What Today’s Editors Want

Do you think you have the stuff to work at today’s magazines?

FOLIO spoke with three magazine editors to ask what type of person they’re looking for in a hire, right now in 2011.

They’re not seeking the same things they were two years ago, and it’s safe to say that in another two or three years, their ideal candidate descriptions will have changed yet again.

But for now, today, at least, they’ve decided.

Peter Moore, editor of Men’s Health, seeks new hires that are “their own self-sufficient multi-media channel and general technological maven.” If Men’s Health is online, in social media, and on mobile and tablet—which they are— you’ll have to be involved in all those channels too.

Expertise is important, too: “We have a lot of people who can handle the “men’s” part of Men’s Health, but the “health” part is sometimes harder to fill. We have to have people who are familiar with reading scientific studies and know how to talk to PhDs and translate their lab tech language into something our readers will understand.”

And finally, you don’t need to have a journalism degree. “We keep an eye out for those English majors who have spread themselves around and gotten the experience. That’s sort of where I was when I came into the business, and you’re a little sympathetic with those who share your background.”

(There are a couple Men’s Health jobs posted on mediabistro.com’s board, though not currently any openings in editorial.

Over at b-to-b mag Progressive Grocer, editor in chief Meg Major says she seeks reporters with strong business reporting skills. “A lot of inquiries we get that pertain to our publication are, ‘Hey, I love to shop! And I love food! And that’s why I’d be a great candidate to consider when you’re hiring!’…Solid business reporting skills serve our needs the best.” (No jobs posted currently, but the mag is owned by Stagnito Media, so check out the corporate site and keep an eye out.)

And at Farm Journal Media, which produces content for five platforms, SVP Charlene Finck says she needs “multitalented professionals who work well together,” as content is often shared over those multiple platforms. She also looks for personality traits that haven’t really changed over the years: “a natural curiosity, a can-do attitude, a strong work ethic and unbending principles.”

Most of Finck’s hires come from “close connections to many top-level journalism programs” as well as the company’s internship program, rather than job ads. Though the company does have one job opening posted right now, so if you are multitalented and want to move to Iowa (where the world’s best corn is!), check it out.