By: Catie Ruschak

Anyone who has utilized the university’s Career Center resources has probably seen their tips for résumés and cover letters – formats, suggestions, and those overly inflated buzz words that are supposed to give students an edge and impress recruiters. But is this always the best route to follow?

One thing we must remember about the advertising industry is that it’s unique and different from other business-related industries. Advertising agencies tend to be less formal, taking a more laid back approach in their office atmosphere. This includes how they choose their version of the “best” candidates and what they look for when you submit an application. While one should never take a completely relaxed attitude in writing a cover letter (it still needs to be professional) ad agencies are less likely to be impressed by that cookie-cutter, fresh-from-the-career-center document.

As job and intern search season hits full throttle, we all need to keep in mind techniques to make ourselves stand out to recruiters in a good way. Rather than a stuffy, overly formal cover letter, it is possible to present yourself in a unique yet professional way.

How? Tell a story about an experience and use it to segue into how you are qualified for the open position.  Talk about your interests and unique personality, letting the recruiter see how you would be a perfect fit for a quirky agency.  Be smart though, remembering to keep these anecdotes advertising-related (maybe a project you worked on sparked your interest in Research) and appropriate, because even the most laid-back of recruiters won’t be impressed that you hold a keg stand record.


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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