Thursday, October 30, 2008

Setting up an informational interview with an editor is a great way to learn more about the magazine industry, find out what jobs you're qualified for and what further training you may need, and to make contacts. But how do you set one up, and what do you do once you're in the meeting? Here are a few resources:

University of British Columbia Career Services
U.S. Department of Labor
Quintessential Careers

I'd also like to add a few of my own thoughts:

• Don't forget: an information meeting is not a job interview! The main purpose is for you to ask someone more experienced in the business any questions you may have about the industry and what you can do to make it as an editor.
• Be prepared with questions, as you are interviewing him/her. S/he is not interviewing you.
• Be considerate: Show up on time, don't take up too much of his/her time, and send a thank you note afterwards.
• Stay in touch. Send an update on your progress in the job hunt if you've landed a sweet gig, share an article you wrote that's been published, or just send a Christmas card. Be sure to thank him/her again for the advice.
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coming up next month, Ed2010 Toronto presents the next installment in its Speaker Series, featuring Sarah Fulford. The newly minted editor of award-winning city magazine Toronto Life – who at 34 is the youngest editor to hold one of the top media jobs in the country – will share her advice on how to land your dream job. Sarah's brief talk will be followed by a Q&A period. Shy? Send Ed your questions for Sarah in advance: toronto [at]ed2010 [dot]com

Where: Deer Park Library at 40 St. Clair Ave. East (Located one block east of Yonge St. on the north side of St. Clair Ave.)
When: Wednesday November 5 from 6:15pm to 7:45pm (the event starts at 6:30pm sharp)
Admission: $5

Space is limited, admission will be granted on a first come, first serve basis.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Building up a network of friends and acquaintances (as I recommend you do), isn't of any use if you can't remember who it is you met from such-and-such magazine at that media event, now that you want to apply for a job at said magazine.

To keep track of who you know, put together a networking binder – essentially an address book with footnotes. In addition to name, phone number, email and address, also write down where you met each person, what his or her affiliations are, plus other tidbits of info that may come in handy, like shared interests. For example, if you noted that the editor you met not only works at that magazine but that you shared a conversation about iPhone apps, start off an email to her with a recommendation for a great new iPhone game you just found, then launch into your request of what she knows about the job opening. This idea comes from stationery retailer Russell + Hazel, which recommends using a mini binder, though if you do have that iPhone, you could easily just add comments in the notes field of each contact entry (and add a photo of the person, too, if you're not so great at linking faces to names).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are you beyond your 20s and trying to break into magazines? You may find yourself facing the question of whether doing an internship is a viable option at your age. Usually these spots are filled by "kids" fresh out of school, but perhaps being older with more life experience puts you at an advantage – or maybe not. An article in the Globe and Mail ponders a few of the pros and cons of interning in your 30s, and I'm curious as to what you think about it (besides the gross generalization that 30-somethings are "an indecisive generation of folks swapping careers like baseball cards"). If you are/were older than 30, would you consider doing an internship? Would you hire an intern who was older than 30?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Now hear this. I simply cannot release this issue the way it is. In the 60 years of Quality

A magazine must be like a human being. If it comes into the home it must contribute. It just can't lie around. A magazine must have blood and brains and pizzazz. This is just paper. If I send paper to the American woman, I will have let her down. Yes. D for down. D for dreary. D for dull and for depressing, dismal and deadly!

– Maggie Prescott (played by Kay Thompson) in the opening sequence of 1957's Funny Face, with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire

magazine, this hits rock bottom. If I let this go through, I will have failed the American woman. The great American woman, who stands out there naked, waiting for me to tell her what to wear. It doesn't speak. And if it won't speak to me, it won't speak to anyone.

About Me
Corinna vanGerwen


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.

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