Monday, June 29, 2009
I welcome requests for advice from all the readers of this blog, and occasionally people take me up on the offer. I'm surprised though at how few people follow up on their queries. I don't always get back to everyone, and sometimes those emails slip to the bottom of my inbox and off my radar. When someone emails me a second time to ask if I received the first email, 99.9 percent of the time I'll reply.

I suspect most editors and hiring managers are like me, which is why, unless you've been explicitly told not to follow up, it's always a good idea to check in. Use your judgement to gauge how many times and how frequently you can contact someone, but my general rule is a week after the previous email or phone call, up to two or three times. More than that and you have to be very tactful in order not to become a pest.
Monday, June 29, 2009
No. Not paying ones. Sorry.

If you just completed j-school (congrats!), keep up your education throughout the summer, while you're trying to land your first real job. 10,000 Words offers up a 30-point to-do list to improve your journalism skills, including suggestions like Create an online portfolio; Crop, resize, and colour correct 50 photos; Subscribe to at least 25 non-journalism blogs; and Interview 10 people using a video camera. Many worthwhile goals there, which will expand your technical skills and knowledge base, increase your profile and network, and develop your reporting techniques.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Last night I had dinner with two web folks and we got to talking about the divide between web and editorial departments. One day I'd like my job to include editing stories not just for print, but also for online — I'd like to work in both mediums. I have a lot to learn about web editing, but in my mind, both platforms serve the brand, so why the separation? Have the food editor edit the recipes in the book, as well as pull together cooking demonstrations for the web. Get the editor who handles book reviews to write them across the board. I've spoken to other young editors who feel the same way, and I wonder if we're heading in this direction, if the departments will merge over the next few years — if an editor will be an editor will be an editor.

What do you think? Should it all be part and parcel of the same job? Are you interested in doing both?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
You smelled bad. ... You wore too much makeup. ... The CEO’s daughter got the job. ... You acted too desperate. Your pants were too baggy. ... They have a diversity initiative and you’re a white male. ... You didn’t make good eye contact.
And there are oh so many other possible reasons. A post on Radiant Veracity lists 75, and also points out that you can't obsess over everything that you might do or may have done wrong in an interview. Be prepared and do the best you can. After that, the ball is in their court.

Through Lindsay Olson.
Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thanks to everyone who turned out at the Ed2010 Toronto web editor's panel discussion last night — we had a great turnout. (From right to left) Bryan Borzykowski from, Jen O'Brien from, Jennifer Villamere of, and Sharon Donaldson from and shared how they got into online editing and what's involved in the job. (That's Ed2010 Toronto event manager Ann Brown on the left.)

Here are a few points from our panellists that stood out for me:

• Being a web editor is not the same thing as being a print editor. The type of writing and style of articles are different, and your duties as an editor will be different. Only a fraction of your time will be spent assigning stories and working with writers.

• If you're looking for a job as a web editor, you'd better be into the web. Have Facebook and Twitter accounts, post videos that you've shot and edited to YouTube, write a blog, purchase your own domain and build your own website. If you don't do all that — if you're not spending time online — the person doing the hiring is going to wonder why the hell you want to be a web editor.

• Don't look as web editing as a way into the print side. They are different departments and require different skills.
If you attended, post your comments on what you thought were the most interesting points made by our panellists. And let us know what you thought of the event.
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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Thank you, Alicia!...
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