How to pitch yourself to agencies: sales perspective

Service

Media

Sub Sector

Embarking on your career in the media industry is both exciting and daunting. There are so many areas of media and marketing that you could get involved in, and often you’ll only find out what area or specialism is perfect for you, once you’ve given everything a go. The dynamic nature of media means there’s always a demand for fresh talent, with new ideas and approaches.

At this stage in your career, you need to be thinking about two major things: effectively securing the chance to showcase yourself as a great fit for an agency, and then maximising that opportunity to showcase what you’re about – make it a no brainer for the hiring manager! Here’s a guide to help you stand out and secure your dream job at a media agency, split into those two approaches.

1. Understand the Agency’s DNA

Before you even think about applying, dive deep into the agency’s culture, values, and recent projects. This will not only help you tailor your pitch but also show the agency that you’re genuinely interested in what they do. For added kudos, think about recent projects and volunteer some thoughts about what you thought worked well, and what else they might have considered. 

  • Research Their Work: Highlight specific campaigns or projects that you admire.
  • Know Their Values: Align your pitch with the agency’s core values and culture.
  • Follow Them: Stay updated with their media channels and engage with them wherever you can. 

2. Craft a Compelling Personal Brand

Your personal brand is your unique selling proposition. It’s what makes you stand out from other candidates.

  • Define Your Unique Selling Points: What makes you different? Is it your creativity, technical skills, or industry knowledge? There are loads of courses and workshops that are free and available to help you suss this out. 
  • Build an Online Presence: Showcase your work and thoughts on platforms like LinkedIn, your own blog, and even your own social channels if you keep them public. 
  • Be Consistent: Ensure that your online presence reflects the image you want to portray to potential employers.

3. Tailor Your CV and Portfolio

A generic CV won’t cut it. Tailor your CV and portfolio for each application to highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the agency.

  • Highlight Relevant Experience: Focus on experiences that align with the agency’s needs. If you don’t have loads of experience, think about internships or volunteering. Always be thinking about an agency’s needs. If they’re people focused, could you link back to your experience in the service industry? If they’re technologically minded, could you build an app, start a blog, or utilise your social media to showcase these skills? If they focus on creativity, could you bring a project from university or a hobby to show them? Experience doesn’t always mean work experience. 
  • Quantify Achievements: Use metrics to demonstrate the impact of your work. This could be as simple as grades that you’ve achieved, social media impressions, or even some really great feedback about your communication skills from an unrelated employer. 

4. Master the Art of the Cover Letter

A cover letter is your chance to tell your story. It should complement your CV by adding a personal touch.

  • Be Concise and Engaging: Capture attention quickly and maintain interest.
  • Tell Your Story: Share why you’re passionate about media and how your journey has led you to this point.
  • Express Enthusiasm: Show genuine excitement about the opportunity and the agency. Passion is everything in a media agency – we’ll get excited if we can see that in you. 

5. Network and Seek Referrals

Connections can often open doors that applications alone cannot.

  • Attend Industry Events: Participate in webinars, workshops, and conferences. There are so many of these available through organisations like N.A.B.S, Bloom, and Manchester Young Professionals – get Googling!
  • Engage on Social Media: Connect with industry professionals on LinkedIn and engage with their content. This will not only help with connections, but help to educate you on key issues within the industry that you can touch on in your interview. 
  • Leverage Existing Connections: Don’t hesitate to ask for introductions or referrals from people you know. The worst people can say is no! But you’ll find that most people want to nurture young talent. 

6. Prepare for the Interview

Once you’ve secured an interview, you want to grab that time with both hands and make the interviewer see that it would be a mistake to not hire you! 

    • Understand Their Challenges: Identify the agency’s current challenges and think about how you can address them. 
    • Ask Thoughtful Questions: Show your interest and enthusiasm by asking insightful questions about the agency and the role.
  • Be yourself! Individuality is revered in our industry – it’s one of the reasons why it’s such a wonderful environment to work in. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions and come as your authentic self. 

7. Follow Up

After your interview, it’s a great idea to touch base with the hiring manager and whoever else has been involved in the interview process. That way, you’re more likely to be remembered – plus, you’re demonstrating your wonderful communication skills! 

Final Thoughts

Breaking into the media industry is a journey that requires persistence, creativity, and strategic thinking. By understanding the agency’s needs, crafting a compelling personal brand, and showcasing your unique talents, you can pitch yourself effectively and secure your dream job. Remember, every interaction is an opportunity to impress, and the best way to do that is by being yourself. Good luck!

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