How to Get Work Experience at a Magazine


Hey guys!

If you’ve spoken to me recently, you’ll be aware that I’ve been doing an internship at a magazine for teenage girls (something that rare these days). It’s not my first work experience at a magazine – I’ve previously worked at Student & Graduate Publishing, Woman & Home, Olive and Essentials.

My dream is to write and travel the world, and doing work experience will hopefully bring me one step closer to achieving it. I’m sure that a lot of you are writers too, and would love to assist at a magazine. Unfortunately, there are so few places available for the thousands of candidates who want to work in journalism, but hopefully the following tips should help:


1. Apply to smaller magazines

We all dream of working at Vogue or Glamour,ย but the competition is intense andย it’s not actually as glamorous as it appears on The Devil Wears Prada.ย Try searching for smaller, independent magazines that other people might not be so aware of. People always say that it’s better to start at a local paper and work your way up if you want to be a newspaper journalist; so if magazines are more your type of thing, look for student publications and start-ups, as well as supermarket magazines. Oh, and if you’ve somehow managed to run out of magazines to apply for, don’t be afraid to apply to the same places again – maybe they just didn’t have any spaces at the time.


2. Apply early

While I did leave applying to magazines until late March / April in my second and third years of uni and managed to secure work experience, I wouldn’t recommend it. You’ll be more stressed, which you don’t want around exam / deadline time. I think the best time to apply is December / January, but big publications like Vogue and The Times are often booked up a year in advance. Other magazines seem to have vacancies all year round – I know Grazia, Heat, Kerrang and The Debrief advertise theirs on GoThinkBigย – so if you decide you want to relax / travel during the summer hols you won’t miss out.


3. Be creative with your CV and cover letter

…but don’t go overboard. Use your imagination and write as if you were writing an article. Add a link to your blog or some examples of articles you’ve written. Don’t try to be too clever with the wording in your cover letter as it might be taken the wrong way. Say why you love the magazine and what you can bring to the company.

It’s also useful to find out the contact name of the person who deals with work experience. This makes your application more personal and less like you’ve sent the same letter to hundreds of magazines (which can be tempting when you’re not really getting anywhere). If you’re applying to a print magazine, you can usually find the name of the person you should address your cover letter to on the Contributor’s List. It’s usually the Editorial Assistant / PA. You could always phone the mag if that’s any easier – and it’ll make you look more enthusiastic.


4. Write lots

It’s almost impossible to get any work in journalism if you don’t write during your free time. Set up a blog, sign up to Huffington Post, or join the student paper. Writing for nothing can seem like a chore but it’s the best way to start.



Hope this post is of some use! Let me know if you’ve ever done work experience – how did you find it?!



20 Comment

  1. I’ve done work experience at a hairdressers but that’s no where near as exciting as in with a magazine! Definitely start small and work your way to the top

    Tasha x

  2. Kayleigh Zara says: Reply

    This sounds amazing or never done work experience or anything like that but these are great tips x

  3. It’s always smart to start a bit smaller even though your dreams are bigger. You need to dip your feet into the water of the work world you want to get into so you know what to expect and get to build yourself up. This was a great read! (:

    Single Vegas Girl

  4. This is such a great post! I actually never thought about it but that’s a great idea! I mean, I love writing and I would love to make a living out of it! Working for a magazine could be amazing but just contributing from time to time would be okay to start with. Great post! xx Corinne

  5. lois says: Reply

    This is really useful content. I personally don’t see myself working for a magazine but have used my blog in my CV for marketing purposes which is what I’d like to potentially go into. I have also gone against one of your points. I have left it late but hopefully the ‘its never too late’ phrase works in my favour. Its great that you’ve got your experience!
    Lois x

  6. Great tips, Serena! You must be doing something right to have so many internships under your belt, go you! I’m sure that blogging gives you loads of relevant practice for work such as this! Go you!

    Abbey ๐Ÿ˜˜

    1. Serena says: Reply

      Thanks Abbey! Yes, blogging is really helpful!

  7. Sophie says: Reply

    What a great post for advice! It’s always important to remember what kind of companies will take you but also what you can offer. I hope this helps someone ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  8. I did loadsa worl experienece and loved it. It took me to some great places in the world like Croatia and Iceland. As you said my creative CV pretty much got me there! X
    Lola Mia /

  9. Elen says: Reply

    Definitely agree with starting small – everyone has to start somewhere! It’s so exciting that you’re doing work experience in an industry so close to your passions, congrats!
    Elen x

  10. Aqy says: Reply

    I would love to work for a magazine or get into journalism at the very least, however I do not have any relevant qualifications at the moment. Thank you for sharing these tips though, I would definitely look into them ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Terri says: Reply

    Some great tips! I’d love to work for a magazine, it’s great experience.

    Terri –

  12. Jess says: Reply

    This is soOo helpful!! I did some work experience with Heat magazine last year and ever since I’ve been looking out for more opportunities and applying to smaller mags is such a good tip. Some people seem scared to share their tips because they want to keep them to theirselves so thank you for sharing x

    1. Serena says: Reply

      That must’ve been fun! Thanks for stopping by! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I’m worried I’m too old to start! Well done for pushing and getting the experience ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Serena says: Reply

      Thanks! Ah no, I don’t think you’re ever too old for work experience, especially if you’re looking to change career!

  14. Such a great information post I’m sure this will help so many people! I did some work experience with a magazine a few years ago and I loved it. This post would have been so helpful at the time ๐Ÿ’–

  15. These are really great tips! I studied journalism for a bit and these would have been helpful! x

  16. Sarah says: Reply

    This is so helpful and insightful! I am interested in having a career as a journalist and it’s my dream to work at a beauty/lifestyle magazine ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Great insight and helpful tips! I have never gotten into a magazine industry related job, but it sounds interesting and exciting! For all my previous jobs, having a stand out cover letter and resume is essential!

Leave a Reply to Serena Cancel reply