Entry-Level Advertising Job: Top Skills Needed
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Creative Thinking
  2. Communication Skills
  3. Decision Making
  4. Team Work
  5. Time Management
  6. Problem Solving
  7. Research Skills
  8. Organizational Skills
  9. Technical Skills
  10. Adapting to New Technologies

Entering the world of advertising can seem like a daunting task, especially when you're just starting out. You might be asking yourself, "what skills are needed for an entry-level advertising job?" It's a fair question. After all, you want to make a big splash, stand out from the crowd, and prove that you're the right fit for the job. So, let's dive in and explore the top skills you need to succeed in an entry-level advertising job.

Creative Thinking

Let's kick things off with a biggie — creative thinking. In the dynamic world of advertising, it's not enough to just think, you have to think creatively. It's all about coming up with fresh, unique ideas that grab people's attention and don't let go.

Now, you might be thinking: "I'm not naturally creative. How can I develop this skill?" Don't worry, creative thinking isn't something you're born with — it's a skill you can learn and hone. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: To think creatively, you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone. Embrace new experiences, learn about different cultures, and open yourself up to new ideas. It can be as simple as trying a new cuisine or reading a book on a topic you know nothing about.
  • Ask "What If?": This is a great way to come up with new ideas. Instead of accepting things as they are, start asking "What if?" What if you flipped a concept on its head? What if you combined two unrelated ideas?
  • Brainstorm: Gather a group of friends or colleagues, pick a topic, and let the ideas flow. Remember, the goal is to generate as many ideas as possible, not to judge them.

Remember, the world of advertising thrives on innovation. So, if you want to stand out in an entry-level advertising job, you need to show that you can think creatively and bring fresh ideas to the table.

Communication Skills

Next up on our list of skills needed for an entry-level advertising job is communication. Now, when you think of communication, you might picture someone giving a rousing speech or writing a captivating article. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Effective communication is about more than just talking or writing. It's about understanding your audience, conveying your message clearly and persuasively, and listening to feedback.

Here are a few tips to help you boost your communication skills:

  • Know Your Audience: Whether you're writing an ad copy or presenting a campaign strategy, you need to understand your audience. What are their needs and wants? What language do they use? What motivates them?
  • Be Clear and Concise: In the world of advertising, less is often more. Avoid jargon and keep your message simple and to the point. Remember, your goal is to persuade, not to confuse.
  • Listen: Communication isn't a one-way street. It's just as important to listen as it is to speak or write. Pay attention to feedback from colleagues and customers and use it to improve your work.

Strong communication skills can help you stand out in an entry-level advertising job. They'll allow you to effectively share your ideas, persuade others, and build strong relationships with clients and colleagues alike.

Decision Making

Another key skill needed for an entry-level advertising job is decision making. Yes, even if you're just starting out, you'll need to make decisions about things like which ideas to pursue, which target audience to focus on, or how to respond to a client's feedback. And here's the kicker—you'll often need to make these decisions quickly and under pressure.

But don't worry, decision making is a skill that you can develop. Here are a few ways to hone your decision-making prowess:

  • Collect Information: Before you make a decision, gather as much information as you can. This might involve researching market trends, reviewing customer data or seeking advice from more experienced colleagues.
  • Evaluate Options: Once you've collected your information, take some time to weigh up your options. Consider the pros and cons of each possibility and think about how they align with your goals or the goals of the project.
  • Trust Your Gut: Sometimes, you won't have all the information you need, or you'll need to make a decision on the spot. That's when you'll need to trust your gut. But remember, this isn't about making a wild guess—it's about drawing on your knowledge and experience to make an informed choice.

Remember, decision making is a vital skill in the advertising world. It can help you navigate complex projects, respond effectively to changes and make the most of the opportunities that come your way in your entry-level advertising job.

Team Work

Team work is another important skill for an entry-level advertising job. In fact, being a team player is pretty much a non-negotiable. Here's why: in an advertising agency, projects are rarely a one-person-show. Instead, you'll be working with copywriters, designers, strategists, and account managers. You all need to pull together to get the job done.

So what does good team work look like? Here are a few pointers:

  • Collaboration: This is all about working well with others. It's about being open to their ideas, giving and receiving feedback in a constructive way, and working towards a common goal. Collaboration is the magic ingredient that turns a group of individuals into a high-performing team.
  • Respect: In a team, everyone has a role to play. Respect means valuing each team member's contribution, even if their role is different from yours. It's also about treating everyone with kindness and understanding—even when the pressure is on.
  • Communication: Good team work relies on clear, effective communication. This means not only sharing your ideas and updates, but also really listening to what others have to say. Remember, communication is a two-way street.

So there you have it—team work in a nutshell. It's an essential skill for your entry-level advertising job, and it's something that will serve you well throughout your career. So, are you ready to be a team player?

Time Management

Time management is another key skill you'll need for an entry-level advertising job. In the fast-paced world of advertising, deadlines are tighter than a drum. Clients want results and they want them yesterday. This is where time management steps in.

So, what's time management all about? Let's break it down:

  • Prioritizing: Not all tasks are created equal. Some are more urgent or important than others. Prioritizing is about figuring out what needs doing first, and focusing on that.
  • Planning: A good plan can save you a world of stress. It's about mapping out your tasks and setting realistic deadlines. It's also about breaking down big tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. Think of it as your roadmap to success.
  • Delegating: If you're part of a team, delegating can be a lifesaver. It's about recognizing that you can't do it all, and trusting others to take on some of the load. It's a win-win: you lighten your workload, and your teammates get a chance to shine.

And there you have it. Time management might not be the most glamorous part of an advertising job, but trust me, it's a game-changer. It helps you work smarter, not harder, and it's a surefire way to impress your boss. So, are you ready to take control of your time?

Problem Solving

Another skill you'll need for an entry-level advertising job is problem solving. Now, you might wonder, "What does problem solving have to do with advertising?" Well, let me tell you, it has everything to do with it.

Advertising is all about finding ways to get a message across. But it's not always smooth sailing. There are roadblocks, challenges, and unexpected twists and turns. That's where problem solving comes in. It's about finding solutions to these challenges and turning them into opportunities.

Here's what problem solving in advertising might look like:

  • Identifying the Problem: This could be anything from a campaign that's not getting results, to a client who's not happy with the creative. The first step is to figure out what the problem is.
  • Generating Ideas: Once you know what the problem is, it's time to get creative. Brainstorm different solutions, no matter how out-of-the-box they may seem. Remember, in advertising, the sky's the limit.
  • Choosing a Solution: This is about picking the best idea and putting it into action. It's about taking a calculated risk and seeing it through.

Problem solving is a valuable skill in any job, but in advertising, it's a must-have. It's about turning problems into possibilities, challenges into chances. So, are you ready to put your problem-solving skills to the test in your first advertising job?

Research Skills

Here comes another important skill for an entry-level advertising job - research skills. You might wonder, "Research? Isn't that more of a scientist's thing?" Well, think again. Research skills are super important in the advertising world, too.

When we talk about research in advertising, we're not talking about microscopes and lab coats. We're talking about understanding the market, knowing what the competition is doing, and figuring out what your target audience wants.

Let's break it down:

  • Market Research: This is all about understanding the big picture. What's happening in the market? Where are the opportunities? What are the trends? And most importantly, how can you use this information to your advantage?
  • Competitor Analysis: This is about knowing what your competition is up to. What are they doing right? Where are they falling short? And how can you do it better?
  • Customer Insights: This is perhaps the most important part of research in advertising. Understanding your target audience. What do they want? What do they need? And how can your product or service meet those needs?

So, if you thought research was just for scientists, think again. It's a key skill for anyone looking to break into advertising. It's all about digging deep, asking the right questions, and finding the answers that will help you create killer ad campaigns. So, are you ready to put your detective hat on and hone your research skills for your first advertising job?

Organizational Skills

Now, let's talk about a skill that's just as important in an entry-level advertising job as it is in life in general - organizational skills. Sounds simple, right? But, oh, how it can make a world of difference in your work day.

Imagine starting your day without a clear plan. You're juggling multiple tasks, dealing with a flood of emails, and keeping track of a variety of projects — all at the same time. Sounds like a recipe for chaos, doesn't it? But with good organizational skills, it doesn't have to be.

Organizational skills in an advertising job can look like this:

  • Task Management: This means knowing how to prioritize your tasks, break them down into manageable chunks, and track your progress.
  • Time Management: This is all about making the most of your day. It means having a clear plan, sticking to it, and knowing when to say no.
  • Project Management: This is especially important if you're working on larger campaigns. It means keeping track of the big picture, coordinating with other team members, and making sure everything stays on track and on budget.

So, if you've ever thought that being organized is only for the neat-freaks or the overachievers, think again. It's a vital skill that can help you stay on top of your game in the world of advertising. And who knows? It might just be the secret ingredient to your success.

Technical Skills

Let's shift gears a bit and dive into the world of technical skills. "But I'm not a coder or a designer," you might say. That's okay! When we talk about technical skills for an entry-level advertising job, we're not necessarily talking about becoming the next Steve Jobs. Rather, it's about being comfortable with the technology that fuels the advertising world.

Here's a quick snapshot of what technical skills might look like in your day-to-day:

  • Software Knowledge: Familiarity with tools like Google Ads, Adobe Creative Suite, or CRM systems can be incredibly helpful. These tools can help you design ads, manage campaigns, and track customer interactions.
  • Data Analysis: In the age of digital advertising, data is king. Knowing how to gather, analyze, and interpret data can help you understand what's working and what's not in your campaigns.
  • Social Media Savvy: Advertising today heavily leans on social media platforms. Understanding the ins and outs of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter can give you an edge.

So, even if you're not a tech guru, don't sweat it. The key is to become comfortable enough with technology that it becomes a useful tool, not a daunting obstacle. And remember, there's no shortage of online resources and tutorials to help you level up your technical skills. Because when it comes to what skills are needed for an entry-level advertising job, a little tech-savviness can go a long way!

Adapting to New Technologies

Alright, let's keep this momentum going and move on to another important piece of our puzzle: adapting to new technologies. Now, you may be thinking "Didn't we just cover this with technical skills?" Not exactly. While technical skills are about knowing how to use various tools and software, adapting to new technologies is more about your mindset and your ability to learn and evolve.

  • Stay Curious: The tech world is always changing, with new platforms and tools popping up all the time. Staying curious and open to learning will help you keep up.
  • Embrace the New: It can be easy to stick with what you know, but in the fast-paced world of advertising, that could leave you behind. Don't be afraid to dive into new technologies as they emerge.
  • Learn on the Fly: Time is often of the essence in advertising. Being able to quickly learn how to use a new tool or platform is a big plus.

So remember, as you ponder what skills are needed for an entry-level advertising job, don't underestimate the power of adaptability. After all, the only constant in technology is change—so embrace it, ride the wave, and let your adaptability shine!

If you're looking to further develop your skills for an entry-level advertising job, we highly recommend checking out the workshop 'Getting Started in Commercials' by Josh Feder. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and guidance to help you excel in the advertising industry and kickstart your career in commercials.