You’re ready to start applying! But wait…you’ve heard from many students and professionals that successful job hunting is about whom you know in the industry.
This is true and false. To explain further let’s cover two concepts: the Open Job Market and the Hidden Job Market.
The Open Job Market
This is the usual way you come across job opportunities: through classifieds, job boards and other forms of communication available to the general public. While we’re discussing it, here are a few places to hunt for jobs.
Pro Tip: Make your job easier by setting up email alerts on keywords for the position you’re looking for or subscribe to newsletters that offer job opportunities.
The Hidden Job Market
This is the job market revealed only through the alien methods of networking and cold calling. Not everyone has friends in high places but consider these steps before losing hope:
1. Are there alumni at the agency you wish to complete your internship with that you can contact for advice and assistance?
2. Are there networking events in your area that you can attend?
3. Have you contacted the agencies you wish to intern with about available opportunities? (Either through their creatives or HR departments)
4. Are you following who is moving from agency to agency through industry publications to see if there are opportunities for a new junior or intern?
5. Are there associations or clubs you’re a part of which may have connections to the ad agencies or marketing firms you want to meet?
6. Do you know anyone in marketing or in a company that has a marketing department seeking interns?
There are many ways for you to find your way into the hidden job market, but to be perfectly honest, companies hire based on personality, enthusiasm for the position and skill (among several other attributes completely unrelated to who you know).
Ultimately, do not assume the world of advertising is out of your grasp because you don’t have the right connections. There is a lot more to the hiring process than thinly veiled nepotism. We’re here to get shit done people, not scratch each other’s backs.
Janet is a freelance copywriter and social media consultant currently in her fourth year at Humber College’s Bachelor of Creative Advertising program (aka CABA). She is obsessed with rap, knitting and food.