Are you like me, in that every time you sit down to attempt the dreaded internship applications, you find yourself stuck a the first hurdle? What have I ever done that is worth putting on a CV? Should I try to be funny so that I come across creative, or will I just end up looking like a cliché? How long should my covering letter be? Do I really know where I want to be in five years time, when I barely know what I’m doing for dinner? This has been my plight for the last couple of months. I decided to be confused no longer, and this week I have put together some ‘top tips’ on how to give it a go and (hopefully!) get results.


This industry is all about image. You are attempting to break into a world based on the ability to sell a product – it is important to pitch yourself as a product worth investing in. Think about how you want people to imagine you when they’ve finished reading your CV. Will you be a good fit for advertising, and particularly for the agency you’re applying for?

Tell prospective employers all they need to know – this, together with an engaging covering letter, will help get that all important first foot in the agency revolving door.

DO make a good first impression – Sounds obvious, but not always as easy as you might assume. Keep things simple, with clear headings, an easy-to-read typeface and a good presentation.

DO keep it brief – Be direct and to the point. Keep it to one page if possible – leave the employer wanting more, rather than fearing that they’ve read all you have to offer on an A4 piece of paper. Think succinct.

DO show what you have to offer – Rather than simply writing ‘I was the college netball captain’, explain the organisational and interpersonal skills it took to run a successful team.

DO talk about more than just work – advertising is a people business. They want to know that you will be fun to have around the office, not just that you have a really good exam record.

DON’T add a photo- Rarely adds anything, and you risk looking a little vain.

DON’T waffle – No one has the time to read more than a page, and it can come across a little self-important.

DON’T lie – Embellish at your own peril. If you’re caught out – which is likely if you make it through to the interview stages – you’ll be out of the running.

Remember, your CV is your chance to show what you’ve done and why you are right for them. Advertising is all about branding. Market yourself well, sell your strengths and make sure you’re selling a genuine product.