I’m basically Kate Hudson. So if you could start thinking of me that way, that’d be great.
What’s that you say?
I’m not a bronze goddess who has legend Goldie Hawn as a mother and a step-dad who once saved this city (San Francisco) from crazy mystical men?
But seriously, she was an Editorial Assistant in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and I’m the Editorial Assistant here at AfterCollege. Not to mention the fact that if the “alright, alright, alright” man himself, Matthew McConaughey, were to ever meet me, he would have no choice but to fall in love with me…
Okay, but in all seriousness I am the Editorial Assistant here at AfterCollege. Though I am not writing articles that “force” me to capture the hearts of fit advertising executives with charming Southern drawls, it’s still pretty cool. And I get to use my Creative Writing major and write every single day.
So, for all you writers out there who are wondering what this type of writing job is like, I thought I’d share my experiences as the Editorial Assistant at AfterCollege.
What are the daily duties of the content marketing Editorial Assistant at AfterCollege?
I’m in charge of the Editorial Calendar for the job-seeker blog. Yes, that is the blog that you are currently reading. Atthisverymoment. Pretty crazy, right?
Being in charge of the Editorial Calendar means that I’m scheduling in blog posts and deciding which ones will be published on which days. It also means that I’m building a strong pipeline of content so that you have a new post to read, five days a week.
What goes into keeping up this steady stream of posts?
- Writing (my favorite part)
- Contacting people for interviews
- Conducting these interviews, transcribing them at the end, and then turning them into a comprehensive (and hopefully fun to read) blog post
- Reading other blog posts and articles
- Looking over Google Analytics to figure out what people are searching for and which types of posts readers want to read about more
- Checking what jobs students/recent grads on AfterCollege seem to be interested in and then researching and writing posts about these professions
I’m also in charge of our social media accounts. As an intern I only focused on a couple of our accounts, but now that I’ve transitioned to Editorial Assistant, I’ve taken over the management of them all. Muahahahaha.
So, after we publish a post, I write copy so that I can share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, and Pinterest. After I write this copy, I send it over to the Content Marketing Manager Melissa Suzuno for a quick edit before posting it out there for the entire world to see!
And before you start calling us out for our narcissism, you should know that I’m also constantly updating these accounts with content from sources other than AfterCollege. Yep, not only do I share the content we’re creating, but I also keep a lookout for anything that I think would help you with the job search or life in general as a twentysomething.
I also play on our Instagram account. Sometimes I’ll create content about the blog posts that we’ve published that day. Sometimes I’ll post a picture of a character from a movie, book, or television show and ask followers to come up with a career they might have if they were here in the real world today. It’s pretty fun and I get to use the hashtag #WhatCareerWouldTheyHave?
I also work as a second pair of eyes for Melissa when she has a post that will either be published on this blog or the Employer Blog. I’ll read over the drafts of posts that she sends to me and either give her a thumbs up [insert emoji image?] or make some comments and add suggestions.
I’m also in charge of putting the posts that I have written into the blog creation tool, WordPress. That means I’m:
- Transferring the text into WordPress
- Reformatting it within that setting
- Categorizing the post and adding tags so that it’s easy for you to find
- Choosing the SEO keywords and making sure everything matches up
Anything else that isn’t a daily duty?
Yes, actually. So the list above is a pretty good outline of what my day-to-day life consists of. But there are definitely other little jobs that come up every once in a while.
When a new scholarship announcement email goes out, Melissa and I are often enlisted to look over the copy and make edits and suggestions.
Also, sometimes we’ll have a fun idea for a new way to share content—like an ebook. So far we’ve published two. One that is all about front-end development and another in that is targeted toward twentysomething life in general (I’m so excited for you to see it. It’s AWESOME).
During the creation of these ebooks, we work with an incredible designer who takes the content we’ve written and transforms it into a totally rad little book.
Of course during that transformation, there are little things that get lost or mixed up. So, it’s up to us (Melissa and I) to go through each draft that of the book. We read through, make edits, and send them back until there are no more edits to be made and the book is ready to be shared!
What’s the best part of the job?
Without a doubt, my favorite part of the this job is getting a particularly juicy bit of inspiration and then having the ability to write about it.
Seriously, it just jazzes me up so much! I’m a coffee addict, but nothing wakes me up like realizing that I have some really useful or inspiring info to share. This can be a revolutionary job search technique or an unbelievable career journey.
When I know that I get to write about something like that, it’s incredible.
What’s the biggest challenge to this job?
I think the biggest challenge would be continuously finding inspiring career stories to write about.
Not that they’re not out there. Actually, I’ve never heard a career story that didn’t impress me and leave me with an urgent need to share that experience. I’m not kidding. Ask anyone about how they found their jobs, and you’ll be shocked by the bravery, ingenuity, and the strife that was involved.
But what’s difficult is meeting these people. It might not be as hard for other people (I don’t know what the normal population of this city is like) but for myself, making connections is tough. People are scary. I am shy. It’s a challenge to meet new people.
Also, even if I do get over myself and meet someone, I still have to convince them to let me do an interview. And it’s difficult to get people to respond—even after they’ve agreed to do an interview. Here’s what I’ve come to realize: It’s extra work for them. They may be interested in sharing but taking the time to send responses or talk on the phone is difficult for a lot of people. It’s not always a top priority.
I mean, some of my best friends can’t seem to find the time to answer my questions but they can make it to happy hour. It’s the way the world works. AND when I’m being completely honest with myself, I know I’m the same way.
I won’t answer.
Unless you’re inviting me for drinks in which case…
I’M SO THERE.
So, even though it can be frustrating to be virtually ignored, I try not to get upset and just continue to reach out to people. Even Katherine Schwarzenegger had a hard time getting people to respond to her emails. Still, that didn’t stop her from writing her book.
What advice do I have for students and recent graduates who are interested in becoming an Editorial Assistant?
First of all, try to get an internship. If you can’t get an internship, see if you can do some freelance work. And it doesn’t have to be anything particularly dignified. Does your aunt teach fifth grade but also make jewelry in her spare time? Cool. See if you can write some copy for her website. Help your dad proofread some documents. Just get some experience working with words in any way you can.
The second piece of advice I have is that when you do start applying for jobs, try to find a position writing about something you’re interested in. The majority of your day is going to be spent learning and writing about whatever topic your company is focused on.
Here’s something I actually beat Kate Hudson at. If you recall her character in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, she was feeling pretty unfulfilled at her editorial job because she wasn’t interested in what she was writing about. She wanted to write about politics rather than whether or not blondes really have more fun.
I, on the other hand, am truly concerned with students and recent graduates finding jobs they actually enjoy.
So take that, Kate!
Not that long ago I was a recent graduate who was having a really hard time figuring out what to do with my Creative Writing major. I was that person who was copying and pasting cover letters from templates I had found on the internet.
A creative writer using a generic letter template? DO YOU SEE HOW LOST I WAS?
That’s why I love what I’m doing. I want to help others not make the same mistakes that I did. So my advice for anyone looking for an editorial position is to search for positions that allow you to write about something you’re genuinely interested in.
Homework time! Think you might want to be an Editorial Assistant? See if you can help out with someone’s blog or proofreading the school’s paper. Start a personal blog. Promote your posts on social media. Look for jobs and internships in a field that interests you.