How to Become an Account Executive

The marketing and advertising industry is highly competitive in many levels, which many account executives will tell you outright.  And speaking of account executives, you can actually be one of these highly successful individuals.  But first, you must develop the personal characteristics that make for a successful account executive.  This is because your degree will not matter as much as your personal attitude when it comes to becoming successful in the often dog-eat-dog world of marketing.

You should be articulate, creative and competitive as well as possess an ambitious drive and optimistic attitude, to name a few personality traits.  These are necessary characteristics because you have to maintain favorable relationships with both present and prospective clients who can be very difficult to please.  Add in the fact that you have to supervise many professionals involved with the creation of a successful marketing campaign and you must be very personable, passionate and perseverant.

For your efforts, your starting salary can start at an average of more than $55,000 with many account executives earning as much as $70,000 on a yearly basis excluding the perks of the job.  But first, you must earn your college degree and acquire employment experience in addition to paying your dues.

Although becoming an account executive does not require an advanced degree, you will have an edge if and when you do have proof of a four-year college degree.  It can be in any field from arts to economics just as long as you can demonstrate a capability to perform the job assigned effectively and efficiently.  Take note, nonetheless, that a degree in advertising and marketing looks good on paper.

Once you are employed in a marketing and advertising company, you will most often start in the lower echelons.  You should treat the jobs assigned to you as learning avenues in preparation to becoming an account executive.  In fact, you might even become better at the job since you have an intimate understanding of how each position fits into the general scheme of things.

While you are being groomed as an account executive, you must become a people person.  You should learn how to communicate effectively and efficiently with all the people concerned with the marketing blitz from the illustrator to the client.

And speaking of client, remember that you often have to juggle many projects simultaneously so dealing with a multitude of clients without losing a beat is a great asset. Add in multi-tasking to your growing list of talents listed in your account executive resume and you are well on your way to becoming an account executive.

It should also be emphasized that you may not become an account executive in the first company that hired your services.  You should look into other job opportunities that will lead to your dream job even if it means leaving a company you have been working for years and years although in the same position.  Loyalty has it rewards but when it is not rewarded, then it may be time to change gears.

Nobody said that the way to becoming an account executive is easy.  You have to be passionate, patient and perseverant to achieve your dreams, just like you would with other aspects of your life.


Gail Esparan