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10 Ways to Get a Job at an Ad Agency

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Working in advertising is rewarding and challenging. But for many people just starting out, the challenge seems to be getting that first big break into an ad agency's door. There are many ways you can overcome that barrier and land a job at an advertising agency.

1. Intern
Agencies look at interns as potential employees. If you have the opportunity to intern, by all means, you should.

Interning will help you get an "in" to the agency but you'll also be able to work in various areas you wouldn't otherwise. Speak up and let the agency know you're eager and willing to learn to get the most out of your internship. The experience you gain as an intern is invaluable and could lead to a permanent position.

2. Take an Entry Level Position
It would be nice to walk right into a corner office with a view, plop down in your leather chair and start working with big name clients. Of course, it doesn't work that way in the real world.

Many people have successfully started their career in advertising by taking any job in an agency and working their way up. Don't be afraid to work outside of your job description. Get in there and learn everything you can. If you're unable to move up within that particular agency, you can still use that experience to get you a job somewhere else.

3. Freelance
If you're interested in being a copywriter or graphic designer, consider freelancing as a way to get into the business. Coming up with your own rates, your own campaign to advertise yourself and approaching small businesses and even agencies are all tools you can use in your agency job hunt.

4. Create SPEC ADS
SPEC ADS are simply your version of a published ad. You might think that you can do better than a major automaker's print ads running in your favorite magazine. Or your local barber shop's newspaper ads might need some reworking.

SPEC ADS are known in the industry as work you've done on your own. It's basically pretend copywriting or graphic design but if you have no published work, it's vital to showing your talent.

5. Contact Radio and Television Stations
Many radio and TV stations have employees who specifically write commercials. They may also produce certain types of shows for the station. This is a great opportunity for you to get started in the business.

Since most radio and TV stations don't pay very much for these types of positions, there's both a high turnover and an opportunity for people with little or no experience to break into the field.

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