I actually ended up with this job through some very lucky networking. I was a student member of AAF (american advertising federation), and I applied for one of the local chapter scholarships. I would definitely suggest becoming part of your local chapter if you haven’t yet – they have them in almost every city! the website is www.aaf.org. Anywho, I ended up winning it, and used it as an excuse to visit the agency that had given it to me. I was able to meet both the president and vice president. The president said that they needed more good writers, and if they could find them then they would hire them. I was feeling gutsy, so I told him that I was good and he just had to give me a chance to prove it. Several months, sample pieces of work, and emails with the creative director later, I found myself with a job at the agency!
My best advice through all of this is definitely networking and using every available connection. AND not being afraid to tell people that yes, you are good at what you do. I think we spend the first part of our lives being told that we should be very modest and even a little self-deprecating when it comes to our talents, but once you’re out in the job market suddenly you are required to be extremely confident and talk about how wonderful you are. Never be afraid to say that you’re great at what you do, and tell them why! Confidence and self-assurance sell.
Finally, I don’t know if you have/are working on a portfolio – most agencies require one if you are applying for a job as a copywriter. I, being a creative writing major, didn’t have one, but I just asked them to give me a sample job so I could show them what I could do. So, there are definitely ways around the portfolio thing if you don’t have on in the works.
I hope that (extremely long-winded) answer helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask 🙂