If you work in advertising, the one thing you need to know how to do is sell yourself. If you have trouble selling yourself to the hiring manager, she's not going to have a lot of confidence in your ability to sell your clients' products. While there is a big difference between advertising for a product on behalf of a client and advocating for yourself, a hiring manager expects you to give your absolute best on your resume and in the interview. That's why when you write an advertising resume, you have to painstakingly review each detail and make sure each is exactly right for the position. Here are some helpful tips on how to write an advertising resume that will get you an interview.
Research the Company
The first thing you want to do is make sure you're familiar with the advertising agency you're applying to. Study their mission statement, take note of their larger clients (and don't neglect some of their smaller ones too, as that can be their bread and butter sometimes), and make sure your ethics and work style are in line with theirs. If you don't think the company is right for you, move on. There are plenty of other ad agencies out there for you to spend your precious time wowing. Not only will you find out whether the company is a good fit for your personal style, but you'll also be able to write an advertising resume that is customized and personalized, which makes you look like a better candidate.
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Write a Resume Specific to the Position
You should look at the job description and tailor your resume to fit it like a puzzle piece. While you shouldn't insert any untruths or inflate your resume to fit characteristics on the job description that you don't have, you should play up the qualifications you do have that the job description asks for. Also pay close attention to common keywords like "communication skills" and "organizational skills," as well as industry-specific keywords. Be sure to include major accounts you've handled in your work history as an advertising agent or marketing professional, and how you achieved certain successes like awards or big accounts.
Write an Advertising Resume in the Appropriate Format
There are two kinds of resumes: a chronological resume and a functional resume. Both differ based on content and experience. When you write an advertising resume, decide which one fits your experience better. A chronological resume focuses mostly on work history and goes in a timeline-style format, in reverse chronological order. On the other hand, a functional resume shows projects you've worked on, your education, and how exactly you've applied your marketing knowledge in your career. Generally, marketing professionals with a lot of work history prefer chronological resumes, while less-experienced ad agents tend to use functional resumes. Many use some combination of both. Which you prefer will depend on what you're most comfortable with, how much experience you have, whether you have particular achievements that you're most proud of, and which type of resume you think the particular agency would prefer.
When you write an advertising resume, you have to sell yourself much as you would sell a client's product, although it's a bit harder to do because it takes some finesse, good use of context, and subtle nuances that are hard to use when talking about yourself. There's a delicate balance between coming on too strong or selling yourself short, and you have to learn how to toe that line. You can check out LiveCareer's Resume Builder tool for more help in writing an advertising resume.