The Post-Grad Guide to an Advertising Career


Lindsay Thomas

Content Writer

In a saturated job market, landing the perfect opportunity—or even a second interview—can seem impossible. So if you’re stuck in a haze of 100+ other applicants notifications on LinkedIn job postings, it’s time to take a deep breath and refocus.

Breaking into a fast-paced, competitive industry like advertising, marketing or PR can seem intimidating, particularly if it’s your first corporate job. But Mower’s senior leadership team, who have a combined eighty-plus years of industry experience behind them, have organized their five best tips to help you get your foot in the door and ensure your resume stands out from the rest. (Just proofread it first, please.)

1. Don’t be shy.

    Networking is one of the simplest ways to make connections, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. If there’s a specific agency that you’re interested in, send strategic LinkedIn invitations to key decision-makers. They may entertain an informational interview request, even if a position isn’t immediately open for hire. Those inroads could pay off later when they’re ready to grow their team.

    2. Do your research.

    If you want to work for a larger agency, know that they likely have very specific roles that require equally specific skill sets. Before an interview, look at job descriptions, client rosters and case studies—if it’s available on their website, don’t expect the interview to educate you on it. Knowing what you want and tailoring your resume or in-person pitch to a specific role shows that you’ve prepared and may give you an edge. It’s also helpful if you come with specific questions or ideas in mind. Industry publications can be invaluable here; if you’re not sure where to begin, online journals like Business Insider Marketing and AdWeek’s Performance Marketing Magazine are comprehensive resources.

    3. Review everything with a keen eye.

    That goes for your resume, your cover letter andyour LinkedIn profile. And, yes, unless the job posting specifically states that a cover letter isn’t required, you should include one. We know no one likes to write them, but you have permission to keep yours short and snappy. Use two or three paragraphs to explain any points on your resume that you want to elaborate on or, if you’re applying for a role in which you don’t have direct experience, express your interest in the field and your reasons for applying. AI platforms can be helpful for a first draft if you’re hit with writer’s block, but don’t send it in without editing for tone and sentence structure. Your reader will be able to tell if it’s gone straight from ChatGPT to their inbox.

    4. Be honest (in interviews, and with yourself).

    Use intentionality when job searching. What are you good at? What are your interests? It’s nearly impossible to fake passion (and hiring staff are good at sensing it). The better you know yourself and what you’d like for your future—even if you’re only starting with a vague idea—the better your chances of aligning your initial skills and knowledge with agency needs.  

    5. Get comfortable with knowing that you’re going to change your mind.

    You’re likely in one of two categories: You’ve finished your degree in a field that aligns with a spectrum of first agency jobs (think business or English), or you’ve graduated from a hyper-focused program (like digital design) that’s given you intensive exposure in a single area. While you’re feeling pressure to get a job (any job), know that wherever you enter an agency isn’t where you have to stay. As you gain industry exposure and learn more about the specifics of each department, you’re likely to change paths. That can work out well for you—you can just ask our CEO, Stephanie Crockett.

    Hey! Our name is pronounced Mōw-rrr, like this thing I’m pushing.

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