With competition as fierce as it is in the job market, finding work in the media biz, let alone in the fiercely competitive advertising world, can seem like an exercise in futility. So, how does someone with solid writing chops but no real ad experience break in?

As much as connections play a role in any field, most ad industry experts agree that your portfolio is always the focal point during the selection process. “Portfolios are the No. 1 must have for ad peeps,” said Allie Freeland, PR director at iAcquire, a digital marketing agency based in Phoenix and New York. “You can talk the talk, but you have to walk the walk with specific examples of your writing, design and media placements.”

Get more tips in How to Get a Job in Advertising [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Nicholas Braun

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