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You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

By Danielle Hollister
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005

There is no easy way to define exactly what editors, publishers, PR managers, non-profit directors, advertising executives, and other industry professionals want from writers.

There are no written guidelines, standard requirements, or official specifications that apply to writing jobs across the board...

Every employer has special expectations and each writing position demands different skills. In an attempt to gather helpful hints for writers seeking to land a job in one of the many career fields mentioned in my previous article Finding Your Niche at - (

I talked to some professionals, who have experience hiring writers and/or advising college students as they begin to look for work.

Creativity counts, according to a few sources.

"It begins with your resume, cover letter and/or clips," says T.S. Minns, a professor of Mass Communications, who has taught for more than 20 years at several colleges on the East Coast. "Originality makes a difference. The - less is more - concept that applies to writing in general - also applies to your resume and cover letter," Minns says.

"Editors don't have time, nor do they want to read lengthy letters full of extra words that fail to add to anything worthwhile or meaningful." Lisa Zeicher, a former managing editor for a few publications in the Pennsylvania area, agrees. "Choose your words carefully,"' Zeicher says. "Edit your resume and cover letter in the same way you edit your work. Eliminate unnecessary content. Make it concise and convincing."

Zeicher compares it to writing a news article with "a hook" - the ever important first graph - that should grab your reader and make her want to keep reading.

"You probably have a minute or two to capture an editor's attention," Zeicher says. "You must give your prospective employer a reason to continue scanning your cover letter and resume."

That is the first step, Minns says. "If you fail to accomplish that first step, you will never get to the second step - the interview itself,'' he says.

About the Author
© Danielle Hollister (2004) is the Publisher of the Free Ezine for Writers featuring news, reviews, and continuously updated links to the best resources for writers online like - freelancing & jobs, markets & publishers, literary agents, classes & contests, and more... Read it online at (


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