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Acing The Interview
It's no secret that there is a lot of competition for writing jobs.
What makes or breaks you in an interview is more of a mystery that some writers may try to unravel for years. After you've developed an impressive resume (see my previous feature "Finding Your Niche"
for more on that topic), consider some of the suggestions below from professionals in the industry, who tell us how a writer can "sell" themselves in an interview.
"I look for someone who presents themself professionally, shows confidence, motivation and creativity," says Margaret Daleman, director of a national non-profit organization. "I want to hear a writer tell me in their own words why they can the job better than anyone else..."
Credentials may look great on paper, but if you can't deliver the whole deal in person, your qualifications alone will not get you hired, says H. Stevens, a Public Relations professional, who's worked as an editor and manager for several East Coast colleges.
"Your 4.0 G.P.A. (yes it matters) and your letters of recommendation (yes they count for something) and your internships in the industry (yes they help) are not enough," Stevens says. "Those qualities do not automatically qualify you for a writing job. It takes a combination of credentials, creativity, confidence, the ability to sell yourself in the interview and sheer luck to land a job as a writer." Stevens says he needs to see something special when he meets you for the first time.
"Whether it's the ambitious look in your eyes or the "I'm ready for a challenge - I can tackle any assignment you throw my way" attitude or the way you present yourself as a serious, professional capable of delivering what I want when I need it..." Stevens explains. "You have the floor for about five minutes when I'm interviewing you," he adds. "Make yourself memorable. Give me a reason to want to call you back for a second interview."
Daleman offers a few other tips: "Know what writers do within my company - know what I'm looking for," she says. "Know as much as you can about my company - do your research on us and the industry in general. Know what your answers will be to the questions I may throw at you in an interview - prepare yourself."
Resource Box - © Danielle Hollister (2004) is the Publisher of BellaOnline Quotations Zine - A free newsletter for quote lovers featuring more than 10,000 quotations in dozens of categories like - love, friendship, children, inspiration, success, wisdom, family, life, and many more. Read it online at - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8364.asp
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