Becoming the editor of a magazine is the pinnacle of a copywriter's career, as editors monitor the content of what company employees or freelancers write and ensure that point of view, content, style and the tone of what is written is consistent with the focus of the magazine. In case you want to be the editor of a magazine, you will have to go a long way that could be difficult. You will need to get the proper education and spend years developing your writing skills. However, with years of dedication, you may have a good chance of landing a job as a magazine editor.
Part 1 of 3: Get Experience at an Early Stage
Step 1. Take language and writing classes in high school
This is where your path to a career as an editor begins. It is essential that you develop your writing, editing and reading skills at an early stage. Also, to become an editor, you will need at least a bachelor's degree, so you will need to take many language and writing classes during high school. This will help you make your application stand out when applying for a career related to writing and editing.
- You should strive to take a couple of language classes each academic term. If your school offers writing and journalism classes, you should take them as well.
- You should also work on developing your skills with technology. As an editor, you will need to do a lot of work with computers, as you will need to format the articles in order to publish them. Therefore, you should take any computer-related course that is available to you at your school.
- If possible where you live, you should also take advanced courses, because if you want to apply to a good university, an advanced language class, for example, can make a very good impression on your resume.
Step 2. Get experience with writing and editing
To be a magazine editor, you will need years of writing and editing experience, so you can start developing it during high school. You can look for ways to strengthen your resume at an early stage.
- Look for extracurricular activities that relate to writing and editing. You might find it helpful to have a post in the newspaper or the school yearbook.
- You could also look for part-time jobs or volunteer positions related to writing and editing. For example, you could volunteer at the local newspaper or find out if there are any local charities that need their newsletters checked.
Step 3. Read various magazines
If you want to work for a magazine, you will need to familiarize yourself with contemporary magazines. You must subscribe to various popular magazines and read them every week.
- Consider what your area of interest is. In case you want to edit a sports magazine, it might be useful to subscribe to Sports Illustrated, for example. In case you are interested in literary magazines, you could read The New Yorker.
- Also read online magazines. There are many popular magazines (for example, Salon) that have a large amount of content online.
Step 4. Learn about the profession
You should familiarize yourself with the profession of a magazine editor before starting on the path to becoming one. This can be a stressful job in a highly competitive industry. However, if you are passionate about journalism and writing, it can be rewarding.
- As editor, you'll review what freelance writers submit, assign writing assignments to staff, determine the type of content the magazine will produce, think about headlines, and review captions for photos.
- This is a job that can involve long hours and a great deal of responsibility, and can be stressful at times. However, as the publisher, you will also have a great deal of creative control over the direction of a post, giving you the opportunity to broadcast the content you are passionate about to the world.
- Keep in mind that an editor's salary will vary depending on where you live, but, on average, it is around $ 55,000 a year. However, you could earn $ 90,000 a year if you can work for a larger publication.
Part 2 of 3: Get the Right Education
Step 1. Obtain a bachelor's degree in Languages, Communications or Journalism
In the vast majority of cases, editors have at least a bachelor's degree in Languages, Communications or Journalism. When applying to universities, you must specify that you want to study one of these majors. A dual degree or minor specialization could also help your profession.
- Study hard at the university. Your GPA may not be the main factor employers might look at when hiring, but you should still impress your teachers, as when you apply for a job later, a recommendation from one of your teachers.
- Allot time each week to study and make sure you always turn in your work on time. College can be a fun place in which you can socialize and grow personally, but learning should be your main goal, as it will be easier for you to get a job after graduation the harder you work on your college degree.
Step 2. Participate in extracurricular activities to reinforce your resume
Avoid simply doing the bare minimum in college. Not only do you need to study hard and get good grades, but you also need to get involved in extracurricular activities. Most magazine editors do internships during college, and if you do a lot of extracurricular activities, this could help you get an internship later.
- You could get a position in a college newspaper or literary magazine to gain foundational editorial experience.
- You could also publish a few things you write in local newspapers and college magazines. In many cases, magazines will ask you for a writing sample before deciding whether or not to hire you.
Step 3. Do a lot of internships during college
If you want to get a job after college, you will need a great deal of internship experience. It is recommended that you sign up for an internship for each year of college.
- Discuss internships with your college's guidance counselor, as he or she can help you search, as well as advise you on your résumé and the application process.
- Also talk to your professors and those you work with in college clubs, as they may have information about internships and intercede for you.
- It is essential that you take all the internships you do seriously, since, when you finish, you will want a good recommendation to be made. Therefore, you must work hard and be professional. Having a complimentary letter of recommendation can help you land a job after college.
Step 4. Work on your social media skills
In many cases, the reviews generate readers through social networks, and use Facebook and Twitter, among others, to maintain positive public relations. Therefore, you should seek to gain experience working with social media while you are still in college, as this will pay off later as something you can include on your resume after graduation.
- Look for internships that are related to social media. A great way to bolster your resume is by working as a social media intern for a local magazine or newspaper.
- You could volunteer to manage social media for a college club. For example, you could run the Twitter page of the college literary magazine on a voluntary basis.
Step 5. Look for leadership positions
As an editor, you will have the responsibility of managing other people, so it is recommended that you seek leadership positions and take as many of them as possible while you are in college. This will pay off later.
- You could volunteer to be the managing editor of poetry for a college literary magazine or run to be the president of a student-run school newspaper.
- You can also look for internships that give you leadership experience. For example, you could take one where you help manage volunteers for a local charity.
Step 6. Determine if you will earn a master's degree upon completion of college
When you get out of college, you could find out about higher education. In many cases, managing editors have master's degrees in areas such as journalism. Obtaining a higher education has benefits and drawbacks, so you should think carefully about whether you want to pursue another academic degree after graduation.
- For some businesses, you may not need a journalism degree. For example, if you dream of being the editor of a fashion magazine, you don't really need a degree in Journalism. However, if you are pointing to a literary magazine, it might be useful to have a master's degree in Language, for example.
- Keep in mind that employers typically look first to experience, so you may be better off entering the workforce and striving for as much experience as possible. You could also go into debt with a master's degree and this could lead to financial problems later on.
Part 3 of 3: Getting into the business
Step 1. Write a good resume
When you are ready to join the workforce, you need to create a good resume. If yours is clear and concise and includes all of your relevant experience, this could help you get a call for an interview.
- The format must be kept consistent. Use bold headings to break up sections, such as "Education," "Work Experience," and "Professional Skills." Also, the font you use should be legible (for example, Arial or Times New Roman), rather than use something that might not be easy to read.
- You must choose well what you are going to include in your resume, since it should not cover all your work experience. Instead, stick to the one that's relevant to the job you're applying for. For example, internships and work you've done for the college newspaper are important, whereas a part-time job you had at a coffee shop over the summer is probably not the case.
- Your most relevant experience should be "above the fold," which means that if you were to fold your resume in half, the most important experience should be above this fold.
Step 2. Ask your old contacts for information about jobs
One of the best ways to get a job is by making connections. Therefore, when you start searching, you should reconnect with your old contacts. For example, talk to your supervisors at internships, ask your professors if they have any information about a job, or send emails to students you've worked with professionally during college. If you already have a connection to the magazine, they will be more likely to call you for an interview.
Step 3. Practice good interview skills
When they start calling you for interviews, you'll need to impress your hiring managers, so be careful to brush up on good interview skills. This will give you a better chance of landing a job.
- Research the magazine beforehand. Read about the hiring manager, editor, and staff, as well as the magazine's goals and mission statement, and read one of its issues as well.
- Be careful to dress professionally. You should find out what the dress policy is online so that you can plan your outfit accordingly. However, be careful to dress smartly, as it is always better to overdo it than not try hard enough. Also, do not wear jewelry or accessories excessively and make sure that all your clothes are clean.
- Exhibit confidence in your body language. You should sit up straight, make eye contact, and nod as the interviewer speaks. Then, at the end of the interview, you should always ask questions. Opt for open-ended questions (for example, "What is your company culture like?"), As they are a better alternative to questions about logistics (for example, "When will you let me know about your decision?"). You must show a genuine interest in the company.
Step 4. Work for a few years as a writer
For the most part, editors start out as staff writers at magazines. You will have to dedicate yourself for several years to cover the articles that are assigned to you. If you work hard as a writer, you could be promoted to an editor position in the space of a few years.
- You must always produce excellent work. Do your best, even if you don't love an item. In this way, you will demonstrate dedication and work ethic. You should also carefully review your articles for typos and grammar errors.
- Strive to meet deadlines. Always deliver your items on time to give the impression of being well organized and working hard.
Step 5. Look for a position as an editorial assistant
After working as a writer for several years, you can look to land a position as an editorial assistant. In this way, you will gain the necessary experience to become an editor later. You could apply for a position within the magazine you work for or apply for positions in other magazines.
- You should take your job as an editor seriously in the same way as your job as a writer. If you can impress your boss, you can set yourself apart the moment the magazine looks for a new editor, or you can get a good recommendation for when you apply for editor positions elsewhere.
- Don't forget that you may not immediately work for the magazine you want. Maybe you have to work in a genre other than the one you have chosen or something that you are not passionate about. While this can frustrate you, you should remember that many of the skills you will acquire can carry over to other jobs, so you can still apply for a position as managing editor in the magazine of your choice in the future.
Step 6. Get promoted to an editor position
Once you've worked as an assistant editor for a few years, you can start applying for editor positions. In this case, it is recommended that you apply to the magazine of your dreams, as this may be a long-term position.
- Be patient. It can be difficult to get a job as an editor at a magazine, especially one that is popular, and you will be rejected many times along the way.
- Be sure to submit job applications, as you may have to go through dozens of interviews before landing the right job.
Step 7. Be an excellent editor throughout your career
Being an editor takes a lot of additional commitment, as you will have to supervise many different writers, both internal and freelance, and make decisions regarding the content of the magazine and its overall direction. However, a position as an editor can be as rewarding as it is hectic if you are passionate about your job.
- Stay well organized. Because you will be handling payroll writers and freelance writers as well, you need to keep track of all deadlines. You may also need to read the articles to review basic grammar, as well as verify information, among other things.
- Keep the magazine developing over time. In your capacity as editor, you will be responsible for the creative direction of the magazine, so you must ensure that you remain creative and generate new ideas regarding content, series, headlines, etc. Always think of new and creative ways to engage your readers.
- Take advantage of every opportunity to network and join groups of journalists or writers.
- You might find it helpful to attend a writers conference to network.
- When looking for an internship or job after college, you can check with your college's job placement service (if applicable), as these services are often free.