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Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: Andy Montgomery

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You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for Mediabistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.
Today’s critique belongs to Andy Montgomery, whose profile begins:

trupb-thumb.jpgI know magazine design inside and out. I have 10 years of art direction experience with B2B magazines. I’m looking for publishers seeking to outsource their design/production. Magazine redesign, illustration, image editing…
Jane says…Congratulations Andy! You are the first Art Director who has requested a profile critique. Just because you are not an editor or writer, you’re not off the hook in how well your profile should be written. You need to rewrite your overview so you differentiate yourself from other designers and art directors. Have you managed staff? Are you hands-on in terms of the production process and working with vendors? Do you have a rolodex of vendors you can tap into (i.e., photographers, printers)? Have you managed photo shoots? I recommend a more thoughtful approach to your overview so that you capture someone’s attention. Finally, although it’s great to list your Web site as a “go-to” for your portfolio, I still think you should have some attached samples to your profile. Don’t make the potential hiring manager work too hard to see what you can do for him.

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Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: Stuart Ellison

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.

Today’s critique belongs to Stuart Ellison, whose profile begins:

trupetthumb.jpgI’m a well-traveled attorney-turned-writer-author with expertise in legal-medical issues, health, and history. My first first novel, Dear Mom, Dad & Ethel: World War II through the Eyes of a Radio Man, has been endorsed by noted historian Hans Trefousse, among others. Visit me on the web at http://www.momdadandethel.com
Jane opines,
I want you to stop and think about who is going to be reading this profile. Now go back and re-read what you have posted. Notice that the first fact you make about yourself is that you are a “well-traveled attorney…” This would be great if you were targeting law partners instead of Editors. I understand your reasoning for letting the reader know your legal background and I’m not negating its relevancy. But, the reader needs to know, first and foremost, that you are an accomplished writer. Once you’ve made that clear, then let them know you are a former attorney.
A few other suggestions for you.
* I’d put your Web address under the “Other” category as I don’t think it’s wise to ask someone to do any amount of work to find out more about you right upfront.
* Be careful with your punctuation. I see at least one comma missing in your opener. If grammar is not your forte, ask your Editor (I’m assuming you have one because you have a published book) to do you a favor and give it the once over before re-posting.
If you’d like your profile critiqued by Jane (and really, if you took the time to create one you should have the best one possible), drop a line to the Marketplace people.

Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: 9.30.05

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.
Today’s critique belongs to the lovely Andrea Thompson, whose profile begins:
dppgin.jpg A freelance and staff writer for Marie Claire, USA Today and Women’s Wear Daily, among other publications, the human interest piece is my first love. I’ve written articles on celebrities like Danny Glover, on young women suffering from diseases that typically afflict older people, on the disappearance and murder of a U.S. tourist in Spain, as well as fashion and entertainment stories. I’ve also been a television reporter and writer for CBS affiliate, WFOR-TV in Miami as well as producer and writer for Fox Television. I love the interview; delving into the lives of others and putting their words and experiences into stories that can help and/or entertain others. It is my passion (among other things). It’s no wonder I minored in psychology at Smith College.
Jane says,
Andrea, this critique is going to be short. Overall, I think you did a terrific job on your profile. I have a few suggestions. In your overview, you mention that you “love” to do human interest pieces and that you “love” the interview. It’s not that I don’t think enthusiasm is important. It is. But, I think you can make an even greater impact when you say that you are proven at doing the things that you “love.” My only other suggestion? You mention all these wonderful media outlets in your profile, yet you only show one clip and I have no idea where it ran. The title should say “Starving for her Art” – The New York Times, or wherever it ran. Attach more clips and make it clear where these clips have run before the reader has to open the document, not to mention, within the document itself.
If you’d like your profile critiqued by Jane (and really, if you took the time to create one you should have the best one possible), drop a line to the Marketplace people.

Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: 9.13.05

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.
Today’s critique belongs to Stephanie Hoover, whose profile begins:

dingding.jpgSpecializing in Pennsylvania Writing & Research Projects -
“Meeting editors’ deadlines since 1984″
- Pennsylvania history, business and government writer
- Professional Pennsylvania researcher
- Trained paralegal research specialist
- Expert searches of…
• court and government documents
• state archives, state library & state law library
• county archives
• historical newspapers
• historical & genealogical societies
• electronic databases
- Secondary emphasis on Maryland, Delaware and D.C.

Jane says,
In your profile, you focus on Pennsylvania and your region quite a bit. I wonder why you think this should be your emphasis. If you are looking to branch out, (which I am assuming you are as you are paying for a profile in this national forum), I think your overview should paint a better all around picture of who you are. It’s not that you specialize in “Pennsylvania writing and research,” as you put it, it’s that you specialize in writing and researching history, business and local politics. Illustrate that your work can transcend Pennsylvania.
When it comes to marketing, I like the idea of using concise bullets to get one’s point across. However, I don’t think this style works for a freelance profile. Go back to the drawing board with your overview and write a paragraph that describes your specialties, skills and most stellar accomplishments. Draw the reader in so that he or she wants to know more about you.
In terms of the rest of your profile, I’d limit the chatty nature throughout, streamlining your copy to be more professional.
If you’d like your profile critiqued by Jane (and really, if you took the time to create one you should have the best one possible), drop a line to the Marketplace people.

Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: 9.1.05

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.
Plus, there is a new feature with the Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week, where mediabistro editors offer their two cents as well. Twice the critique, same low price!
Today’s critique belongs to Jill Dudones, whose profile begins:

clairxpants.jpg I have been writing for advertising agencies, corporate marketing and public relations departments and independent clients for nearly ten years.
I’m a skilled writer. In addition to my vast experience, I understand writing as an academic. I have an MA in English, along with a BA in English (Writing/Journalism). I’ve studied grammar and linguistics in more depth than most people would enjoy. So when I write something for you, that comma is in the right place, and there’s no debating it.
My previous experience as an advertising account executive always proves an asset in identifying, meeting and exceeding a company’s needs.
Currently, I’m working on magazine article initiatives, an 800-page catalog, public relations initiatives, Web copy for multiple clients and my first novel titled Strings.

Jane says,
I’ve said this before and it looks like I’ll keep saying it as long as I’m writing these critiques. The last thing an Editor wants to hear about is a writer’s advertising and PR experience. It’s not that it can’t be in your profile, it’s just that it shouldn’t be the main focus of your profile.
Your second paragraph in the “Overview” begins, “I am a skilled writer.” Everybody in the Freelance Marketplace is a skilled writer (or at least they think they are). Use your profile to highlight all that is unique about yourself. Describe your specialty topics and grab the potential hiring manager’s attention.
Finally, in your overview, you’ve used some form of the word “I” a total of six times. It’s too much and doesn’t reflect the work of a strong writer. I think many of us spend too little time writing these profiles and end up showcasing sloppy writing. The reality is, your profile is the first writing sample you are actually showing someone. Take your time and rewrite your profile so that it appeals to your target reader and positions you as a leading choice among your competitors.
In the end, I think you may be better off putting your profile in the “Advertising/PR” category where you can get some copywriting gigs. In the meantime, try and get some editorial pieces published on the side. Good luck!
Some of the MB editors had some thoughts, too: “We also noticed that Jill hasn’t posted any work samples, and instead opted to link to her own website. This might be okay, if she’s believes that potential clients will bother to leave the mb site and visit her personal page; but once there we had problems viewing work samples
there, too. The links didn’t open anything.”
And my two cents is that if Jill is going to focus on copywriting and PR, I actually think her section under “other work history” is more descriptive and dynamic than the overview: “From Playboy to Kraft and everything in between–I’ve worked with a mélange of different clients. Whether they were financial institutions, refrigerator manufacturers, direct sales organizations or even a local hospital, I’ve understood and completed the mission. And, I’ve yielded results.” Potential clients I think would like to hear examples of where you have worked and what exactly you have done for them.
If you’d like your profile critiqued by Jane (and really, if you took the time to create one you should have the best one possible), drop a line to the Marketplace people.

Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: 8.12.05

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.
The critique of the week belongs to Susan Lennon, whose profile begins:

teeny.jpg Accomplished writer, strategic thinker; technologically adept; curious, reliable, savvy; expert interviewer; a team player; creative and fun with strong work ethic. Visit www.susanlennon.com for work samples and other info.
Jane’s thoughts:
Your profile needs a complete overhaul. Your “Personal Overview” is the first thing that a potential hiring manager reads. Let me ask you something. How do you think your “Overview” helps to differentiate you from your peers? Anyone can say what you have written here. Dig deeper to provide an overview that describes the topics you cover from an editorial perspective and lists some of the A-list magazines/papers in which your work has been published.
Don’t make the hiring manager do ANY work. He will not go to your Web site to see samples. Why should he when your peers (other freelancers at mediabistro) are providing samples attached to their profiles? Attach a diverse array of your work at the bottom. Entice the hiring manager to want to know more about you.
Finally, I find that the information you have provided about yourself in the “Other Work History” and the “Awards” sections are written in a sloppy manner. It looks like you put this together in a rush. Take your time and write clear, accurate statements. Remember, your profile is the first thing an Editor/hiring manager is going to see that reflects your ability to write and communicate a message. You need to get it right. Good luck.
If you’d like your profile critiqued by Jane (and really, if you took the time to create one you should have the best one possible), drop a line to the Marketplace people.

Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: 8.2.05

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.

The critique of the week belongs to Julian Smith, whose profile begins:
sdf-thumb.jpgI’m an award-winning writer, editor and photographer specializing in science and travel. I’m the author of four travel guidebooks, and in over a decade of work I’ve covered everything from bluegrass hoedowns to climate change on Mars for publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Outside, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.
My portfolio includes investigative pieces, profiles, personal essays and straight news reporting, and my work has been syndicated worldwide by The New York Times.
Two degrees in the sciences and a job histor ranging from editor of a peer-reviewed scientific journal to National Park ranger give me a background as varied as my books and articles.
I’m highly organized, professional and enthusiastic, and can cover just about any topic like it’s the most interesting thing in the world – because to me, at that moment, it is.

Jane says,

I admit, since I love to travel, and got engaged in the Galapagos Islands, I just had to give your profile a critique. I encourage you to revisit your “Overview.” Just like a resume, your profile should not use the “I” word. Try to redo it without using it.
I hate to tell you this, but I also found a typo and that definitely needs to be fixed (3rd paragraph from the top, there’s a “y” missing in the word “history.”) Make sure to carefully proofread everything you post in the Freelance Marketplace, as your profile is a direct reflection of how you tackle a writing task. Finally, under “Other,” you need to edit this down. My eyes completely glazed over here because you provide too much information. One line about each project will suffice. On a good note…you did a great job with your clips. Nice variation and plenty to look at. Good luck!

Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: 7.11.05

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.
The critique of the week belongs to Sarah Belk King, whose profile begins:

omb.jpg

Food, wine, travel, health, home design, collecting, and lifestyle have been my editorial focus for 25 years. I’m a writer and prop stylist and I also produce photo shoots. A Master’s degree in Art History and a culinary degree from L’Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris helped shape my future. After paying my New York dues, I lived in Virginia for 10 years and am now located in the Northern Rockies.


Jane says,

Sarah, it’s not that your profile is bad, I just feel that it’s not the best it could be. The “Professional Overview” is so very important drawing the reader in. It really needs to highlight your most salient sell points. The fact that you were nominated for a James Beard award for “Best Book of the Year” certainly puts you in a class above others. Get it up top. I am also a big believer in name dropping. Your work at Bon Appetit and other mainstream publications should also be listed in your summary.
I also think you should be consistent in your voice. Re-read the content you have in the “other” area. You state: “I reside in the Northern Rockies and am familiar with the locale. Let me be your eyes, ears and palate in the West!” I like this tone and suggest you build on it in your summary.
Finally, where are your clips? You need to have a well-rounded sampling of your work attached to your profile. Good luck…
If you’d like your profile critiqued by Jane (and really, if you took the time to create one you should have the best one possible), drop a line to the Marketplace people.

Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: 7.11.05

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.
The critique of the week belongs to Ben Delaney, whose profile starts with:

ooop.jpg Call me with your tough technology assignments. With over 200 magazine articles in print, mostly on technology and its impact, I am good at talking with engineers and translating jargon into plain English. I have addressed advanced visualization technologies, virtual reality, simulation, the impact of technology on society, medical technology, art and technology, the impact of the internet, terrorism, and many other topics. I know how to work on deadline and I know how to explain difficult concepts simply, but without condescending. I love challenges and am considered a very good researcher. Let’s talk.

Jane says,

Ben, your profile looks really good. Of course, I wouldn’t pick you if that’s ALL I had to say. So, here are a few suggestions. I think you should add something in your “Overview” that pertains to the fact that you have been interviewed as a technology expert by other media and that you have been a speaker at a multitude of prestigious tech events. Please use this information instead of: “I love challenges and am considered a very good researcher. Let’s talk.” Those last two lines look like they belong in a profile on Match.com. Let’s get something interesting and unique about you in here instead.
I’m not sure you should have “carpenter and motorcycle mechanic” in the “Technical Skills” area. Focus on the skills that matter in the world of journalism. Take out “all the usual stuff” under “Equipment,” as I’m not sure what that means. “Usual” for you may be very different then “usual” for me. If you want to keep some personality in your profile, I have to admit, I think what you put under “Foreign Language Skills” is hilarious. Good luck!
If you’d like your profile critiqued by Jane (and really, if you took the time to create one you should have the best one possible), drop a line to the Marketplace people.

Freelance Marketplace Critique of the Week: 7.1.05

You’ve posted your mini-bios at the MB Freelance Marketplace in hopes of snagging a great freelance – or full-time – gig. But, are you completely satisfied with your listing? Do you think you’ve described your accomplishments, specialties and skills in the best possible light? Let’s check in with our expert, Jane Ashen Turkewitz, the premiere resume writer for MediaBistro, in our weekly segment where a real Marketplace profile, just like yours, is critiqued to give its owner insight on how to make it even more effective. As a former media recruiter, Jane has reviewed thousands of resumes and has successfully placed candidates at Time Inc., Hearst, Hachette, Primedia and other major media companies. Turkewitz has written hundreds of resumes for writers, editors, publishers, sales executives, marketers, graphic designers, business managers, technology executives, public relations professionals and others.
The critique of the week belongs to Khadijah Britton, whose profile starts with:

bookb.jpgI have enjoyed a broad range of experience in publishing, healthcare, and digital media: starting an online healthcare magazine; writing screenplays, short stories, and magazine articles; editing and copy editing for magazines, novelists, nonfiction authors, and screenwriters; and writing the budgets, grant applications, and marketing copy for narrative and documentary projects ranging from $5,000-$1.5 million dollars. As producer of seven films, I have also developed and written festival, distribution and marketing strategies. I have nine years of experience in P.R., marketing, and outreach for entrepreneurs and non-profits. I am passionate about the art of writing but equally (and terrifyingly) passionate about spelling and grammar. Copy editing is my own personal meditation.
According to Jane,
I think the reason you are not getting any hits with your profile is because your profile is too general. You have a lot of skills and have done a lot of things in a short time but I’m not sure putting all of these things in an editorial profile is the way to go. For example, the fact that you work on marketing copy is probably something that can go. What to add? How ’bout more information about the topics you work on? Editors like to know this upfront. I also recommend getting the fact that you graduated from Harvard in your summary. Not too many people can say that and the whole point is to make yourself stand out among your competition. Finally, if you have clips, you should definitely attach them. Good luck…
If you’d like your profile critiqued by Jane (and really, if you took the time to create one you should have the best one possible), drop a line to the Marketplace people.

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