, there are many advertising and digital marketing jobs in Manchester, as well as quite a few jobs in Glasgow. In fact, contacting some of the smaller creative agencies and digital marketing companies near you directly might be a good way to get your foot in the door.

Consider digital marketing jobs and social media as a way in

Social media iconsThe digital revolution means there are many different types of marketing and communications agencies that all have some exposure to the skills required in advertising roles, so don’t focus solely on companies that are labelled ‘advertising agencies’. Digital marketing agencies have popped up all over the country and with them has come a huge number of digital marketing jobs both in the creative department, as well as account management, which can serve as pathways to roles in a traditional advertising agency.

In reality, a job in advertising probably isn’t as glamorous as it sounds but there is tremendous variety within the industry and it’s one that can offer great job satisfaction, as well as many transferable skills should you decide to specialise or change career later.

Visit Zoek UK to start find the digital marketing jobs, advertising and intern jobs in London and other major centres around the UK.

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