Tips to Getting an Advertising Internship
If you’re one of the many students looking for an advertising internship, you may be having difficulty. As an intern here at Different Perspective, I was in that same boat. Here are some tips to help you:
1. Reformat your Resumé
First step to any employment opportunity is to look over your resumé. You should make sure that it is as up to date and relevant to the position as possible.
2. Search for Agencies
At most agencies, internship applications are due 2-3 months before the internship begins. It is important to not procrastinate. Search for these internships in advance to leave yourself enough time to submit your best application and resumé.
The easiest way to find agencies in your area is to search on Google, “advertising agencies in [insert location here].” By doing this, a list of places will show up on a map. Visit and explore these agencies’ websites to gain a better understanding.
Avoid “Marketing Firms” with vague descriptions. These are not advertising agencies. They are small company branches, which hire salesmen and women to drive to neighborhoods and sell products door-to-door, on a commission based salary. A few ways to identify them are that their websites are usually poorly designed and are missing headshots, they tend to work with “Fortune 500,” and they will invite you to a 2-3 step interview process. It is best to avoid these companies.
If you like what you read on an agency’s website, then search for information about internships. Internship information is generally in the “Careers” section of these websites, but some agencies will place them elsewhere. You may be provided with an application to submit or an email address to send your resumé and cover letter to.
Note that not all agencies will have information about internships online. The easiest way to find out if they offer any is to directly call and ask.
3. Call or Email
Whether the website has information about an internship or not it still looks good if you call and speak to someone at an agency. Plan what you are going to say before calling, and speak with confidence. Ask them whether or not they have an internship, if the position is already filled, ask them some questions you may have about the application process or who you should make your cover letter out to. Even if they do not have an open position, they may refer you to an internship for another company.
If there is no phone number available, or no one answers the phone, try emailing a Human Resources representative. Make sure that your email is respectable, professional, and concise.
Waiting for a response might feel like you are waiting forever. But just remember that these professionals receive tons of emails each day. Even if they have read your email, they may have forgotten to respond. If you want to follow up, write another email asking if they received your previous email and briefly describe what you wrote.
5. Prepare for your Interview
If you are invited to an interview, congrats! To prepare, research the agency again; read through their website, explore their social media pages, look at their work, take notes as you go, write down descriptive words that come to mind. It is important to understand the company and to have a non-generic response to the “Why us?” interview question. Write down a few questions you may have about the internship or the company. Most agencies stick with a business-casual dress code for interviews, but you should find out ahead of time. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Print out a few copies of your resumé and some of your writing samples, and put them in a folder with a pen or pencil. Next, stand up straight with your hands behind your head or on your hips. Remain in this power pose until you feel more confident. For phone interviews, simply surround yourself with all of the information that you would bring to an in-person interview to prepare for the call.
6. At the Interview
Arrive 10-15 minutes early. Make continuous eye contact, have an assertive handshake, speak clearly and boldly, and keep smiling.
Don’t worry if an interview doesn’t go so well. There will be plenty more opportunities. Plus, each internship that you get just gives you more experience and knowledge about advertising, which will help you in the future with school work and jobs. So enjoy every internship you have!
A happy marketing communications intern, Lexi.