An account executive is responsible for ensuring that the client's message comes through in the various advertising campaigns an ad agency is hired to produce. It's like orchestrating a concert, making sure every ad - television, print and radio - portrays the same advertising message for the client. Acting as a liaison between client and advertising agency, an account executive must be able to oversee projects, delegate work, and provide constant feedback to the client. It's a demanding career, but it can be a rewarding one too. Here are some tips on how you can become an account executive.
Get a degree. Account executives don't need to have a specific education to become an account executive. They just need to have the right skills. However, a diploma or a degree in advertising and marketing is definitely a good idea. Clients and advertising agencies will want to see some form of higher education before they consider you for an account executive job.
Know what the job entails. To be an account executive, you should have a good understanding of what is required of you. Be prepared to have lengthy meetings with clients to learn about their services, products, competitors and target markets. You'll have to present advertising proposals to clients for approval, and then work with the advertising agency to ensure that the client's wishes are met. Plus, you'll be in charge of making sure the advertising projects are completed on time and within a set budget. Generally, you'll need to be a flexible, organized leader who can work with people to accomplish large projects.
Have the right skills. Along with your education, your skills are just as important. As an account executive, you should have great people skills. After all, it's your job to oversee other people. You need to be able to give directions and suggestions in a clear and positive manner. And you should also be able to multi-task, since most account executives work with more than one client at a time.
Get a job at an advertising agency. Once you've got your education, start looking for work as an account executive. You should approach advertising agencies and inquire about any available positions. Consider taking an internship if your lack of experience is holding you back. You won't be paid much (if anything), but you'll get some experience and maybe even an insider's chance at a full-time job with that advertising company. Continue to check with your school's career center, company websites, and media boards for account executive positions. Keep your résumé updated, and check back with companies a week or so after you send off your application package to let them sense your interest in the position. Be patient, and you'll eventually snag a job working as an account executive.