Advertise Yourself Into The Industry

By: Nicole Toloczko

This blog is based off of the Blueprint podcast co-hosted by Juan Camargo and Nicole Toloczko.


As advertising students, it is important to advertise yourself and be known within the advertising industry world. Today, we bring you a list that includes some steps to make yourself known as a student in advertising.


What are you doing?

The first step to being successful in advertising is knowing your audience. You need to start by learning about the different roles and learn all you can about the industry before you can even advertise yourself. You can learn about the industry by reading, looking at old ads, learning about the roles in advertising, and becoming a part of an advertising club or activity.

 Some popular ad books are The Practical Pocket Guide to Account Planning, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This, and Junior: Writing Your Way Ahead In Advertising. You can find some more reads on our blog, “5 Books for Ad Students.”

 For learning some great websites to keep up with online reading and to learn about some roles, check out our past resource list blogs. Specifically, check out “Strategy: Resource Backpack”, “Copywriting: Resource Backpack”, and “Creative: Resource Backpack.”

 Finally, if you’re interested in being part of an advertising club or activity be sure to check out your school’s American Advertising Federation, Public Relations Student Society of America, and American Marketing Association.


Who are you?

The next step is to actually know information about yourself and your skills. After you learn about yourself, it’s important to showcase and talk a little bit about what you learned. You can start by creating or updating your resume, portfolio, and LinkedIn.

Regarding resumes, when there is a local resume workshop, be sure to go to it even if you think that you have a perfect resume. There are always things you can fix in a resume, and it can be super beneficial to hear others' opinions. Also, don’t be scared to ask to see examples of your peers' and mentors' resumes because it could be super beneficial to see different formats. Regarding format, a tip to remember when building your resume is to get rid of any pictures. However, different formats are more or less successful for different people, so feel free to play around with your formatting. If you are at a complete loss, a helpful formatting site could be FlowCV.

With portfolios, it is important to look through different portfolios to see formatting and the type of work featured. Also, this summer, Chicago Portfolio School has two workshop options. One workshop, “What’s a Portfolio,” is free and meets on July 12nd and 19th; another workshop, “Starting Your Portfolio”, is paid and has already started. Finally, when creating portfolios, look into which websites are the best for you and your work. Some options are Adobe Portfolio, Wix, Behance, Weebly, and more.

For LinkedIn, be sure to update your information consistently, and try to post whenever you have a new big update. This source is important to maintain and find new connections in your network, so keep maintaining your connections by writing to them or keeping in touch. Also, LinkedIn is helpful to learn new skills through LinkedIn Learning, and it is a good way for copywriters to write blog posts.


Where is your network?

The third step is to find the people that can help you achieve your goals. The key is to find mentors willing to help you learn about the industry and answer your specific industry-related questions. Your mentors can be professionals in the field, professors, or even upper-class students.

You can find mentors through different websites like coffee at a distance. Also, you can connect with mentors through LinkedIn. Find someone that you would like to set up a zoom call with to ask about their job, and write them a message on LinkedIn. All of the Breaking & Entering guests are available to connect and set up a call. When messaging your new connection, you will have an option for a short message, so be sure to include an introduction, connection, and request sentence.

The introduction part of the message will be a sentence introducing yourself. Be sure to include your name, school, major, and advertising interest. In the connection sentence, you need to find a way to connect to the mentor. For example, if your guest was someone you found through Breaking & Entering, then your connection would be listening to their episode. Finally, the request sentence is the reasoning behind why you are messaging them. In this sentence, you would mention that you would like to meet with them on zoom or in person to learn a bit more about their job or the industry.

Here is an example of a LinkedIn message:

Hey! My name is [name], and I am an advertising student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I saw your episode on the Breaking and Entering podcast, and I really enjoyed hearing about [topic]. Would you be free to connect over zoom sometime this week, so I could ask a few questions about [topic]?


What do you need to know?

After meeting with mentors, it is important to go back to your research table. Even though you already learned a bit about the advertising field, it is important to keep learning and gaining information because the industry is constantly developing. Be sure to keep in touch with the advertising news. A good source is looking at agencies' Instagrams, reading the news, and keeping up with Adweek.

Also, be sure to constantly keep in touch with your network. You can do this by checking LinkedIn regularly, congratulating people on achievements, and setting up calls with your mentors.


How are you going to grow?

Finally, the summer is the perfect time for a break, but also, it is the best time to do those activities that you couldn’t do during the school year. Think of a project you can finally work on. Maybe, write that second blog post, work on that art piece that has been laying on your desk, or even join a knitting club. The world is your oyster, so use the summer to your advantage to not only grow professionally but as a person. Jobs aren’t only looking for professional growth; many want to see your personality reflected in your work, as well.