I recently had an editor-in-chief ask about the lack of qualified applicants for positions she's trying to fill, a complaint I've heard a few times over recent months. Her beef: most of those who have applied don't have the qualifications and the ones who do are asking for laughably large salaries. To job seekers she suggests, "Apply for positions for which you are adequately qualified, proof your letters and resumes at least twice, take the time to read several issues of the magazine and make cogent comment on it, understand the role that is offered and the wage levels that go with it, and spell the name of the interviewer correctly. Seems pretty straightforward to me." Yes, pretty common sense, I agree, and would-be-editors should follow it. But there seems to be a disconnect here.
I constantly hear about how impossible it is to find a job, about the lack of opportunities. So if editors can't find the right people and people can't find the jobs, are we not training our people well enough in school and entry level positions? Are we not providing them with enough growth opportunities to learn and develop their skills? Are we not communicating well enough what our expectations and requirements are? Why are both sides of the desk having such a hard time?
Corinna vanGerwen is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked as senior editor at Style at Home, senior design editor at Cottage Life and is the former Canadian Director of Ed2010. She has also held the position of operations manager at a boutique PR agency, where she handled strategic planning and daily operations.