How to become an editor? (part 4) - how to prepare application documents for the editor position?

Service Business

In the previous parts of the "How to become an editor" series, we examined the various stages of shaping the features and skills necessary to work in the position in question. An editor is a person who should have not only innate writing skills. From an early age, you have to train your language skills by writing various articles, reviews or simply descriptions of your own passions and interests. At a later stage, you should also consider choosing the appropriate field of study, which does not necessarily have to be Polish or journalism. By being interested in several directions (e.g. technical), you can combine theoretical and practical knowledge - writing with passion about a selected field is more credible for the recipient, which translates into better viewership of our text.

Finally, having the appropriate workshop, we indicated where to apply for the position of editor, and how to look for the right offer. This time we will answer a no less important question, namely: how to prepare for an interview for the editor position and how to avoid the most frequent mistakes. While mass browsing through job advertisements on the Internet and sending application documents do not seem to be a particularly complicated process, drawing attention to yourself by presenting yourself as much as possible.

Analyze the employer

Have you found an interesting job offer? Before you decide to send the application documents, analyze the employer. Each job offer includes the name of a company that certainly has its own website - and certainly if you are applying for a position in the editorial office. For starters, pay attention to the site itself, which you may be writing to soon. Take a look at the form of the publication, the length of the texts and the subject matter. If it is a portal devoted to, for example, new technologies, and therefore more thematically developed, analyze the most popular sections. It is known that at this stage you do not have an insight into the audience level, but it can be estimated based on the number of comments, the frequency of similar posts, as well as the number of likes and shares on social networks such as Facebook or Google Plus.

Knowing a side related directly to the position held may not be enough, however. Go to the editorial footer, find the exact address of the company and check whether it also runs other websites. Even if they do not refer directly to the offer, it does not mean that they should be ignored. In practice, it may turn out that the scope of duties will be wider than that included in the job offer. It is also worth knowing the company's history, its greatest successes (if it has a well-established brand), available products, and advantages from the customer's point of view.

Do you have any feedback on running these sites? You don't like the layout or the arrangement of departments? Be sure to write down all the shortcomings that you think are worth correcting. Add a little bit of your ideas to it, and then - if it's time for an interview - share them with your future employer. Remember not to do it in the form of a criticism, but a constructive opinion - this way you will show that not only have you prepared well for the topic, but also at the recruitment stage you care about the company's development.

Introduce yourself ... and the company to which you submit your application documents

Most candidates focus solely on self-presentation. This is obviously the most important element of creating application documents. The recruitment websites usually offer ready-made templates, thanks to which we can send a short message like: "Ladies and Gentlemen, in relation to the job offer that appeared on the X website, I am sending application documents for the position of Editor". The most common mistake is to use the automatically prepared introduction and then add attachments in the message. In this way, the candidates show that the application was sent quickly, without preparation and they do not care about this particular offer. Therefore, try to create your own message, and also expand it with additional information about the company. Add why you care about this offer, mention at least one sentence about the products or services, as well as the advantages of the company's website. In this way, you will show that you not only want to present yourself from the best side, but also that you are committed to applying for the position - thereby increasing the probability that the message with attachments will attract the attention of the employer.

Prepare your CV carefully

Curriculum Vitae in the case of applying for the position of editor does not differ in principle from those submitted for other positions. It shouldn't contain even the slightest mistake. Even such a detail as a typo can negatively affect the candidate's assessment, for example, if it is included in the name of the company. There are no exceptions to the rule here, as the recruiting person checks every eligible application in great detail. The most common mistake is to treat a CV as part of a cover letter. It must be short, concise and to the point - it is advisable that the necessary information is on one page. If you already have experience in the profession, it is enough to enter the company name, position and period of employment in one line. Do not try to write down your current duties, because at this stage it does not matter much. A detailed description of the tasks should possibly be included in the cover letter, although this issue is important for the employer only during the interview, in order to finally verify the candidate.

 

Cover letter and sample texts

A cover letter should be an extension of the information contained in your CV - not the other way around. It is the best place to describe - briefly and concisely - your current scope of duties in individual positions (if we have any experience). It is worthwhile to indicate here both the individual characteristics that are necessary for this position, as well as acquired skills that may give an advantage over other candidates. Again, limit yourself to a maximum of one page. Be honest in what you say, as over-fantasizing will immediately come to light in the interview. In the cover letter, you can also refer to the aforementioned description of the company - why you want to work here, what do you like most after the initial observation and what comments you have for the future that may help in the company's development.

Unlike other positions, this is also the perfect time to present your portfolio. It is obligatory to put your test article or review in a separate file. It must be a unique text, as it will make the employer aware that you did well to the recruitment stage. The exception may be when the employer explicitly asks for links to already published works - it will not hurt and in this case, however, send a new sample.

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And here, however, you should be careful. It may happen that a company recruiting a new employee does not really need him, and the only purpose of the advertisement is to obtain a free text. So before you decide to create a unique text, check the employer well, analyze the opinions on the web, and pay attention to the frequency of recruitment. If the offer - which is easy to verify - has been appearing on the Internet for several months and is constantly updated, then perhaps we are dealing with an attempt to extort texts. What is worse, this scenario may appear not only in the case of little-known companies, but also proven brands that feel unpunished in such situations. However, you should not be particularly afraid, as obvious fraud attempts can be quickly tracked, which will also help other candidates.

How to expect a reply?

Contrary to appearances, the question posed has a significant meaning. Each company has its own rules: one recruitment process lasts up to two weeks, while another outsources recruitment to external companies, which extends the waiting period for a response from a month or even up to six months. Is it worth contacting the employer if there is no answer? Definitely yes, although it should not be done in an intrusive manner. Wait at least two weeks. If you do not receive a reply after this time, a phone call is the best solution. Avoid e-mail messages as they may not be read. When calling a large company, you will probably be connected to the secretary's office first. Introduce yourself and substantively explain the reason why you are calling, asking for redirection to the editor-in-chief or the person responsible for recruiting. If it turns out that the candidate is still being selected, ask in how many days it will end so that you can call again if there is no response.

It would seem that there is no point in calling when there is no response. It probably just means that the employer is not interested in the offer sent. Most candidates drop out, which is another frequently repeated mistake. If it is already overdue, it is worth calling to find out what mistakes we made, why our application documents were rejected and whether it is related to failure to meet the conditions set - which previously did not raise any doubts in us. On the one hand, such an approach will help to avoid mistakes for the future, and on the other, we may be remembered as people worth giving a chance at the next recruitment.

 

As you can see above, it is not difficult to make mistakes when sending application documents. So far, we have focused on the elements that take place before starting work as an editor. In the next part of the cycle, we will present the first recruitment interview - how to behave, what to pay attention to in particular, and what form of employment to choose. Our further career path will depend on her choice, which - if we make the right decision for us - will guarantee not only personal development and the acquisition of valuable professional experience, but will also strengthen our image, which in this industry is of considerable importance, as we will see. during the following years of work.