As a recent marketing graduate with little to no experience, trying to start a career in advertising with a company that does great work and places value on their company’s culture isn’t easy. There’s serious competition. Not only that, but people with experience are applying for roles they are overqualified for just to get their foot in the door to work in a creative industry, or to continue to expand their experience within it. The challenge with no experience comes with presenting yourself in a manner in which you are worth taking a risk on. When I became aware of an entry-level coordinator opportunity through a friend of mine who works at FLIPP, I knew I had to take advantage of the connection and do what I could to stand out. And it worked.

In my short time in the agency world, this is what worked for me, plus 6 tips the team and I gathered when it comes to applying to FLIPP in general. For all of you recent design or marketing graduates with no experience looking to land a role in this industry, this is for you too.

TIME IS PRECIOUS.

What I’ve learned from being here is that people are busy and coming and going from our office, daily. If you’re a designer interested in meeting with us to show your work, arrange to meet with us. Although, if done correctly, walking in to the office unannounced can come across as confident and ambitious, but it doesn’t really respect our time. Make an appointment — that way you are mindful, respectful and aren’t afraid to sit down in a boardroom with us for 30 minutes to look through your work.

When it comes to putting together a collection of your work, or writing a cover letter — be mindful that although this is the creative industry, a cheeky cover letter filled with puns might not be be your best bet. There are other ways to show us you are witty. Engage with us on social media, and then apply.

PERSONALITY, ONLINE AND OFF.

Speaking of social media…be personable in person, on paper and online! Find creative ways to show your personality. Instagram accounts are a great way to share snippets of your life, but be mindful of how you go about it and what you’re sharing. We are looking for someone who fits the FLIPP culture, but also need you to have a personality of your own and bring something unique to our small team.

A personal website can act as a living resume to share who you are outside of social media. For example, this is mine. Including clickable social links on your resume and directly on your website make them very visible and easily accessible. We are going to look through your social accounts, so best to just include it in plain view.

BEST BEHAVIOUR.

Creatives — have an extremely strong collection of work and be able to speak to it. Keep it clear and concise when presenting it. Accounts people, link us directly to your LinkedIn. It’s professional and your picture is supposed to live on there. No glamour shots with your cover letter, please.

FLIPP takes spelling mistakes seriously. Have your resume and cover letter triple checked by different people before sending it off. Sometimes you can work on something for so long to the point where you miss the tiniest mistake. So take your time with it. A spelling mistake could mean that your resume ends up in the ‘no pile’ immediately.

Last but not least. Dress the part. Know the environment you’re walking into. This is a creative industry. Use your style as an alternative way to express who you are.

WORST BEHAVIOUR.

Don’t write a cover letter and a mini-cover letter in the body of the e-mail. It’s either, or. Personally, I’m more traditional in the sense that I like to attach one PDF with both my resume and cover letter, so it eliminates work for the reader as well as saves their time if they want to print it.  Also, keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, as it can almost serve as the same purpose as a conventional resume.

FOLLOW UP E-MAILS.

We can all agree, we receive A RIDICULOUS amount of e-mails per day. It’s important to make yours stand out when applying, without seeming like you’re trying too hard or lacking professionalism. It’s a skill, but when done correctly, can be so effective.

Follow up e-mails are important within 48 hours, and we recommend that you pull something from the interview, instead of the classic, “I’m looking forward to hearing from you.” What worked well for me, was following up on the last topic touched in my interview — what do I like to do for fun. I followed up in my e-mail with my top four spots in the city, concluding with, “I can’t wait to hear about your adventures to these four.”

NO EXPERIENCE?

Don’t focus on that or it will never get you anywhere. Both interviews I had at FLIPP were extremely conversational, and casual. Don’t try to be anybody but yourself — as cliché as that sounds, it’s important. Don’t over-read about who is interviewing you, but know their role at the agency, a few of FLIPP’s main clients, but remain curious.

Here’s some insider info — Emily’s into red wine, Craig loves the Flames or ask them about how their two-year old became a part-time model. Our Instagram account is covered in donuts, so bring us some, or wine, or both. Whatever you’re into. My advice to you is to be creative, be weird, but keep it cool and present it professionally. Check out our current open opportunities here.