Graduate applications to Ogilvy


How do I apply to Ogily?!!


what is it?


Ogilvy is one of the most respected advertising agencies in the world. It was started by David Ogilvy, who was English, roughly 50 years ago and is now a multi-national company, with bases in most major countries all round the world. There are also various sister companies, which include medical PR, general PR and communications.

Ogilvy is reportedly one of the best places to work at, in advertising, as it has a bar in the offices and staff get lots of free food, from their clients. It’s creative, high powered, but more fun than corporate finance or law, for example.

Because of this, applications are highly competitive. This year (2007) there were 7 places available for the Ogilvy FELLOWSHIP which is their graduate recruitment scheme. The fellowship lasts two to three years and will take you all over the world. Salary is approx ?21k, but perks are endless. Over 700 people applied for these jobs, so your chance of success is less than 100/1.

Visit for more information on the Ogilvy fellowship. Application deadlines are usually March/April so you have a few months to prepare your apps… and trust me, you’ll certainly need to if you want to get in there!!!!


I think you have to be really good to get a job like that. Do you need portfolio or something to get in? I bet the pay is rubbish + the work competitive as well.

They’re behind that ‘Dove Campaign for Real Beauty’ aren’t they? There is an amazing video on the frontpage here that totally deserves a watch:

Good luck applying by the way.


You don’t need a portfolio. You just need to be sharp. Read about David Ogilvy on wikipedia… he set up the company, and he’s the kind of guy they look for.

You don’t actually need a university degree to get on to the Ogilvy Fellowship programme. They are a creative agency… they are not bound by the restrictions that a law firms is. They want people with ideas. If you have ideas, you’ll do well.

21K a year is not bad. You can make 6 or 7 figure salaries in advertising. Especially if you become partner. Plus I’d personally prefer to get paid slightly less to be able to use a company bar “for inspiration”, wear whatever I want to work, and be able to use sland in client meetings…!

Ogilvy are the DOVE brand main Global advertisers. Ogilvy himself produced one of the first Ogilvy ads for DOVE. It’s very famous in advertising.


Ogilvy is the most reputed ad agency in the world and I am sure you would enjoy working there, but you didn’t mention the kind of job you want. Apart from advertising Ogilvy is also into PR, Online Media, Direct Marketing, etc.

There are many fields in advertising; the major ones being Creative, Planning and Client Servicing. The creative team has two types of people - designers/visualizers and copywriters. The account planners are involved in creating brand building strategies, while client servicing guys understand client requirements, write the creative brief, and manage all the work of their particular brand - you have to take your pick before applying.

Most people feel that a job in advertising is all about designing or writing an ad. If you are interested in the creative side, you have to build a portfolio and pass the copywriting test. All the best!


Hello -

I am working as a Talent/Recruitment Manager at Ogilvy. If you are looking for a job, please feel free to email your CV to



Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for posting and welcome to the site!! …could you tell us exactly what information to send you… Do you simply require a basic CV, or do applicants really need to write a covering letter too.

I think a lot of our readers would like to know what you look for in graduates, and on CV’s. For example, is it important to have experience in Advertising? Do you like students to have travelled or have obtained certain grades in certain disciplines?

It would be great to find out what the route in to Ogilvy is like to. After a successful application, do you require candidates to complete tests, attend group interviews or meet with partners at the firm?

Advertising can seem like a very hard nut to crack for new graduates, and sometimes I think the best can get scared away. Do you have any suggestions for the promosing creative types amongst us!!?

Thanks… hope to see you again :slight_smile:



Hi Ed,

I wouldn’t want to speak for Carolyn.

But as far as agencies in general go, it’s best to think of your application like an ad.

I bet you ignore most ads. We’re bombarded with thousands on a daily basis, so that’s pretty normal. Plus, many of them aren’t even relevant to us. Personally, I don’t go in for Veet or Heat because I don’t wax my legs or have any remote interest in Britney’s escapades.

So, the first tip would be to think about your audience when you’re applying to work in an agency. More often than not it will be one person with hundreds of CVs to look through, whether they’re unsolicited or part of a formal application process. Imagine how daunting/boring that must be for them. You need to a) stand out, b) be relevant (i.e. what they’re looking for in a candidate). Just like a good ad.

a) People stand out in different ways but you can think of it like this:

Most candidates: CV and Cover Letter and answers to application questions

You: CV, Cover Letter, answers to application questions, and ‘X’

That X is your idea for standing out amongst the crowd. I wrote about this in more detail here ( if you’re interested.

b) Being relevant is about really finding out what the job you’re applying for entails.

An account exec role is in account management for which you need a range of skills and understanding: project management, budgeting, a friendly nature, an understanding of brands, how the internet affects our business, diplomacy, a good sense of humour (for when things don’t go quite right). Think about ways of linking what you’ve done with the above. Find real life examples. It doesn’t always have to be about work experience (although that helps). Personally, I’d never worked in an advertising agency before I started at Ogilvy. Maybe you stopped a fight erupting on a train to Cardiff? That shows diplomacy…

Best of luck,

P.S. For anyone interested in the ad industry, you might find this group on facebook a pretty good place to start:


Good article Nick thanks very much.

I’d just like to reiterate the point about a CV being like an ad. When applying for an ad agency, you are likely to be up against many competitors, who will have roughly the same things to offer.It’s important therefore to make sure you do everything to stand out from the crowd, just like any advertisement, and get your application noticed.

I particularly liked your reference to ‘X’, as in CV + Cover letter + ‘X’, the ‘tiebreaker’’ between yourself and an equally good candidate. Who knows, maybe it was a leaflet you designed (something you could definately bring to an interview).

Well done and thanks again,