Holly Hays, Redbook Entertainment Editor

Holly Hays with E-board

Holly Hays whipped out her red pen and started slashing. The Redbook entertainment editor dished out her inside tips on what magazine editors look for in cover letters and what makes the letters hit the trash bin after the first sentence.

Edsters looked at real cover letters as Hays weighed in on the good and the bad. Think of cover letters as “a mini-article about me,” she said. Show personality and grab the reader’s attention, but stay far away from flowery language. Show you know the magazine, but don’t suck up. Highlight experiences that relate to the job or internship you’re applying to. “Be bold and be yourself,” Hays told Edsters.

She flew straight from her NYC office to talk to Ed. After the job-hunt advice she talked about her take on working at Marie Claire and then Redbook. She offered Edsters some profile-writing tips to bring the subject to life – that’s golden advice from the lips of someone who’s captured Meg Ryan, Gerald Butler, and Matthew Broderick on paper. The reader should feel like “a fly on the wall,” she said.

Hays finished off answering Edsters’ questions, reminding the group one of the most important mag guidelines, whether pitching, applying, or writing, know the magazine.

–By Sarah DiGiulio

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