Tips to Help Upcoming Grads Jumpstart their Industry Careers

By: Caroline Carey

In the advertising industry, many graduates face the obstacle of finding a career in not only a position that is lucrative, but also appealing. Luckily, according to Forbes, a 2017 study states that one out of 40 graduates are unemployed (Council, 2017). This means that many graduates do have success finding a position, but overall many question their attempts when it comes to scoring a position in the ad world.

Below are some tips students use upon graduating to give them a step above the other applicants:

Get your foot in the door by applying for an internship or part-time job. Today, we see a majority of students interning during the four years they attend school, but many find that interning the year they graduate could be more beneficial. An internship not only helps you by networking with potential employers, but also helps you decide what position in an agency would be the best fit for you. Many graduates during or after completing the internship could potentially be given the opportunity of a permanent position. In the end, interning will provide you with a sense of familiarity in a working environment and can give you a basis on how the industry runs.

Frequently updating your resume and cover letter is also another significant step to scoring the position you want. You should always be updating your cover letter and essentially tailoring it to your employer. Also, when creating a cover letter, make sure to highlight your strengths within the specific job title to highlight the skills you already have. In addition, a graduate should always be updating their resume with information, as well as new and past portfolio work. If you find yourself running into trouble when crafting your resume, reach out to a mentor or a professor to help add in advice to make yourself more marketable. Recruiting directors on average spend about 15 seconds reviewing resume and cover letters (Karsh, 2007). So, how will you make yours unique?

Lastly, conduct research. The search for a position in the advertising agency and the interview process are considered the most straining to new applicants. Before you have applied for the position, you should have already conducted research and be familiar with the agency. Also, if you have been contacted for an interview, the weeks prior should be dedicated to additional research on the person or people you will be meeting with. You should already know your employers before you have to meet with them. While in the interview, don’t be afraid to ask questions. In 2016, the manager of talent for Bartle Bogle Hegarty, a global advertising agency, gave advice when on the topics of questions during interviews stating that having no questions during an interview can come off as a general lack of interest (Richards, 2016). After the interview is over, whether you have scored your dream job or not, you should always be following up. After an interview, emails are always beneficial especially when they are personalized and respectful.

The job search process will always be a challenging task, no matter what you are applying for. Getting your foot in the door, updating what makes you marketable and keeping yourself informed will always benefit you during job searching. These tips are set to give you the edge that can set you aside from others and give you the personal step above.


Council, F. C. (2017, May 24). 12 Tips for college grads entering the workforce.

Karsh, B. (2007, July 2). Ask Brad: Does anyone ever read cover letters?  

Richards. (2016, April 20). 9 Tips for landing your first job at an advertising agency.

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