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Getting a job at any magazine company is really tough. They receive hundreds of submissions. Assistant jobs are more often than not being no more than a Ďgo forí type job. Internships are available but less than a handful of interns are lucky enough to receive an offer of employment afterwards. So how can you avoid the pitfalls of the magazine industry? You have to plan and be prepared.

The first step to any career is career research and planning. In the case of the magazine industry even more research and planning is required. The first step to starting a career that will land you a job at a magazine company is to make the choice of what you want to do. Companies that sell magazines (in print & online) are just like any other business. They utilize various departments such as

Accounting

Advertising

Marketing

Inventory

Shipping

Sales

However, magazine companies also employ

Journalism

Editorial Staffing

Publicists

Editorial: Must be original, creative, analytical and absolutely must understand the audience that the magazine targets.

Journalism: Magazine journalists research and write news and article features that will most interest a magazine's audience.

Publicist: Get publicity for the magazineís next issue prior to it being distributed. When you read reviews or news articles about a story that runs in magazine, it is the department and responsibility of a Publicist that makes sure that would be readers know that particular story will be published.

Be sure to read the magazine from front to back and read several issues before even applying to the magazine. Know what the magazine is about, have an understanding of whom they are targeting and form solid opinions about some of the issues or subjects that the magazine publishes. Be prepared to discuss (but not defend) your opinions in an interview.

Other characteristics every company looks for are

  • Hard working
  • Dedication
  • Passion about the services / products the company sells
  • Self-motivated
  • Have multiple skills - in this day and age everyone should have multiple skills
  • Experience and or knowledge with a desire to continue learning the companyís desired style of work.

High school prepares you for the real world of being an adult but college teaches you the fundamental foundation to begin a career. So yes, both educational steps are needed. If you are still in high school the extracurricular activities that are so down graded will definitely help you land a quality job during college. However the same is true for college, choose the extracurricular activities that you genuinely believe you would like doing. High school is a time for experimenting, if you donít like something and you genuinely believe you donít like it because you donít like it and not because itís too hard than try something else.

Great classes and clubs to take as suggested by Wired Magazine

Courses You Should Take

  • Introduction to Programming - lays the foundation for you to learn on your own
  • Creative Writing
  • Literature
  • Shop Class - tinkering is fun
  • Journalism
  • Humanities
  • History
  • Politics
  • Business

Activities and clubs

  • Debate Club
  • School Newspaper
  • Chess Club
  • Your Blog (you have to have a blog and a personal web page that has nothing to do with a social networking site)

Internships at any magazine or newspaper company are an absolute must for a sold and stable career. As soon as you have decided that you most definitely want to have a career working for a magazine company, start getting work experience that will be most benefit you. Working inside a magazine and or newspaper company will introduce you to the key players in the industry and where they work. A working knowledge of the following terms is most favorable:

Web 2.0: A term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web Ė 2020 Systems

Wiki: This is a website that includes the collaboration of work from many different authors. A wiki site allows anyone to edit, delete, or modify the content on the web. - The Technology Initiative Grant

IPO: A company's first sale of stock to the public. - The Schaeffer's Edge

Newsreader: A program designed for organizing the threads received from a mailing list or newsgroup. - Vikont Solutions Dek: Is a Data Encryption Key Ė OASIS Management

Learn to network and develop a great networking circle

But the best way to get a job at any magazine is to actually know someone at any magazine. While college is the best way to learn, meet and develop contacts it is just as important to get out in the world and meet people. This is anther place where extracurricular activities can help you. Itís a perfect place to network. Other places include online social networking sites such as LinkedIn.

Lastly, have a great resume, develop an e-portfolio and practice interviewing, volunteer, go after internships, practice interviewing again and network.

References

Comments

  1. Photographer

    I appreciate the input, however, it really isn't boosting my confidence in trying to get a job a magazine. I understand the importance of networking to get your foot in the door, but I don't know anyone at a magazine. Now what?

  2. Megan

    You need to submit freelance material, as much as possible. That way you can build up your reputation with certain magazines. It's really hard to get a job directly with a magazine publication, the majority of work is done by freelancers, and if you're good, you can make good money at it.
    Most publications have an area on their website where you can contact someone about submitting freelance work. I think that is going to be your best bet at getting your foot in the door.

  3. College

    What college course would a person looking for a position be recomended to take?

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