PMG hires less than 2% of applicants that apply to our jobs. Working in People Operations, I get the pleasure of talking to candidates, and more likely than not, telling them that they did not receive the job. After this happens, many candidates ask what they did wrong in the interview and what they could do better next time, so I wanted to take the time to give you a few tips on how to land your first agency job.
The most basic (yet important) tip:
Make sure your resume, cover letter, and application are mistake free (spelling errors, grammar, etc). This shows a lack of attention to detail, which is very important in this industry. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many resumes I see with errors on them.
Helpful skills to gain if you don’t have any experience:
If you really want your resume to stand out and you don’t have any tangible experience, your best bet is to gain some basic technical skills. I would suggest starting with Excel; if you don’t already know Excel, take some online tutorials (pivot tables and VLOOKUP are very helpful to learn). If you want to go above and beyond, you can get Google AdWords and Google Analytics certified. This will show that you took the time to better yourself and are willing to put in the work- plus you won’t have to worry about getting certified once you’re hired.
What to do before your interview:
Research the agency and industry- Most entry-level candidates have little to no experience in the digital advertising industry, and that’s okay. However, you need to make sure you do your research.
- Research the agency- Check out the website and review the client list, recent work, awards, and services provided (if you’re unfamiliar with any of the services, a quick Google search should help). I also suggest reading Glassdoor reviews and checking out the agency’s social media pages. This research should give you great insight into the agency and provide you with lots of talking points in your interview.
- Research the industry- AdAge, Digiday, and AdExchanger are all good, free resources to gain insights into the trends of the digital industry. Being familiar with what’s happening is a huge leg up when interviewing; it shows that you have a genuine interest in the digital advertising world.
How to behave in an interview:
We want you to be professional, but we also want to see your personality. Culture fit is very important to agency life so be yourself, have fun with it, and show us what makes you unique!
Last, but not least, if you really want to get your foot in the door:
Be willing to take an internship/associate position. This is truly the best way to get into an agency and learn the ropes. If you’re a good fit for the role and the agency culture, you’ll have a good shot at receiving a full-time offer.
Hopefully, these tips will help you land your first agency job!
PMG will be going on a roadshow this Fall- we will be visiting schools around the U.S., attending career fairs, speaking with advertising clubs and speaking in classes!
Here is the tentative schedule (schools/dates may vary depending on availability):
- 9/13- Rice Career Fair
- 9/14- TCU Career Fair
- 9/21- UT Career Fair
- 9/22- OSU Business School Career Fair
- 9/29- UNT Computer Science and Engineering Career Fair
- 10/12- Texas Tech Career Fair
- 11/1- Texas A&M, Aggie Advertising Club
If you don’t see your school here, but would like for us to come to your Career Fair/Class/Club, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to discuss opportunities at PMG with you!