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Career Advice from the Pros

How do I get a job at one of these agencies? Or how do I start my job search?

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Patty Enright: The answer is huge. It's anywhere from write a cover letter, a very traditional letter, suggesting why you want to work for the particular agency. Or why you want a job in account management, creative, media or whatever. I'd also really encourage you all to do a little bit of research on the internet. Go to web sites. Because most of us -- I'm expecting all of us -- probably will accept your resume online. So you can go to the web site, probably in each case learn a little bit about these entry-level opportunities, possibly even go to a section on the web site that's called something like job opportunities or employment opportunities, and really then go specifically find out if we're looking for interns or we're looking for assistant account executives or a starting out copywriter art director, and apply online. To the extent that we could get your resumes online, I think -- I mean, jump in if you disagree -- we'd rather see it that way. However, do we? No. We still get lots of mail, snail mail. We get lots of telephone calls. I'm forever amazed at people who just call up and say, I'm available at 3:00 o'clock, can you see me? It's nice if we're free but I think probably introducing yourself in another form is probably better. I also would suggest that if you are on the internet or on a web site, particular web site, and they don't list the who, you could call the agency and ask who the entry-level recruiter is. Be prepared to either get -- and this happens all the time because of the kinds of responses -- you may get sort of transferred to a voice mail that says, if you're interested in the following, here are the names. Again, it's something I look for and it's probably just because I'm getting old, is if you've really directed it to the right person and that that individual does work for the company. But I would encourage you certainly to go to web sites. You'll learn. You'll learn about the jobs. You'll probably get it directed immediately to the proper individual. It's easier. It's the way you really all know how to work. It's something we've learned, but it's sort of the way you do everything today. So, continue to do it that way.
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Rene Bruce: I'm going to throw out another recommendation, and that is contact your alumni office and find out who's working at the agencies and get in touch with them and network until you're blue in the face. Because I think all of us, we receive so many resumes and so many phone calls that we're sort of knee deep in it and it's hard because we're going through so many. But I've gotten a lot of people who come through other account executives I work with in the agency, and they'll say, you know what? This person contacted me. They're an alumnus from my school. I met with them. I talked with them. So for me that's already a pre-screen, and they're great. You really have to meet them. That's a great way. Alumni are usually very open to helping people from their school because they remember. Your alumni office is going to love me. They'll all be calling tomorrow. But they're very open usually to helping out. I think, as far as cover letters, back to the passion and enthusiasm we were talking about, demonstrate that. This is a creative industry. We're not saying you have to do anything totally wacky, but talk about our clients. Talk about my CEO and what he said, if you've read something about him. Put that in your cover letter because it shows me that you've done you're homework.
Patty Enright: But make sure that they really are the CEO and that it wasn't an old article, because you won't get anywhere beyond a "thank you, but no thank you" letter after that. So, that was the point about making sure that you've got the person, if you've going to specifically write to someone, make sure you have the right person.
Angel Rivera: Just to illustrate to what degree we're going to attract people to work for us, we pay our employees $1,000 for any referral that they give us when we wind up hiring somebody they've referred. So that would be an incentive to reach out to the alumni of your school and have them refer you for a job. Particularly in our company, and I'm sure others are doing that also, they'll get a $1,000 reward and you'll have a mentor in the company who is $1,000 richer because he or she referred you. Also, regarding the web sites, there are some interesting ones. Obviously, all the agencies have very good web sites, but if you go to the holding companies, they have links to the companies that they have affiliations with. So, if you go to WPP, that would be interesting, and you'll see all the different companies that they own and they have links to those companies and then you can post your resume through those links. The other ones would be Interpublic, True North, obviously, and Omnicom. Those I would recommend highly that you visit those web sites and then link to the agencies that they are affiliated with.
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