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Top 5 Mistakes of Advertising Job Seekers

Top 5 Mistakes of Advertising Job Seekers

By Kelly Shermach, Monster Contributing Writer

Not Properly Preparing for Interviews

Interviews require a certain amount of preparation. “Under-preparation happens all the time,” Grams says. “Candidates come late or without a resume. Or they don’t know a thing about the position or the company itself.”

Check out an agency’s Web site, visit trade magazines online, or search the Web for recent firm news. Figure out how and why you’d fit a prospective employer.

In short, err on the side of over-preparedness, if such a side exists. “I’m always impressed when candidates know more about the company than I do,” Wallace says.

Playing It Too Straight

Don’t unnecessarily restrain sincere emotion. “We have a really genuine and enthusiastic team at Riney and are looking for more of the same,” Grams says. “We love people with personality and an opinion, so candidates who don’t seem interested or excited about the opportunity don’t generally make it to the next round.”

Wallace says an uptight physical demeanor — even if it’s intended to convey consummate professionalism or the maturity of your experience — can be a turnoff. Smile, ask questions and treat all agency staff you encounter on your visit to the office equally. “We always ask the assistants that help facilitate interviews what they think and how candidates treated them,” she says. “In some cases, it’s helped us make hiring decisions.”

Making Too Much of Yourself

Since it’s a sister discipline to marketing, those in advertising are familiar with promotions and the energy around an active way to pitch a product. Job candidates will sell themselves in an interview, but in getting a meeting at an ad agency, you’ll be selling yourself to the savviest of sellers. Keep it simple. “There are candidates who talk too much — way above and beyond the questions asked,” Wallace says.

So how do you know you’ve gone too far? “When self-promotion is completely self-congratulating — when [candidates are] obviously more interested in hearing themselves talk than the opportunity,” Grams says.

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