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Advertising account handling: graduate area of work

A job as an advertising account executive/handler will require you to liaise with clients and agency staff in the administration of advertising campaigns and the co-ordination of associated work.

What it involves

Advertising account handlers are employed by advertising agencies to administer the accounts of a small number of clients, for whom they are the key contact. Account handlers;

  • consult clients about campaign requirements
  • pass proposals to appropriate media/creative staff
  • agree time-scales
  • monitor work progress
  • deliver final products for review.

Other responsibilities include report writing, staff supervision and financial administration. The work can be stressful and pressurised with long hours and tight deadlines. Promotion is normally into senior managerial positions such as account manager or managing executive.

What's required

Any degree subject is acceptable for entry into the profession. A qualification in a relevant subject such as business, marketing, or management can be helpful. Potential employees should be commercially aware and have plenty of confidence, the ability to cope with pressure, good teamworking skills and effective organisational abilities.

Maturity can be a disadvantage, as most enter the profession in their early twenties. Employers often value appropriate skills and personality more highly than relevant work experience. It is important, however, to have a good appreciation of what working within the advertising industry involves.

Where to find out more

Few vacancies occur each year, and many of those that do are with larger agencies based in London and other major cities. Some operate graduate recruitment schemes (contact your careers service for more details, or refer to the 'Advertising Fact File' available from the IPA).

Early applications are advisable during the first term of your final year. Publications advertising vacancies include: The Guardian, The Independent, Campaign, Marketing, Media Week and Marketing Week. Many posts are never advertised, so speculative applications are essential. 

Key skills

  • Management
  • Teamworking
  • Language

Supported by

This describes editorially independent and objective content, written and edited by the GTI content team, with which the organisation would like to be associated and has provided some funding in order to be so. Any external contributors featuring in the article are independent from the supporter organisation and contributions are in line with our non-advertorial policy.

Advertising feature by

This describes content that has been written and edited in close collaboration with the organisation, who has funded the feature; it is advertising. We are committed to upholding our ethical values of transparency and honesty when dealing with students and feel that this is the best way not to deceive consumers of our content. The content will be written by GTI editors, but the organisation will have had input into the messaging, provided knowledge and contributors and approved the content.

In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

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