Ad agency new business resume tips that earn return phone calls

Four resume tips for agency new business development positions that get noticed.

By Steve Congdon

From time to time you will find yourself looking for an ad agency new business development job. Either you’re at an agency and unhappy. Or, you’re on the streets, trying to find your next position.

From time to time I get a retained recruiting assignment from a firm. Agencies appreciate this as they now have a practiced hand that helps them find effective new business leaders. Of course, before starting Thunderclap, I’ve also been on the other side: seeking a new business gig.

So, when you find yourself pulling together your resume, here are some things you may want to keep in mind to earn a phone call from the agency:

  1. Add a career summary. Give the reader an overview and key takeaways of your resume. Words like prospecting, lead generation, agency marketing, new business development and relationship building will tell the reader you know what you’re doing.
  2. Include success metrics. This is key. How much new revenue have you generated for past agencies? Did you increase the number of pitches? Increase the close ratio? How big is the pipeline? Sharp eyes want to know you are a proven performer. Working in these kinds of metrics will help earn a higher salary and put you in the “good candidate” file.
  3. Highlight digital and social media experience. Digital experience is critical nowadays. And be sure to reflect your understanding of social media. I can’t think of an agency that doesn’t use some of the thinking you read about on Michael’s blog!
  4. Consider a secret sauce tease. Is there a particular strategy or technique you have used that was effective? Maybe you could hint at it on paper, which might get someone interested more receptive to your follow-up phone call.

Some assumptions: a flawless, error-free document. A brief and custom “why you should hire me” cover note. Tie your past to their specific needs. Demonstrate you have done some homework. Should you merely attach a resume to a LinkedIn job posting, you are suggesting you are not truly interested in the position.

When a potential employer is looking through your resume, they’re looking to check off the boxes. So, think RFP. Make sure your document reflects a combination of past experience in their kind of agency and their challenges, right? In new business, this will center around two challenges: getting more pitches. Or closing more of the pitches they currently earn.

Finally, I wonder if there isn’t an opportunity to apply successful agency pitch techniques to the process of winning the job once you have the chance for an interview. It is, after all, a process of elimination.

Thanks, Michael, for the chance to guest post. You continue to be the leading resource for using social media to grow agencies. And, you also happen to be a great guy. I’m glad to call you a friend.

Additional articles about new business careers that may of interest:

About Steve Congdon

Steve is a Managing Director / Ad Agency New Business Consultant / Coach at Thunderclap Consulting Group.  You can follow him on Twitter at @SteveCongdon or find him blogging about new business at Thunderclap.

photo credit: scottkellum via photo pin cc

About Michael Gass

Michael Gass is a Business Development Consultant to Advertising, Digital, Media and PR Agencies | Speaker | Author of Fuel Lines