Christene Barberich, Editorial Director, Refinery29
“Sometimes, graduates trying to break into the industry follow rigid guidelines. For me, formal, formulaic cover letters are the ones that I put to the side. It should give me an essence–a little wink–of the applicant’s personality. If I can tell that they have the confidence to express themselves, I’ll always take the time to read through it and respond.
And I’m super old school about spelling. I have an unusually spelled first name. If someone doesn’t spell my name correctly in an email, I’ll just delete it. If they really cared about connecting with me, they would spell my name correctly. There needs to be a sense of professionalism.
If you really care–if your dream is to work at a certain place–take the time to get to know their content, employees, etc. I remember when I was first applying for editorial positions, I would read several issues of the magazine closely. That way, I could make references to specific things I liked about it.”