Monday, October 26, 2009

Looking for a fashion and beauty editor

... is not the easiest thing to do.

A ton of people think it's the job of their dreams. Then they start working and get buried under the grueling tasks: trawling all the shops for the perfect clothes and accessories, attending events, writing, overseeing photo shoots, meeting deadlines, balancing editorial integrity with advertisers' demands. Sure, sure, sounds like fun but they keep forgetting that behind all that glamour is backbreaking work and the need to meet standards of excellence both in writing, styling and performance. It's called work for a reason.

So I have had the unenviable task of breaking people's hearts when they apply for the job, their eyes shining with the vision of themselves as glamour girls, typing away prettily, dressed to the nines, clinking champagne glasses at society events. And I'm there to tell them, "I'm sorry but you can't write to save your life." And their eyes get all puzzled, "But I'm a writer!" And then I'll have to point out like a grammar teacher, "Well, you confuse 'you're' with 'your' and 'its' with 'it's', your spelling is horrific and your prepositions are misused." And I can tell that they're thinking, "What does grammar have to do with fashion and beauty?!"

Everything, my dear, especially if you plan to have the title "editor" in your position.

So now I'm looking for the perfect candidate for the job yet again. Maybe it's you or maybe you know someone. Here's the list of what I'm looking for. I need someone who:

1. can blow me away with her writing!
That means no spelling or grammar mistakes. Sadly, this seems to be the most difficult qualification to meet. Send me some unpublished writing samples (published articles have usually been edited by exasperated editors) or your blog URL--if I spot one writing error, then thank you for your interest but you simply are not qualified.

2. is highly creative.
The fashion and beauty pages are not only the revenue-making section of the magazine, they are also what readers look to for shopping inspiration. So I need someone who can make a neon pink boot look like the most amazing thing on earth, can describe lipstick a thousand different ways, and can come up with styling ideas and story features that make both readers and advertisers happy.

3. is hardworking.
That means you'll go to all the shops and malls looking for the perfect dress or shoe--yes, even if it means your feet will blister and your arms will fall off from carrying all the products. And when you realize that the clothes for a shoot are all wrinkled, you'll happily pull out that iron or steamer. So if you're allergic to hard work, don't bother.

4. is meticulous to the point of OCD.
As editor, you'll need to edit. So keep your eyes peeled for grammatical mistakes. You'll also have to check that these are correct: spelling of brand names, prices, addresses and phone numbers of shops. You'll also have to make sure the items borrowed don't get damaged or lost. Because if that Paul Smith dress loses a button, the P50,000 goes to your bill.

5. is a fantastic communicator.
Writers are great at communication, right? Not necessarily true. A lot of us are better with pen and paper but in a meeting or an event faced with an irate brand manager demanding for a lot, how do you deal? Do you start stuttering, crying? I need someone who is a public relations wiz! You'll be charming, diplomatic, even aggressive when needed. This means that parties are work and I strictly forbid drinking while on the job.

6. can meet deadlines.
You may be the best writer, the most creative, the most hardworking, most meticulous, most charming person on earth but if you can't meet the deadline, you're a liability.

That's all. I'm tough to work with but if you're good, I'm the best boss you can ever get. Just ask my people. They've been with me for nearly five years and we're a well oiled machine. Think you're the one? Send me your CV, writing and styling samples and a cover letter. The email is


  1. Hi Frances!

    I just read your comment - hahaha. I think we 'hear' ourselves differently than other people, but thanks for the compliment :)

    Good luck on finding your perfect editor. I used to work in fashion, and many women were always jealous of my job. All I can say is I'm glad I'm not working 10 hour days anymore!

  2. Oh wow, I'd love to apply. I may have number 1 okay, and I know I got number 4 (that was my job before in copy editing, LOL), but I'm a definite zero when it comes to beauty and fashion. I once asked why fashion must have a philosophy. Don't worry. My friends have practically murdered me for daring to ask such a question. And I understand why now. I think. :)

    Good luck with your hunt though. Having been in HR, I know how exasperating it is to look for someone qualified. And how frustrating it is to realize that our expectations of these applicants (and their own) fall short of what we need. Recruitment is a tricky thing. Best of luck. :D

  3. The biggest misconception people have about titles laden with 'beauty' and 'fashion' with them is that they are the easiest jobs out there. I've only been an online content editor for nearly two years but I gotta say that editing works, lalo na my own is tough [that's just online palang]! :( So goodluck with your search, Frances. And best of luck, too to all the applicants. :)

  4. Miranda P, is that you?
    Just kidding. LOL

    Good luck Frances.

  5. My, my... I've always been tempted to ask you if there were openings for any type of writer with Summit Media :) I guess I don't need to ask you now. But I've always been reluctant to approach you kasi PT ang degree ko.

    I pray that you have more patience during the pruning stage ate France!

  6. I know someone. She's also an editor for a local paper. I'm not sure, though, if people based in Cebu have a fly's chance of getting in. Do they?

    This is her url:

  7. I'm learning a lot from visiting your blog. Fashion, glam lifestyle and especially writing well! :) Goodluck finding the next Ok fashion and beauty ed. Which reminds me, I haven't seen the October issue.

  8. "I'm tough to work with but if you're good, I'm the best boss you can ever get." I was just telling somebody that a few emails ago :)

    And also, I'm the writer that I am because I was lucky to always have been seated next to grammatically proficient editors such as yourself. It's a long line of features/managing editors who've helped me with all those confusing prepositions and general grammar questions ;)

  9. I used to work for a PR company that handled the Comms. Dep. of a foreign corporation. You're right, there are a lot of misconception about writing/comms job. They think it's all glam & easy. Whew.

    Goodluck on the hunt, Frances =)

  10. Duni, ya, I love my job but even I was shocked at the work! I thought it would just be partying =P

    Maris, I love, love, love how you write! You're one of my favorite bloggers because you're one of the few whose writing is impeccable!

    Teeyah, ya, editing is tough. I'm not even very good at copy editing myself.

    Daphne! I've been called that twice. Obviously, both no longer work for me =P

    herroyalbleakness, there's always an opening in Summit. So many people resign, you see. Can't handle the load, I guess.

    Chin, if she's willing to fly out here for an interview and live here, why not, right?

    DC, you'll see the world one day, don't ya worry =)

    Tani, thanks!

    NYMinute, you're so silly! You are an amazing writer!!!

  11. Good luck, dear! It really is very hard to find an editor. So many times, I had to choose a lesser evil (among your requirements), and be patient enough to teach them what they were lacking. Some are too proud to admit that they need help :o That's the most horrific and stressful of all!
    I'll try to think of people who might be interested :)

  12. I wish I had read this uhm, ten years ago? :P Though I'm a big zero in the styling part and my writing's kinda rusty already. Good luck! Let's have a reality show, ala-"Stylista" or "Running in Heels"! Hehehe. :)

  13. Thank you, Neighbor! But the early years (almost a decade ago) weren't so stellar. My pieces back then were edited to the bones and rewritten. I can say I'm a product of persistence and perseverance: I studied every month by comparing the original files I turned in versus the edited versions on the glossy pages. 'To the point of OCD,' if you will ;)

    A lot of people don't realize that there is a science to magazine editing. It's a marvelous balance of words, work, and sparkly things. And all in all, I'm glad to have learned from the best :)


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