This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry. Visit to read about how to advance your career and how to take ownership for yourself on the job. I was the production manager for a Kansas City based business journal. I have over ten years of advertising and media relations experience. My primary responsibility was to generate revenue through advertising sales and to create high quality ads through various mediums. My specialty was advertorials – paid interview/review/informational style articles written about a specific client as a featured special interest piece. In my opinion, the biggest misconception about print advertising is that it isn't worth the cost. Print advertising allows clients to target a specific market without wasting resources in an area not likely to be receptive to the product or service being offered. I would give my job satisfaction a solid 10. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when a client calls to thank you for helping increase their business. What’s even more satisfying is when that client recommends you to a new client and your own business grows as a result. The one thing I would like to see change is the economy. With so many out of work and small businesses failing all around us, people have less and less money to spend on goods and services. The job itself had so many rewards. So many times I would get a call or card from one of my clients thanking me for the work I did, telling me their business had increased significantly since their ad came out. This job has been incredibly fulfilling for me. I have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful members of my community, pool our resources and come up with new ways to promote local businesses. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see a client’s business have customers lined up outside the door because of an ad I created. I have always had a passion for creative writing and just sort of stumbled onto this position by accident. Whether it was my true calling or fate, I can’t say, but I do know it has been one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of my life. As people lost their jobs and houses, businesses began loosing business. It wasn't long before those businesses started closing their doors. As more and more of our advertisers were going out of business, we were left scrambling to make operating costs, and in the end, had to close our doors as well. That is perhaps the most unique aspect of working as an advertising executive. You are only as strong as your economy. One day I picked up a news journal and scanned the pages. There was only one regular writer on staff, so I sent in my resume. A day later, I was being interviewed and the following week moving into my new office. My new editor had this idea that if he combined my creative writing skills with his ability to sell advertising space, we could come up with a more effective ad campaign for our clients. It was a roaring success. If I had it to do over again, I probably would have taken a few marketing classes in college so that I had a better understanding of markets and the role economy plays on spending. When my business is good, it’s really good, but it goes the other way, too. I think the best way to gauge a local economy is by flipping through a newspaper. If there are lots of ads, things are going well. A vast majority of our advertisers were small, local businesses and because our journal relied primarily on revenue generated from ad space, when those businesses went under, so did we. I think the biggest lesson I learned was the importance of supporting local businesses first. Something strange I learned from on the job was that we’d recently hired a new sales executive who inadvertently sold ad space for the family section to a clinic that offered abortion services. I had also sold an advertorial to an adoption agency for that same section. I titled the article “Choose Life.” Going through the proofs, we all missed the error. A few days later, our phones were ringing off the hook and we even had several people come into the office telling us how appalled they were that we would run an abortion ad under a “Right to Life” article. Needless to say, it was a lesson to us all. People really DO look at the ads. The most challenging aspect of selling advertising space is convincing clients they should buy ad space. More often than not, I had to give out free space just to prove it could be effective. Problem clients had me tugging on my hair a few times. Clients have a tendency to want to nitpick about every little detail. They leave little room for true creativity and limit your ability to convey the message you know from experience, works the best. Stress levels depend entirely on deadlines. There were a few times we had to work through the night to get ads ready on time. This is, however, by no means a complaint, because that simply meant we were making more money, but it can get stressful. My base salary was $46,000 a year with bonuses ranging from $10,000-$20,000 a year depending on ad sales. For the area that I live, my base salary provided for a comfortable living and I typically took one week of vacation every six months which was more than enough for me. JustJobs.com is a job search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it. Advertising job image from Shutterstock
January 19, 2022
Didn’t get the job? Rejection isn’t easy, but it’s important to leverage the progress you’ve already made with this company. In fact, this is a great opportunity for you to build a professional relationship with the hiring manager and keep things moving forward in the event another opportunity arises.
You want this person to be your advocate in the event another role opens up. Even though you didn’t get the job, you should take steps to keep moving forward. You want to use this opportunity to reinforce that you’re still interested in working for the company and that you’re willing to work toward becoming a better fit.
Here are some things you need to do if you didn't get the job:
1. Send Thanks
Even if you didn’t get the job, it’s important to thank the people who took the time to talk with you, interview you, and help you get that far in the process. They will respect you for it and appreciate the gesture. Not only that, but sending a brief thank you note after getting rejected from a job will allow you to stand out, and it will help you further your professional relationships within the company.
2. Be Understanding
Hiring isn’t easy, and rejecting people isn’t a piece of cake either. Let this person know that you understand the decision and thank them for considering you for the role. Who knows, if this person doesn’t work out, they might call you up and bring you in since you’re a “warm lead” for the role. Or, they might have a different opening they feel you might be a better fit for. That’s why it’s important to be thankful, positive, and supportive, even though you didn’t receive the offer. The truth is, you just never know what will happen!
3. Briefly Reinforce WHY You’re So Passionate About Working For This Company
If they know you’re deeply passionate about what they do, they’ll know you’re in it for more than just the money and that, if hired, you have the potential to stay at the company for a while. That’s why it’s important to reinforce why you feel so strongly about working for this particular company. So, share your “connection story” with the company, showcase a shared belief you have with the company, or share a personal experience that taught you the value of what that company does.
4. Seek Advice
Make it easy for this person to help you by asking the right questions. Remember, they’ve already gotten to know you, they know you want to work there, and they know you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the opportunity. You’re a “warm lead” at this point, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to choose you over someone else. Ask questions like...
- “How can I be a better fit for opportunities like this one?”
- “What do I need in order to earn opportunities like this one at your company?”
If you can find out what you need to do in order to “check off” all of the boxes, then you’ll make your candidacy more attractive in the event another opportunity opens up.
5. Take Steps To Move The Relationship Forward And Ask How You Can Keep In Touch
In order to keep this relationship moving forward, you need to ask for it. Being proactive in this situation is critical. Otherwise, your future with the company might be left up to someone else, which is a risky chance to take. Make sure you ask to stay in touch. For example, you could say something like…
“What’s the best way for me to stay in touch with you? I want to be proactive and stay on your radar for future opportunities. I really want to work for your company but I want to earn my place there.”
They’ll appreciate your proactiveness and your willingness to take ownership of the process—on their terms. It will also give you clear next steps on how you should keep this relationship moving forward.
So, remember: even if you didn’t get the job today, there’s still an opportunity to get the job tomorrow. “No, not today” doesn’t mean “no, not ever.” Leverage the progress you’ve made with this company and keep working your stuff!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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