Planning is all about new thinking and different ways of looking at old problems. As such it is difficult to suggest a one size fits all way of writing a CV for planning, the best advice is be original! Of course, while that sounds great on paper it’s hard to put in to practice.
Beyond this the most practical advice for writing a planning CV is to make it personal. Write intelligently and thoughtfully about experiences that have informed your view of advertising or planning. Avoid falling back on marketing jargon or what you think an interviewer might “want to hear”. Planning often requires personal relationships, as with any ad-man you’re selling yourself before you sell your advertising.
Advertising interviews are much like the interviews for any other industry. There are apocryphal stories about the more arcane ones but on the whole they tend to be serious minded and quite normal. Once again we have our expert panel telling you how to succeed at the first hurdle.
Try to be yourself, think about your fit with the agency as much as your enthusiasm for the job. Try to encourage a conversation rather than Q&A. Planners love to just chat about issues and challenges. Also be honest – try not to know everything – recognise good questions and have a chat about them rather than think of your best answer. – Will Railton
“Have an opinion”
When you do get interviews, make sure you have examples of what advertising you like and don’t like and WHY. The why should not be at an execution level (ie. I thought the baby looked too unhappy), but the idea behind the work. – Simin Radmanesh
There’s nothing more annoying than having someone in an interview regurgitate a case study to you almost verbatim. It tells us nothing about YOU. Be prepared to answer questions about the top campaigns of the day, but have your own point of view on them. Be controversial if you can defend your point of view (it’ll be more memorable). – Mathew Palmer
“Deconstruct the Ads”
Getting hold of agency reels before the interview and deconstructing the ads, and trying to predict what the original brief was would impress most interviewers I would think. – Chris Arning
Be funny. Not to excess perhaps, but remember that each employer usually has a choice between which of various bright candidates they’d like to spend time with. Bright and funny is better than bright and not funny.
Don’t talk too much about Apple or Nike. Particularly Nike+. Find another brand. And don’t call me Mr. Shaw. – John Shaw