How to Get an Excellent Editor Job

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There are a number of different types of editor publishing jobs including book editing, copy editing, magazine editing, online editing, and technical editing. Irrespective of the type of editor position you are looking for, most will require you to have completed a four-year college degree in English, journalism, communications, or equivalent area. Expertise in a particular subject area tends to be considered favorably. For example, if you are seeking an editing role in a model airplane magazine, it is a good idea to have an interest in model airplanes.

Within magazine and newspaper publications, there are different types of editors. Copy editors proofread and correct material for appropriate grammar, style, accuracy, and content. Assistant editors work in special interest areas such as fashion, sports, local news, international news, and feature editorials. Assistant editors are supervised by the relevant executive editors. This role is a valuable stepping stone in a magazine or newspaper editing career. Managing editors are responsible for the supervision of day-to-day departmental operations and functions. In smaller publications, an editor may fulfill all responsibilities.

Jobs at publishing companies are highly sought after and there is a lot of competition for them. It is, therefore, important to give yourself every competitive advantage. Not only do you need to have the requisite qualifications for a particular editing role, you also need to have suitable experience, knowledge, and skills. If you are still in college then you have an opportunity to gain valuable experience by working on your college newspaper or any college publication. You can also undertake editing internships during college vacations. If you have graduated college then you will need to find other ways to gain experience. Look for entry-level positions in publishing wherever you can find them. You may have to move to areas which have a demand for your skills and a lack of qualified applicants. Be prepared to do whatever is required to move your career forward.

The first step in your job search is to clearly identify the editing role you are seeking. Read some job descriptions and selection criteria for similar positions to determine if you have the skills, experience, and qualifications you are likely to need. Be prepared to fill in the gaps. When you have the qualifications and experience to be seriously considered for an editing position, you are ready to begin your job search.

Contact Publications Directly

There are more publications than you are likely to know of, but you can discover most of them by purchasing a list of publications of U.S. publishers, such as a Writer’s Market guide or similar listing. This will give you a range of publications to choose from categorized by type and topic. These days, most will have Web sites you can visit and check for U.S. publishing jobs. You can also contact them via their Web sites to enquire if they are likely to have a suitable editing role in the near future.

Online Job Sites

Editing jobs are commonly advertised on journalism and media job sites along with other publishing jobs, but there are also specialist job sites which only advertise editing roles. These sites can be an effective way to search for appropriate editing roles and you can find them by simply doing an Internet search. Large, generalist job sites are also excellent sources of potential editing jobs. You can browse their jobs by category or you can search by category, location, and salary. Generally, there is also an advanced-search option which allows you to search particular keywords. To make things even easier, you can usually request an email alert to let you know when a new job is advertised which fits your specifications. This can save a lot of time wading through job ads.


A lot of employers still advertise in the print media. This should not be too surprising since a lot of them are print publications. Buy your largest regional newspaper or city paper on the day they have the most employment ads and take the time to read through them carefully. When there are a lot of ads it can be easy to skim over something you should have noticed. So grab a cup of coffee and make the time to browse slowly. Not all employment ads are in the employment section, so do not forget to read the display advertisements in the main sections of the newspaper as well.

Recruitment Companies

There are specialist recruitment companies which only market U.S. publishing jobs. If you have any of these within easy distance, it could be worth your while to contact them. Make an appointment and discuss your background, experience, qualifications, and career goals. You may be lucky enough to talk to the right person at just the right time.

Create Your Own Job

The Internet has opened up new doors when it comes to publishing jobs including editing. You can easily set up a Web site and start your own editing service. You can advertise online services to anyone no matter where they are located and you can also market your services to local, face-to-face customers. If you do not possess Internet marketing skills, you can either hire an expert (often quite reasonably) or you can get up to speed yourself fairly easily. Jobs at publishing companies can be difficult to obtain, but working for yourself and gaining a solid reputation can be a backdoor into a traditional job if that is your ultimate goal. Most self-employed editors prefer to stay that way, however.

Despite the heavy competition for these jobs, there are more editing opportunities today than ever before. If you prepare carefully for a particular role and then approach your job search strategically, you will have an excellent chance of landing the job you want.
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