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lsdh182's avatar

People in publishing, what do you look for in colleagues?

Asked by lsdh182 (566 points ) July 11th, 2011

I’m entering my second year at University, to those who have answered questions or followed my activity from last year my first year has been a success and I’ve loved every minute.
However I feel there were something missing from my year and that was work. Good old fashioned work. I’m hoping to contact a fair few publishing houses in the district my University is based about some unpaid work experience.
My question to you publishing/editorial/writer/journalist types is how exactly can I put my best qualities across in just one letter to get something similar to an internship maybe, just some experience in the field. As you can tell from this question so far I have no idea where to start on writing this letter, I’ve been told a CV would suffice but I’m not happy with just submitting my experience in various charity shops and a bakery…somehow I feel I’ll be overlooked. I obviously have a huge passion for reading and writing and I want to express this properly. Have you or anyone you know received enquiries like mine? What type of person is likely to be taken on? How can I pinpoint my objective? Any help for writing this letter would be gratefully received.

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3 Answers

linguaphile's avatar

I worked in publishing for two years. You have a lot of questions here—the one I will answer is the title question.
When I worked in publishing, the thing I appreciated the most about others was the “figure out what needs to be done” skill. Publishing is not a field where you sit and wait to be told what to do—you have to look around you and be resourceful—you must be able to see what gaps need to be filled and be able to offer solutions for those gaps, then fill them.
I hope I’m making sense… :D

Bellatrix's avatar

In journalism, the ability to write publishable stories. Write stories and submit them for publication. Build a portfolio of published work. That will help when you approach an editor for work. Go and talk to your local newspaper, see you can do some work without pay. The more experience you can show, the more chance you have of obtaining paid work. Try community media organisations too. If you are doing work of this type, someone may even offer you a paid position.

lsdh182's avatar

Thank you for your responses, very helpful indeed. I feel much more confident about submitting these letters now!

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