With growing competitiveness across the UK for fashion and magazine experience, we speak to the Founder and Editor of ‘Dolly Glitter’ and ‘Newcastle Sparkles’, Alexis Forsyth, about her experiences on work placements and the tips she would give to others:
TIP 1: Choosing Wisely
You may be a very talented writer or blogger, but your realistic options are more close by. So apply to the local paper, local magazines or online publications. Do a bit of research into what’s near to you and aim there and it’s possible that you are more than likely to be successful.
TIP 2: Writing a good CV
A journalist’s life is mainly built through email, so think outside the box and send a letter, it shows a somewhat personal touch and it will be a reminder to the editor’s. Be polite and personable but direct, explain why you would like to work with them, what you can contribute, why you want to be a journalist, what has inspired you and what experience you have (if you have any). Give them a reason to include you!
Your CV should be no more than two pages, detailing significant qualifications and experience. If you are yet to gain any experience, show that you are committed to the job already, such as writing your own blog or creating YouTube videos and these can be on anything that you believe would interest others.
TIP 3: Online Presence
Having an online portfolio is a must. An editor or future employer will want to see proof that you are a serious person if they are going to give you a chance and having a blog is one of the easiest ways to see this. It doesn’t mean your work needs to be absolutely brilliant stories or celebrity interviews, but it shouldn’t be a diary based blog either. Talk about your interests, hobbies, opinions, and ask for as much feedback as possible and answer questions to show your interaction.
TIP 4: Have a clean online presence
Facebook is simply made private, however, Twitter is a public profile. This can be easily be forgotten but while entering the world of work your Twitter history is a record of your online presence and behaviour. So if need be, start a new one if you feel like it is a necessity and then use this to connect with future employees or find interesting and local contacts who are possibly able to help you. The majority of Twitter users will interact and give advice if they have the time.
TIP 5: Using your contacts
It’s not embarrassing or shameful in asking for help, particularly when you’re young and aspiring in something, so ask around! If you end up becoming a full-time journalist, your contacts will be everything and holding a good relationship with a someone at an organisation can hold everything into place. So ask anyone you can think of and they might know someone at your targeted area who can give the editor a nudge and help you on your way.
TIP 6: Be very persistent
Persistence is a must needed talent for a journalist – you’re not going to get any old story, work experience information or an interview if you ask once and then suddenly give up when you don’t receive a reply straight away or even at all. Be persistent and email them or ring them again until you receive a reply. However, understand they are busy so don’t be annoying.