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AAF Dallas Job Trends LuncheonAgency Entourage was pleased to attend AAF Dallas’ Advertising Job Trends in DFW luncheon today at the Alamo Draft House in Richardson.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas is leading the nation in job growth, and Dallas is becoming the center of digital, mobile and traditional advertising trends. At the AAF luncheon, we heard from a panel of experts in the industry who discussed recruiting and hiring as it relates to the creative, marketing and advertising world.

For new graduates looking for their first job to experienced professionals updating their resume to hiring managers seeking the right candidate, the panel discussion was incredibly informative and entertaining.

At Agency Entourage, this topic is incredibly relevant. Only 6 years old, AE is constantly trying to improve our hiring strategy and find the best and brightest in the industry. We have individuals on staff with decades of experience, a few employees with only a handful of companies on their resumes and interns looking for a foot into the marketing world’s door.

For our company, we were able to take away 5 important concepts in the hiring and application process. If you’re seeking a marketing job in the DFW area, here are a few important reminders.

5 key takeaways from the conversation:

1. Be authentic

It turns out recruiters and human resources professionals are sick and tired of the “usual” answers. Marc Bedinghaus, Recruiter and HR Coordinator for Bottle Rocket Apps is especially fed up with hearing what candidates believe the recruiter would “want” to hear. His advice? Be authentic. Don’t be afraid to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Hiring managers should be much more concerned with your personality and ability to fit into the culture than with your resume. As Marc says, skill sets can be learned, but personality cannot.

2. Never stop learning

Never believe you’re past the need to learn anything new. According to Jennifer Bloom, Talent Manager for The BOSS Group, this is the point when recruiters stop seeing you as a desirable candidate. Staying at one company, in one position or even in one industry for a number of years certainly isn’t a detriment. That is, until you become complacent. An individual who believes they already “know it all” is not an individual most companies are looking to put on staff.

3. Don’t stop negotiating at the salary

While salaries have more or less leveled out over the past few years, companies are more willing to negotiate benefits than ever before. According to Larry Brantley, AAF Dallas President and Talent Acquisition Manager for The Company of Others (formerly FKM), moving from one position to another is not likely to earn you a significant salary increase, but the real perks can be found in the benefits package. Don’t be afraid to negotiate vacation days, share options or even professional development courses.

4. Be willing to multi-task

Hybrid job descriptions are the wave of the future. Whereas your grandparents probably spent their entire career with one company and only a handful of set-in-stone job titles, employees nowadays are expected to wear many different hats at once. The project manager may also be the SEO strategist and the copywriter. The creative director may also be the graphic designer as well as the photographer. Don’t be afraid to take on more responsibility, and don’t let yourself be locked into one position for your entire career. As Cameron Gawley, CEO and Co-Founder of BuzzShift, explained, it’s unlikely nowadays to find a candidate who has spent more than two years in any one position. In a digital agency especially, being able to work across departments and job titles is a huge asset.

5. Have an online portfolio

When applying for a creative position, a digital portfolio is a must. In some cases, the recruiter will look to your portfolio before deciding whether it’s even worth looking at your resume. Speaking of resumes, avoid anything fancy. Have bullet points including measurable achievements, and always include a cover letter. If you must send something with a lot of design and color, send a second version in a Word document. Finally, avoid online applications whenever possible. When our own Ethan Bailey asked the panel the best way to tackle an online application, Julee Grupe, Creative Talent Agent for Vitamin T simply replied, “Don’t. Pick up the phone.”

From young professionals to industry experts, there was something for everyone at today’s AAF luncheon. Thank you, AAF Dallas for your hospitality and yet another informative panel discussion.

If you’re seeking an exciting company to work for, check out Agency Entourage. We’re currently hiring, and you can send your cover letter, resume and a link to your portfolio to careers@agencyentourage.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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