Ad 2 Dallas is all about helping young professionals find new opportunities in the local advertising, marketing, and communications industry. We wanted to use this blog to feature a series of posts that focus on experts in the field as they share insights on the local market, trends to look out for, and challenges they face in their current jobs.
One of our own members has agreed to be featured for our first post. Amanda Jordan serves on the Board of Directors for Ad 2 Dallas as a membership chair in helping young professionals and students get connected through our volunteer organization. By day, she’s a Creative Recruiter for the Dallas branch of The BOSS Group, a talent agency that provides job seekers opportunities to find digital and marketing positions. Amanda provides her clients with the best possible candidates for their creative needs.
What new trends have you noticed in advertising and marketing that are directly affecting the qualifications you’re looking for in candidates?
As everyone knows, our industry has taken a strong turn toward digital and web as opposed to print advertising and marketing. I mean, when was the last time you jumped for joy at a Direct Mailer clogging up your mailbox? Digitizing everything has drastically affected the positions we need to fill for our clients. More often than not, their target audience falls into the category of people who are NOT persuaded by print anymore. It’s an email campaign, or a web banner, or a social media post. Ten years ago (or even 5 years ago), a Graphic Designer could get away with only knowing traditional media and print design, but those days are pretty much over. In order to be a well-rounded designer (or copywriter or marketing/communications person, for that matter) one MUST understand and gain experience in the digital space. For a designer, that means learning HTML/CSS, dabbling in front-end design and/or digital web banners and graphics. That would be the minimum. For writers, we always want to see web content experience. We are always asking, “Do you know SEO best practices?” “Do you keep up with emerging media and the latest social platform of choice?” It’s becoming impossible to be stagnant. Folks who have been in the industry for years are finding that learning digital/web is the only way to stay competitive.
While I don’t think print or print design is obsolete, I do find it advantageous to expand on traditional print expertise to include digital and web skills – even if it is just a “working knowledge” level. Hiring managers want to see a traditional background (print, collateral, branding, etc.) with a digital portfolio that shows 360-degree work. So, be the whole package. Shouldn’t be too hard, right?
What is the most difficult part of your current position?
Being a recruiter isn’t rocket science. For the most part, it is extremely rewarding, energizing and fun. To answer the question from my personal experience, I HATE telling perfectly qualified candidates that they didn’t get the job; especially when the reason is something out of their control. You learn to have difficult conversations really quickly in recruiting. Thankfully, my talents include being gracious and understanding, so that helps. It’s a people-business and talent suddenly backing out of done deals or clients going silent is to be expected. At the end of the day, it feels great to provide a deserving talent a life-changing position that also serves our client well. When I am able to do that, all is right in my world.
What sets the Dallas-Fort Worth advertising market apart?
Everyone knows everyone! I love how much of a “small-world” it is because it’s so much easier to connect, help and network. Although the Dallas market and the Fort Worth market are vastly different, we have the advantage of being close geographically, which inevitably provides more opportunity. There’s a reason so many people are moving here! Jobs, jobs, jobs.
The BOSS Group has branches all over the US, including Atlanta, Chicago, New Jersey, Philly, Baltimore and DC, so I have seen the difference in the way people communicate and do business across the country. In order to sell Dallas business, you gotta know Dallas. We mix Southern hospitality in with our “big city swag” – and that’s what wins business.
What’s your ultimate career aspiration?
That’s a fantastic question. I love being a recruiter, and I foresee myself staying in a recruiter-type role for a long, long time. Eventually, I would like to be in a leadership/managerial role that allows me to educate, give presentations and do more networking from a mentorship perspective. Alas, I have a LONG way to go until then. Right now I am totally at mentee-level SEEKING a mentor. Consider this my personal ad.
My answer may sound vague, and that’s because I like to keep an open mind about my future. I see people every single day making career changes, and it’s inspiring. You never know what lies ahead, or when you will discover a new passion. As long as my career leads me to having enough disposable income to rescue as many dogs as I want, I am honestly going to be living my best life.
What’s a piece of advice you would impart on young or aspiring advertising and marketing professionals new to the industry?
Join Ad 2 Dallas! Or any other networking organization of your choice J Getting connected is the most important thing, and networking is the easiest and most fun way to become connected in a new city, new industry, etc. I would also seek out a mentor that you can trust who can assist with pumping up your resume, provide awesome word tracks for interviewing, and can give you interpersonal feedback. Happy hunting!