Advertising can be a rewarding industry to work in although it is fiercely competitive. So just how do you make your application and your CV stand out?
Rebecca Weaving is an Account Director at M&C Saatchi and has worked on a variety of advertising campaigns, including the Olympics 2012. She shares her career tips with CV Surgeon.
What is Your Career Background To Date?
I went to Durham University and did a degree in History. When I graduated I worked for a small design company in their sales department but I was always looking for something creative to get into. I started my career in Advertising shortly after in 2007 where I started out as an Account Manager. During the past five years I have worked my way up the ranks – becoming a Senior Account Manager and eventually an Account Director.
How Did You Get Into Advertising?
I applied for the Account Handling graduate schemes in my second and third years of University after I’d decided that Advertising best suited my skill set. I applied to around five agencies each year and had a variety of interviews in London. I progressed to final round assessment in many cases but was never given a place on a scheme until I heard of a vacancy through a friend I’d met in interviews. I went to London that same day and was given the job!
Why Did You Want to Work in Advertising?
I wanted to identify an industry in which my natural abilities would be utilised – in other words, a job that I would be naturally good at. Advertising is also an incredibly exciting industry to work in. You can be both business like and creative, and you get to work with some fantastically smart and funny individuals. I wanted a job in which I would never dread going to work and was happy to sacrifice a higher salary for a creative and relaxed working environment.
What Is The Most Exciting Project You Have Worked On?
What Three Ingredients Do You Need to Have to be Good at Advertising?
There are broadly two halves to the industry: Creative and Account Handling. I’m in Account Handling. I would say the three key ingredients that make a good Account Handler are organisation, personability and enthusiasm. You need to be able to inspire trust in both your creative team and your clients and Account Handling often means late nights and long days so you have to be committed.
What are Your Career Tips for Someone Wanting to Get Into It?
Although it seems that the graduate schemes are the only way to get into Account Handling, there are other ways in. Networking is vital as the industry is pretty incestuous. The more people you know, the more likely you are to be mentioned for a role. Remember, people always prefer hiring people they know, or know of. Getting work experience is crucial – many of my colleagues started on a two week placement and impressed so much that they never left! I would also say to show that you have interests and a personality. It sounds clichéd but the majority of people wanting to get into Advertising are incredibly bright. Your only point of difference is what you – and only you – can bring. In interviews I’m always more likely to put people forward who I feel I have a connection with, above those who may be smarter/more experienced.
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