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Becoming a Magazine Editor

By Tiffany Provost

A magazine editor has a varied and interesting job – they get to assist in planning the layout and selecting the content of the magazine. Unlike the editors of a book, the magazine editor has been involved in providing the content of the magazine. They work their way through a lot of brief articles every week, ensuring that the writing style matches the magazine and its specialty, and they make sure there are no errors. Also, magazine editors have to make sure that magazine keeps the specific style that sets it apart from its competitors. This job obviously requires a serious approach, ability to work within deadlines and tremendous creativity. If you like the sound of this career, then become a magazine editor is as simple as following this guide.

Obtain your degree. You must have a high level of education prior to becoming a magazine editor. It is suggested that an English Literature degree from a university or a college diploma in the same area is acquired. Also, taking classes in writing, editing, journalism and art will give you a real advantage in pursuing a magazine editing career. Your education should include the language that goes along with magazine and editing jobs. Your ability to edit should also be keen, you should have well-honed language skills and recognize the elements of a good story.

Be passionate about magazines. Magazine editors have much more to give to their publications than just the ability to edit. They know how the magazine ought to look (that is, the layout such as front and back pages). They come with new story ideas, provide contributions in meetings as to what content will attract readers, and provide information to the target audience. If you eat, sleep and live magazines, you’re on your way to being a good magazine editor.

Become a member of at least one industry network. After graduating, you might want to connect with some writing trade organizations. In this way, you can stay on top of recent news articles about writing and editing jobs. In addition, it will remind you of any positions available on magazines. Your membership will give you more opportunities to find a job as a magazine editor.

Get some writing experience. Students just out of school don’t become magazine editors right away. To make a good career one has to spend some time writing small articles.

Before trying to become an editor of a magazine, begin as a journalist or story writer for a magazine. Work in newspapers and magazines in your area, to get the experience. You should consider beginning as a researcher for a magazine and assist writers and editors in writing and editing the stories they have written.

Search for employment. After going to college, then getting a job in the print media business, you are well on your way to being a magazine editor. Begin by responding to ads for jobs that you see in magazines, in newspapers and on the internet. You should also seek out job postings in industry periodicals. You may be able to get an interview from a magazine through your contacts. Have available at all interviews a recent, updated resume and a customized cover letter that highlights your desire to edit magazines and that lists your skills and why you should be hired. With some good luck, you will succeed in your quest to find a job as a magazine editor.

About the Author: Tiffany Provost writes about jobs and other career advice for


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