On February 23rd and 24th, Cheryl Reed, visiting lecturer in English at UIC, hosted a workshop about how to find work in writing and editing careers. The event took place in the Writing Center conference room.

Professor Reed has so much experience in the fields of writing and editing, as she is a published author and editor, among other things. She shared that finding a job involves a lot of self-starting and reaching out, and that the web can open up a lot of opportunities. She also said that internships are great experiences to have and can potentially lead to jobs. Here are some of her helpful tips when applying for jobs and looking for internships:

Applying

It is important to have a tightly focused resume, and you should spend most of your time writing a creative cover letter.

What makes a creative cover letter?

Professor Reed shared that it is better to get to the point as quickly as possible and to cut out the cliches –you should focus on telling a story that makes you stand out rather than creating one that is corny and laughable. You have to be the best version of yourself in this cover letter. Also keep in mind that two things you’ll need when applying for jobs are references and letters of recommendation.

Internships

If you are able to get an internship, you should start forming good relationships with your supervisors and coworkers. Networking is important and beneficial when hunting for other internships and jobs.

It’s also a good idea to create your own jobs/internships; finding jobs to do on your own shows initiative and is impressive to your supervisors. For example, if a company’s webpage lacks editorial content, you could offer to help manage and produce content for them. You can negotiate the amount of time you are able to put into this position per week and work within that given time frame.

When you are interning, make sure that you ask about the employer’s dress code and understand your endgame. Take initiative, and try to go above and beyond your ordinary responsibilities. If you are able to keep all of this in mind, you will be able to have a great internship experience.

Professor Reed’s workshop was extremely informative, and it gave me the encouragement I needed to continue following my dreams.

-Tori Levine