The Art of Networking

Kennedy Coopwood, contributing writer for Ed at Indiana, gives you tips on how to network!

Everyone networks. Whether you realize it or not, even you network. Anytime you refer your friend to a specific hairdresser, ask your friend to put in a good word for you with a job or someone of interest, or when you take down someone’s number for more information, you network. Networking is the easiest most effective tool for you in your life and carrier. Don’t “know how to network”? Ed at Indiana has got you covered.

When it comes to networking, the most important thing to remember is to always take down the name. Establishing a connection with someone is easy for us, editors-in-training, as we understand the importance of making a lasting impression. Once you meet and greet and exchange the smiles, never hesitate to get contact information.

Stay in touch with your connections. Example: If you frequently visit the hardware store and the staff starts to recognize you, make sure you recognize them in return. This way, the next time you come in, you have people ready to assist you. You may even get new info on deals, references to other customers who actually specialize in the area of repair you are looking for, or even better, discounts! If that doesn’t get you excited about networking, I don’t know what will.

The best thing about networking is you don’t know how much anyone could be of use until you actually use them. When it comes to the corporate world, it’s pretty black and white. An executive producer of a film would be great to provide insight on production, a photographer would be great to talk to if you have an interest in the photo industry and a magazine editor would be a great source for enterprise journalism and the magazine business. These types of titles are references, but when you’re talking to an editor and they mention they used to be a dancer and still keeps in contact with people on Broadway, now you have a double reference!

It’s all about communication and relationship. Don’t be afraid to build a reputation for yourself. Networking leads to career building and development, and while you strive to become the best editor you can be, always remember, networking is the key.

Top 3 Writing Platforms for young journalists

Sierra Vandervort, contributing writer for Ed at Indiana, gives you a list of online writing platforms that you can write for.

As aspiring editors, we know how important experience is in this industry. People will fight tooth and nail for a good internship, and our resumes are constantly stacked with our latest pieces. But what we might not know is the sheer amount of different resume boosters right within your grasp.

Besides the IDS and INSIDE magazine, there are tons of online publications available for you to get your hands on. Send a resume and a quick hello to any (or all) of these top three platforms and you could be well on your way to a goldmine of experience.

1) Elite Daily:

As one of the top writing platforms for our generation, Elite Daily has been growing exponentially in popularity. With over 1.2 million followers, Elite Daily offers young journalists an audience bigger than our wildest dreams. They also make it super easy to work around a college kid’s schedule. As a contributing writer, you’re free to pitch and write articles at your convenience. Have a week full of exams? No problem, so you don’t publish for a couple weeks. Major dead week? Even better. You can submit three articles in a day. They’re not all guaranteed to get published, but if they do you can be sure your work will be seen by a lot of eyes, which is great for getting your name out there.

2) The Huffington Post:

Surprise! The Huffington Post has a blog. They invite young and experienced bloggers alike to join their team of esteemed wordsmiths. As one of the biggest names in publishing, working with HuffPo is a great way to further your career and get you noticed. Plus, you never who could be reading your work.

3) Thought Catalog:  

They’re the source of 50% of the articles you see on your Facebook feed, and they want writers like you. Thought Catalog is different in the sense that they don’t necessarily hire “contributing writers.” They take submissions from young writers and decide to publish based on content, opinion and relativity. That being said, many young writers have contributed dozens of articles in an attempt to get their name in ink. It’s a great first start if you’re more into feature ideas.

The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. We’re at the point in our lives where, arguably, no press is bad press. Get your name on a byline. It doesn’t matter if it’s at TeenVogue.com or Auto Universe. You’re a writer – so write.

 

Embracing the Voice and Personality of a Magazine

Kennedy Coopwood, contributing writer for Ed at Indiana, gives you tips for how to find the voice and personality of a magazine. 

With so many magazines out there in the world, how do you fit right with just one? What can you do to set you in good standings with that particular magazine and brand? How will you stand out among others who have the same drive and who may even write or edit better than you do? The answer: Target your writing to a specific magazine.                                                                                                  Your cover letters, your sample writings for the magazine, even the way you present yourself should reflect that you are perfect for the job. Embrace the magazine as yours. Here’s how you can do that…

  • Do your research.

Find out what the magazine stands for. Figure out why the magazine was created and why people read it. The voice of the magazine is what keeps people reading. Study the style. Look at how articles are developed and printed. Sit down, take some time out of your day, and read.
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How to Email an Editor

Kelsey Roadruck, contributing writer for Ed at Indiana, gives you all her tips on how to write a standout letter to the editor of your favorite mag!

There comes a very daunting time in an aspiring journalist’s time, and that time includes a shaky, clammy palm hovering above a mouse pad, eyes closing – no, squeezing – shut after rereading for the billionth time and finally clicking “send.” Letters to an editor can be overwhelmingly nerve-racking as you ponder detail-to-detail what you could revise, replace, and rewrite. Often times you end up scrapping the entire email and procrastinating on your career inquiry just one more day. If you couldn’t already tell, that one more day isn’t going to come on its own and land you that magazine editing job you want. However, Ed at Indiana has done some thorough research (from browsing WikiHow to asking editors themselves) to provide you the best email toolkit for a confident, and much less sweaty, “send”.

  1. Give the subject line a great deal of consideration. This is ultimately the first line of “copy” an editor will probably read of yours, and we all know first impressions are essentially either deal sealers or breakers. Though a catchy subject line is important to a point, conciseness and correct grammar will get you, and your email, even farther. A heavily hooked subject line may very well get an editor to open your email before others. However, if the subject line doesn’t match up with an email’s inquiring content or, worse, is an over-exaggeration of yourself or capabilities, then an editor may get frustrated and revert back to their inbox without a second glance. Note: If you have a solid reference, use this subject line to read “Referred to you by [reference’s name].”

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The Pros and Cons of Freelancing

As you relentlessly click through the many internship postings on Ed2010, you might also explore the freelance opportunities Ed so kindly lists for us aspiring magazine editors. In comparison to internships, freelancing can sound pretty foreign; however, after we’ve given you the 411, it may very well take hold of your resume. Here are the pros and cons of freelancing:

Pros
DIY Schedule: By taking on anywhere between one to a handful of freelance opportunities, a journalist is able to be their own boss. With freelancing, journalists have the choice of focusing on a single job or juggling multiple assignments at a time. And, unlike the majority of major city-based internships, freelancing is, more often than not, a remote position. Additionally, freelancing doesn’t require concrete office hours. A journalist can work in pajamas at the crack of dawn or in a cozy café late at night.

Write about what you want: Because a freelance journalist isn’t committed to a single publication, it becomes easier to avoid assignments that prompt yawns and limit creativity. Journalists are able to pick and choose freelance opportunities that sound most appealing to them. Good riddance boring beats.

Racking up skills: Just like internship and employment history, when it comes to resumes and portfolios, the more the merrier. A journalist’s resume is decorated with new, shiny skills and a vast variety of clips are added to a portfolio by either venturing from one freelance opportunity to another or multitasking freelance work. Employers will be impressed with a journalist’s ability to adjust to different audiences through style modifications and tone alterations.

Cons
Self-management and motivation: It’s easy to become discouraged with whispers of “Journalism is dead” and “Don’t you think it would be smart to double major in something beside journalism, like, oh, I don’t know, business?” filling our ears. This lack of motivation is usually refueled by an intriguing speaker series in EP220 or some encouraging feedback on your latest JOUR-J342 assignment. After stepping into the freelance sphere, motivation is difficult to find anywhere other than within ourselves. Self-management can get stressful and self-motivation can become exhausting, so it’s important to only take on as much work as your schedule and determination will realistically allow. Continue reading

IU Alum Matt Dollinger’s Advice for Aspiring Magazine Writers

Matt Dollinger
Major in college: Journalism (2010)
Current job title: Senior producer, SI.com (Sports Illustrated‘s website)

Ed: What is the best part about working for SI.com?
MD: The wealth of resources and the eclectic staff. SI brings together such a diverse group of people — legendary magazine writers, editors at the top of their trade, up-and-comers straight out of college — it’s really an incredible meeting of minds. What brings us all together are sports and writing. No matter the background, everyone here eats, sleeps and drinks sports. Needless to say, the office can be a pretty fun place to work.

Ed: What is the relationship between SI.com and the print publication?
MD: “Integration” has been a buzz word around SI for years. We’re trying to combine and gel the print and online sides as much as possible. The staffs are separate (we even work on different floors) — but we do share some writers and have weekly meetings. Rarely do we have situations where we step on each other’s toes. I think the two complement each other pretty well, but there’s plenty of room for improvement as anyone at SI would tell you.

Ed: What career path did you take after moving to NYC that led you to your current gig?
MD: I was a two-time intern at SI Kids during my days at IU, so I had my foot in the door at the SI offices. Two weeks before graduating, I was offered a part-time job by SI.com to work in their Atlanta office, which runs the site during nights and weekends. I worked three years in Atlanta, covering just about every sport and contributing in every which way possible. But I always had my an affinity for the NBA. I pitched in wherever I could. When I was transferred to the New York office, my NBA allegiance was already known. I had been writing the Power Rankings for SI for a year and when the NBA editor job opened up, I was lucky enough to be considered.

Ed: What’s the best piece of advice about the job/internship search that you’ve ever been given?
MD: Don’t be afraid to call in a favor. I’m sure professors and class speakers have given you the networking schpiel about 1,000x by now — but they aren’t lying. If you’re a reporter, you need to be more than a good writer, you need to have contacts and sources. That’s pretty much the case with any journalism job. You can be extremely talented, but if people don’t know you, it might take awhile to get recognized. Continue reading

The Inside Scoop on Regional Magazines

We know, we know. Your goal has been, and always will be, to take over for Anna Wintour (or at least be her trusty assistant). So, what happens when you land your big break but on a smaller scale, like at a regional magazine? It turns out there are numerous perks that result from working at a local publication! Kim Hannel, of Indianapolis Monthly, weighs in and explains what a regional magazine is really all about.

Proximity
Being close to the action allows for relevant stories and makes it easier to go on location and find the information needed. “Proximity and familiarity also mean that we are more likely to find the smaller, super-interesting story that a national magazine just wouldn’t have access to,” Hannel said.

Bigger isn’t always better
Although national magazine companies have larger staffs and consequently, more readily available resources, that’s not to say that regional magazines pale in comparison. Regional magazines have fewer employees, making the family more close-knit and way more home-y.

Silver Lining
No matter what city you end up in, you’ll find your way and make it your home. “The single greatest thing I’ve learned from being at Indianapolis Monthly is that Indianapolis is actually one of the best places in the country to live and work and raise a family. We have so many options and so many experiences and so many opportunities waiting to be discovered,” said Hannel, who’s been the managing editor since 2001. Continue reading