So you nailed your degree. Smashed a First. Got the scroll. Looked silly in a mortarboard and gown. Made your parents proud. And probably got a bit pissed in the process.
Just wait until you get that first bill from the Student Loans Company. Fuckers. It’ll make you want to sleep in until midday for the rest of your life.
So now’s the time to knuckle down and put the effort in and get that first proper paycheque. In an industry that lives and dies by creativity, your degree result is less important than your trusty portfolio – unless you decide to head into planning or account management. You know that dissertation you slaved over? Yeah. Ummm. Yeah…
It’s September. Unis are going back soon. The next intake is starting their final year – and will be trying to secure placements sharpish – so you need to get your skates on and secure your first job.
Applied for loads of stuff and heard nothing back?
You’re doing it wrong.
Stop applying for stuff. Start doing stuff.
CDs like doers.
People in charge of placements like non-ad work.
And recruiters like people that are keen.
It’s not rocket science. It’s advertising. You’ll be promoting brands daily. So start promoting yourself.
Get out there.
Email people. Not generic mailboxes.
Send a letter to your favourite creative. It doesn’t have to be creepy. (I can’t tell you the last bit of post I received that wasn’t a birthday card, a bill or an Asos delivery…)
I haven’t seen a team since New Blood – the first week of July – and yet I, according to Campaign, work for the sixteenth best agency in the UK.
Where are you all hiding?
Surely you’re not all emailing just VCCP, W+K, BBH, AMV BBDO, Anomaly and CP+B?
Or are you?
Spread yourself out.
Find agencies that do things you like doing. Then find some more. There are literally thousands of agencies across the UK.
Aim high, yes. But be happy at settling for a middle ground agency. You can always work your way up. I have.
After all, working in advertising at a small place is a million times better than working in a supermarket. And beneficial for your career.
So start putting your book in front of people.
And be prepared to start again. Or even switch creative partners.
If you’re hitting a brick wall in terms of meetings and interviews. You’re doing something wrong.
Go for a chat (not a book crit as such) or buy a creative a pint and get advice from them. You may have been doing it wrong all along – or just looking in the wrong places.
Getting a job in advertising ISN’T easy. The best get snapped up quickly. The next best are the ones that stick at it and never, ever, ever give up.
Just make sure you’re in either of those two groups. And not someone that didn't just do the minimum.