Looking to land your next great agency job? It’s a lot like an agency looking to win new business. Here are two quick pieces of advice that make your agency resume more effective and can help earn an agency recruiter call. It’s based on many years of helping agencies win new business.
Make your special sauce easy to see on your resume
In ad agency new business, it’s a process of elimination. Eventually, one agency wins the account. Just like one person wins the job.
You’re competing against dozens of applicants. You’re also competing against all the other things time-starved recruiters and hiring managers have to do that day at your target shop. So make it easy to see why the agency should hire you. Here are some common mistakes I see on agency resumes and cover letters:
- Lack of success metrics. What impact have you had in past jobs? What client problems have you helped solve? How did you impact the work? How did you help the agency? What quantitative or qualitative measures can you point to that indicate success? The more senior you are, the greater the agency impact (versus client impact). Think new business wins, lower turnover, higher staff efficacy…anything that generates more agency revenue.
- Resumes are too long. This is particularly challenging for more senior candidates. As an advertising agency recruiter, I’m far more interested in your recent experience than when you were an AE in 1995. Keep the facts, lose the details.
- Spelng and grammatical errors. C’mon now. You’re billable. And in the marketing communications business. This kind of thing matters.
Look for ways to positively differentiate your candidacy
As an agency recruiter, I’m building a library of ideas that help the right agencies and candidates find each other. While there are lots of ways to differentiate yourself throughout the process, here are just four quick things that can help your resume stand out:
- Active links to social media. As an ad agency recruiter, this gives me the chance to learn more about you.
- A link to your personal website. If you’re a creative of any level, having an online book is a table stake. But if you’re not a creative, this is a HUGE opportunity. When I see this and it’s done well, I’m blown away. It’s a lesson older, more experienced professionals can learn from millennials. They do a lot of this kind of thing. Having an online representation of who you are — even if it’s just a fleshed out profile on LinkedIn — can give any advertising agency recruiter a better understanding of who you are (and why you’re a great fit). Consider POVs, thinking, and additional perspective. Demonstrate your “you.” Help me fall in love with what you can bring to the agency.
- Mail or FedEx it in. We’re in a digital world and most communication between an agency and a candidate is done via email. When it absolutely, positively needs to stand out, try going old school first (and reference that when you digitally follow up with your resume and cover).
- Make your resume a PDF and include a custom list of quick reasons why the agency should explore your candidacy. Because you didn’t take the time to customize your resume and this way is faster. You also don’t care about bird speeds.
As you can see, there are lessons to be learned when exploring the intersections between agency new business and agency recruiting. Taking a look at what works in new business and making resume tweaks can increase the chances of landing your next job.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading!
Additional reading to get help you get a new great agency job:
- Want a stronger resume and more effective search? Think ad agency RFP
- Find a new agency or client-side job through job triggers