Skills in advertising and marketing

Jobs in Advertising and Marketing Communications

The advertising industry is huge, with job roles to reflect all personality types. Copywriters and Art Directors are the main creatives of the industry, being responsible for thinking up an idea for an advert and then going forward with writing and creating it. However, there are a slew of technical roles for those who wish to be on-set, or creating visual effects work, or even researching to develop new marketing technology. There’s also management and organiser based roles like producers and accounts management.

There are two very different places of work within advertising – In-house or Agency. An in-house team would be a department in a company that works specifically on their advertising and campaigns. While they are judged on instant successes, they are able to develop a much larger long-term vision for their strategies. An agency is an external company that a company would hire to create advertising campaigns for. While the hours are less consistent in an agency, there’s more opportunity to be creative, and allows for an advertiser to work on a lot of different companies.

Getting Into Advertising and Marketing Communications

The Advertising industry is very competitive, with any position attracting hundreds of applicants. Being able to stand out from the rest is key, and although most agencies don’t look for degree-holders, having one will certainly boost your chances. Degrees in marketing, journalism or psychology would offer the most in advertising, but there are also positions for those with Mathematics, Computer Sciences or English degrees. A degree is more important if you’re looking at Copywriter or Art Director positions, especially as most partnerships are former during studying.

Due to the competitive nature, it’s recommended to find the niche position you’re most interested in. You will find far more success if you focus your studies and portfolio on copy-writing, for example, than general advertising. By focusing on one area, you will also find more opportunities for talks, courses and mentoring than if you were looking at a broad range of advertising positions. Choosing a location is important as well – While the major studios are in London, you will find smaller studios all around the UK.

A major decision for any creative is whether to take their work freelance or not. Freelancing typically pays more and allows more freedom with your time, but doesn’t offer the stability that traditional employment offers. There’s also other work place perks, such as pension plans, that freelancers will miss. However, many creatives find it a more desirable way to work.

If you’re interested in reading more about going freelance, consult our Freelance Toolkit!

A recruiter might read hundreds of applications, so when applying you’ll need to make sure your CV is as close to perfect as possible. We have a great guide for writing a CV, but for advertising you’ll want to make sure to prioritise experience over your academic background.

While having a degree or qualification is certainly worthy of mention, employers will be looking for those with a background in advertising. It’s worth considering as well that your CV is advertising yourself, and getting creative with your words and presentation can show that you’re a good fit for the industry.

The most important thing when applying to an advertising agency is a portfolio. This is typically a creative way of showing off you’re your talents and skills by using previous works. Even if you don’t have experience in advertising, you can show what sort of skills you can bring to the table with a well-constructed portfolio.

Ideally, you would want to showcase something related to advertising, such as online content for a local business or a personal project that experiments with marketing. Agencies will be excited to see someone with a genuine passion for the industry with a desire to be creative and experimental.

Have a look at Trainee Finder and Hiive to see what kind of placements and junior roles are available.

Working in Advertising and Marketing Communications

While life in the advertising industry can be fast and hectic, it’s crucial to remain polite and observe good etiquette, especially around clients. When working for a particular brand, you will want to know as much about their history and practices as possible. Not only will this give you a better idea of the brand when it comes to creating their campaign, but it will also improve your relationship with the client.

As the industry grows, new technology and trends will begin to emerge. Keeping up to date on new developments can help you push your marketing ideas to the cutting edge. Staying in the know can be easily achieved by attending industry workshops and seminars, and following various marketing blogs or websites.

No matter what industry you’re working in, it’s always wise to know where to seek legal counsel and aid if required. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) represents those in the advertising industry, including counsel and legal aid.


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