Monday, August 12, 2013

Advice From An Associate Editor: How to Land a Job After Graduation

Last Friday was surprisingly slow for Women’s Lifestyle Mag, so I was finally able to snag 30 minutes with my supervisor for an informational interview. Score!

Because I'm an incoming senior and soon-to-be graduate, I decided to ask my editor for her best advice on landing a job post-grad. My editor graduated only a few years ago, so she understands what upcoming graduates can look forward to. I feel so much more confident about navigating the world of magazines after our chat! So, I wanted to share some of my editor’s best tips with all of you. I’ve listed three of my favorite bits of advice below. Read on and add your editor’s tips in the comments!

1) Realize that you aren’t going to have a job by graduation

It’s really hard to watch non-media friends land jobs a year before they graduate—but don’t let your friends’ job offers discourage you! It’s probably not realistic to look for a job until after graduation. Magazine employers won’t hire unless they have a position available. Plus, when they do hire, they want the person to start tomorrow (or yesterday, if we’re being honest!) So don’t fret if you are collecting your diploma without a having a job offer. Expect to spend a few months after graduation searching for a job. And feel lucky if you get a job in that amount of time (a took a few of my editor’s friends years to land their first gig).

2) In the meantime…

Don’t forget to keep your writing skills sharp. Maintain a blog and write every day. It’s also a good idea to write in the voice and style of the magazines that you are applying to. Blog posts can act as another set of clips—but only if they are well written and speak to the audience of the magazine you are applying to.

Aaand keep in contact. Your editor is one of your best resources, as they will have the inside scoop on what jobs are available. Just be sure to maintain a mutual relationship—you don’t want to be the person that uses an editor only when you need something! Think about sending your editor an email every few months just to let them know what you are up to. You might also mention how much you liked an article they wrote recently or send them a link to something you think they’d find interesting.

3) Find your calling

Do you love books? It’s book editing for you! Are you a pop culture junkie? Entertainment editing is probably your jam. Are you always dishing out advice on the latest beauty trends? Hello, future beauty editor!

It’s important to be a specialist in the magazine industry. This is sometimes problematic for young writers because we are so excited to be writing at all! But, editors decide on an expertise at some point, and if you are able to figure out what this expertise is early on, you will stand out from other entry-level candidates.

What about you Edsters? Have you received any great advice on landing a job after graduation? Sound off in the comments below!

Ed's Women's Lifestyle Intern

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