Job Hunting In Today’s Ad World.


I have been doing a lot of recruiting and talent sourcing these days.  Another way to leverage my network. Still hunting and connecting which I love to do but in another way.

The ad world has changed a lot and at the same time some stayed the same. One thing that has changed is that if there is financial pain at an agency the cuts are deep.  Even Junior people lose their jobs. Companies don’t even wait to Friday to let people go.   In the past youth were sheltered and protected more.  That has changed.  And yet young people receive very little advice on how to build a career in the New Normal.  Trust me the era of the Mad Men is long gone.

That is why everyone in an agency has to be ready for change.  I have written a couple of blogs on the subject called Are You Ready to Get Fired and Why Ad People Need to Market Themselves Better.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the agencies don’t hire for themselves; they hire for their clients. It may even be more important these days.  That means they look at your resume and LinkedIn profile with the brain scan of “What will the client think?”  “Can I merchandise them to the client?”  “What experience can I sell?”  Nobody is taking career chances these days.  Close in horse shoes doesn’t even get points these days.  Your horseshoe needs to be wrapped around the pole.

This means that first and foremost you need to focus on your experience.  Some resumes are chock full of job duties but have limited category experience and brand names that the reader knows. You won’t be there to explain your experience to them.  Think of doing a human search on your resume.  I am going to be scanning for job title and keywords like healthcare or whatever.  I am not going to be searching managed budgets and timelines.  Of course you did that but that is not what catches my eye.  I can’t sell duties initially; but I can sell brands and experience.

You see in the New Normal getting a job at every level is like going through the eye of the needle.  You have to expand the eye of that needle by making yourself most marketable.

The same thing applies to your LinkedIn profile.  It’s all about the keywords.  It is all about how searchable you are.  Job hunting is about being found.  It is about pull not push.  You get pull if you push out the right key words.

I also see LinkedIn profiles that are almost sterile.  As arid as the desert the person will be going through if they happen to lose their jobs.  No time to have a strong LinkedIn profile?  You may enter a land where you have too much time on your hands.

I have had many great bosses during my career. Boy they were smart.  One great talent master at JWT taught me this.

It is all about the brands that you worked on.  The bigger the brand the more marketable you were.

Here is how I apply brand to careers today.  I worked with my friend at JWT.  That is a big brand.  Ten years of working at JWT in Toronto and Chicago has given me a halo event to today. The average size of an agency in the U.S. is seven people so not everyone gets to work at a multinational agency

However I have met people in many small agency markets that are working on great brands. Make sure those brand names scream out on your resume and LinkedIn profile.  Include logos of those brands on your resume.  Make yourself easy to be sold.  You will take care of the rest.

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Watch Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Find A Job

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