That's why I believe your best advice is going to come from peers and mentors who work in magazines. Joe Grimm, on Ask the Recruiter, recommends the resumé swap: sit down with another editor over pizza and look at each other's CVs. Talk about them.
I think this is a much better approach than even just emailing your friend your resumé. In person, you can have a conversation about it. You can tease out what will work the best, what your key assets are. And, though it won't be possible for everyone to do, if you can hook up with someone who looks at resumés on a regular basis, even better.
Get online: discover the wonderful world of web editing
Ever wondered what it takes to be a web editor? Even in a slow economy there are job opportunities in online publishing. Find out how you can break into the wonderful world of web editing. Join Ed2010 Toronto and our all-star line-up of senior web staffers from some of Canada's top magazine websites including Jen O'Brien from Chatelaine.com, Bryan Borzykowski from CanadianBusiness.com and Sharon Donaldson from CottageLife.com. Hear how they got into the biz and get advice on how to succeed in the online world.
When: Wednesday June 17 from 6:30pm-7:30pm
Where: Northern District Library, 40 Orchard View Blvd (Yonge and Eglinton)
$5 admission fee
If you'd like to become a member of Ed2010, a networking group for young magazine editors, join our facebook group or email us at toronto[at] ed2010[dot] com.
Recently I was talking with a young editor who was wise enough to recognize that a certain opportunity just wasn't right for him. Having just completed school, it would be the first experience on his resumé, and would likely colour all future opportunities, possibly pigeon-holing him as a certain type of editor. And it wasn't the type of editing he wants to do. (Sorry I'm being vague; I'm trying to avoid any identifying details.)
Fortunately this recent grad has the luxury of waiting it out to look for work that's better suited to him and his talents, and I recommend that you use the same discretion, too, when possible. Will your next job give you additional skills above and beyond what you already have (i.e. will you develop and grow as an editor)? Will it provide you with the experience you need to then take the next step? Is it a good building block? Or will it take you away from your eventual goals? For example, if you dream of being a beauty editor, a position at a women's mag (even if you're not handling beauty stories) will get you closer to your goal than a gig at a literary journal. Look for work in the arena you wish to be in and think twice about opportunities that may lead you astray. Being an editorial assistant at the latter is not the same as being an editorial assistant at the former.
Of course, this is all moot if you're just trying to find something to pay the bills. But when you can, consider where your next job might take you.
"When the economy is bad, when everybody is shrinking, when the big media companies are at a standstill, that’s the best time to start a new magazine because it’s going to take one to two years for that magazine to evolve and establish itself. Then you hope in two years, the economy will pick up and you’re ready for that marketplace." – Samir Husni in an interview with Industry Intelligence Inc.
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.