Advice For Those Who Want To Break Into Advertising

Someone passed this along to me. On Craigslist, there’s some helpful advice for those looking to get into the ad biz:

ive been a creative director for 6 years now. here, i offer my wisdom if you want a job in advertising.
1. be a dick. you dont necessarily have to have a large one, just gotta know how to act like you do. not just a 7 incher either. we’re talking 12 inches. preferably larger. now that you’ve fooled yourself into thinking that youve got this gun in your pants, treat everyone like shit. you’ll be a creative director in no time. if you’re a woman, wear victoria secret.
2. read a thesaurus. regardless of what you’re saying at a meeting, just say SOMETHING. it makes you feel important and everyone gets intimidated by the fact that you are saying more than they are. the more you say, the more they respect. if you have nothing to say, start throwing words around like Search Engine Optimization and Ajax. This will seal a raise come holiday.
3. duh. this is obvious. APPLY FOR AD AGENCY JOBS! “but i dont even know what ad agencies exist out there????” well, heres a tip, go to some creative job sites (coroflot, creativehotlist, and plopt – all .coms) and look for ad agencies who constantly post jobs and make a list. DONT JUST EMAIL THE HR MANAGER! Get creative! – for example, one year when i was 17 and internship hunting, i applied for rollingstone and someone told me that they got 1000 resumes a day. I got creative. I found out the editor’s personal fax number and faxed my resume. He realized it was faxed to the wrong person and dropped it off at HR. The HR manager thought this resume was directly from the editor. I got a call for an interview the same day. I got the internship a week later. I looked hot at my interview. Which brings us to the next point.
4. have really good cheekbones. in other words, on a scale from 1 to 10, try and aim for a 7. If you’re not even close, don’t apply for a job in advertising. Looks kill here and if you are a 2, you’re dead. If you’re a 8 or 9, then welcome to 600k a year later on in your career. If you’re a 10, go to Hollywood.
5. know how to raise your voice to interrupt. I cannot STRESS how important this is. In meetings especially, when you have a point (yes, sometimes you will), and somebody else is saying something that may either mimic your point or one up you, you have to know how to raise your voice so that you’re not yelling, but overrides what the other person is saying just enough that he or she has to stop cause you’re already mid sentence and all attention has turned to you.
6. look busy. when you’re not doing something creative, the other 6 hours of the day need to be filled. look busy. for example, if you’re on ichat, which is used by 10 out of 10 agencies to communicate internally, always have a business related line in your clipboard. that way, if someone higher than you comes by to your computer, you can quickly apple-v and paste that excellent line and when they see it, they’ll know even in ichat, you’re conducting business. what should you write? again, talk about SEO and AJAX.
7. kiss ass to those higher than you. tell them how handsome/pretty they are. they usually work really late anyway that they’re not getting laid so any kind of sexual hint will make them horny and that will reveal itself as a raise and promotion come christmas. im serious. the more you compliment, the more the money. and dont say something stupid like “you’re soooo hot”. you’re a dick if you do that. (and not the #1 kind).
8. be a dick. wear victoria secret. (had to stress this)
– b2d
new york
ad agency asshole
mar 28 07

Does anyone want to add to this advice? I know we’ve got some regular readers who can top this. Add your comments below.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. 9. disregard numbers 1 through 8.
    the “creative director” responsible is probably a hack.

  2. 10. Figure out who b2d is.
    11. Email 1-8 to his boss.
    12. Get him fired.
    13. Take his job.

  3. Damn. Those damn cheekbones did me in again!!!

  4. Aren’t free classifieds great!?

  5. 14. Be White or non-threateningly ethnic. ( If you don’t understand what this means, chances are you’ll get hired sooner than later.)
    15. Own lots of gear from Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Reublic–you’ll blend.
    16. Write. Like. This. (it makes you seem hip. even now.)
    17. repeat these 5 words: “Because the client said so.”
    18. white paper decks are better than actual ideas.
    19. Learn the difference between “Black” “urban” and “Hiphop” and “youth”. Then create work that treats them all the same.
    20. learn the difference between Cuban, Mexican, Venezualan, Puerto Rican, etc… Then see #19.
    21. fornulas are good. always good.
    22. why? because they are predictable.
    23. at least twice a day you must say stuff like “synergy” “ROI” “initiatives” “efficiencies” “lovemarks” “clutter”.
    24. Crispin & Porter is genius. (Do not question this one.)
    25. ever.

  6. concerned human says:


  7. If you want help getting into the advertising industry, the Young Creative Council is a non-profit organisation that aims to do just that. 



    to get involved 

    The YCC