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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

Editorial Assistant cover letter example

Editorial assistants make the publishing world go round. What would you focus on when it comes to composing your cover letter? Now it’s time to write your own story.
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Editorial Assistant cover letter example
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Editorial assistants are some of the busiest people in the publishing world. However, when it comes to writing your own words for a cover letter, time suddenly slows down. When you spend so much time taking care of the writing and creativity of others, it may be difficult to find the right words. While you understand what constitutes great writing, it will likely take a moment to get into the creative frame of mind.

Many editorial assistants have a dizzying array of responsibilities, so make sure that you read the job description carefully when you come to write the cover letter. Which publishing career stories do you wish to tell? Focus on your accomplishments rather than your job duties. Your future boss wants to know how you shine.

If you have ambitions of future promotions, portray yourself as someone who is always keen to learn and do work that is over and above the job description. Demonstrate your love for the written word and craft a cover letter that chooses its words with care. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you will have a few ideas on how to make this happen.

As with any piece of writing, sit down and think about what you wish to write before you start typing. Words tend to stick to the page once they are there – you won’t want to be editing the cover letter for too long as you will have plenty of other things on your plate. Do your thinking before you begin. Our library of cover letter examples is filled with other examples that may help to spark some inspiration. In this writing guide and corresponding editorial assistant cover letter example, we cover:

  • Create a suitable format that frames your publishing career
  • How to select the right content for each cover letter section
  • How to write a cover letter with no editorial assistant experience
  • Mistakes to avoid. No, really, you cannot afford to make any.

Best format for an editorial assistant cover letter

Editorial assistants understand the importance of structured communication. Hiring managers from any industry will expect the format of a cover letter to follow certain rules. There is no reason for an editorial assistant to diverge from these norms – you will get the job because of the content of the cover letter rather than how it is presented. Don’t take any risks. The standard structure of a cover letter is as follows:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting/salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

300 words is not a lot for a career that contains hundreds of worthy stories. Think carefully about what your future boss wants to hear about and avoid the mundane stories that everyone else will be sharing. You need to sound like you go the extra mile in every situation.

There are other considerations apart from language. You will likely be an expert in fonts and typesetting, so you will feel at home reading some of the style advice in our comprehensive cover letter guide. There is more to writing a cover letter than the words. What size font would you choose? How big would your margins be? How would you design the cover letter header? Visuals matter when you come to read a piece of content.

Our editorial assistant cover letter may offer some inspiration.

Adaptable cover letter sample

Re: Editorial assistant role

 

Dear Mrs. Marchant,

 

Having collaborated on some of the best-selling sports autobiographies over the past four years, I believe that the role at Hamill will be well suited to me. My law degree is surprisingly useful when it comes to what can and can’t be said and I enjoy helping some of the most accomplished people on the planet get their most intimate thoughts into the world.

For my part, I ensure that everything runs like clockwork. I have honed a multitude of editorial skills, including project management, copyediting, proofreading, and fact-checking. I have often had to juggle multiple projects concurrently, ensuring that all tasks are completed on time. I pride myself on my communication skills. In my previous role, I was the primary point of contact for authors and contributors, which required me to address their queries, provide status updates, and relay their feedback to our team. 

I am comfortable using all publishing software applications and have overseen social media campaigns and website launches. I find SEO fascinating and enjoyed record search results in comparison to the other eight publishing areas.

I have a passion for literature and am writing my first fan-fiction book. This gives me an insight into the tortuous writing process and allows me to empathize with our authors when deadlines go flying by. Having said this, I always seek to find the most appropriate way to influence the project team to stick to deadlines as much as possible. We have books to sell.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet and find out more about the role. I met Harriet Jones at BookCon, and she encouraged me to apply.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lillian Dale

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Colorful editorial assistant
Colorful editorial assistant

Cover letter header

The cover letter header is more about practicality than visuals. Of course, the choice of design will have some sort of effect on the hiring manager, but it is best to keep it professional and somewhat neutral.

On the organizational side, it is vital to include your full name, email address, and mobile number. You never quite know when your future boss may decide to invite you to an interview, so include them here as well as in your cover letter.

As editorial assistants need to be thorough in their preparation of content and documents, it is advisable to be formal in what you include in your cover letter header. It is not common to include the “inside address” of the employer normally, but it is worth erring on the side of formality in publishing. You never know if your future boss is a stickler for the details. You do not, however, need to include your own full home address. There are data protection concerns here and it is not required.

Cover letter greeting 

Greet the reader with a standard “Dear Surname.” It is important to address the editorial assistant cover letter to a person (rather than the cold “who whom it may concern”) as it demonstrates the personal touch. 

The name of the hiring manager or HR representative should be on the job description. If it isn’t, then a quick call to the company should suffice. Show that you have the research skills to find out the name. If your fellow applicants do not take the time to do this that is to your advantage.

Cover letter introduction

The introduction of an editorial assistant cover letter should not be bland. Hiring managers do not want to read a long list of your job duties. Think about the most challenging parts of the job in question and share a story from your past which covers why you will be a great fit for the role. 

Share your motivations and passion for the publishing industry. The hours are long, and the workload is immense, so let your future boss know exactly why you show up for work every day. What keeps you going on those long evenings preparing manuscripts?

If you feel that it would be effective, it may be worthwhile to name-drop a specific client or project to get the hiring manager’s attention. Your credibility comes from those that have trusted you to work with them in the past, so don’t be shy.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Mrs. Marchant,

 

Having collaborated on some of the best-selling sports autobiographies over the past four years, I believe that the role at Hamill will be well suited to me. My law degree is surprisingly useful when it comes to what can and can’t be said and I enjoy helping some of the most accomplished people on the planet get their most intimate thoughts into the world.

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Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle part should be packed with your proudest career moments. Tell your future boss about that tricky copyright compliance case, wildly successful promotion campaign, or your bespoke approach to author relations. Every story should outline the positive impact on your employer. You don’t just do a job; you do a great job.

This is also where you share details of the authors that you have worked with and publications that you have assisted. Name-dropping matters. Prove that you have the ability to take on high-volume projects by sharing numbers about your activity wherever possible. How much reader engagement can you manage during the week? What were the results when you took over the social channels for a particular campaign? 

The middle part of the editorial assistant cover letter also offers the chance to share some personality. How do you go about your work with the various stakeholders? A resume doesn’t offer the space for such nuances, so mention it here to show that it is a priority for you. Maintaining productive relationships is central to everything that you do.

Take care to center your cover letter content around the demands of the job description. Each cover letter should be tailored for the specific role. You may be incredibly proud of certain aspects of your career, but if they are not relevant to the position, then leave them out. The purpose of a cover letter is to interest the hiring manager enough that they choose to invite you to an interview. That is the time to expand on what you want to tell them.

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

For my part, I ensure that everything runs like clockwork. I have honed a multitude of editorial skills, including project management, copyediting, proofreading, and fact-checking. I have often had to juggle multiple projects concurrently, ensuring that all tasks are completed on time. I pride myself on my communication skills. In my previous role, I was the primary point of contact for authors and contributors, which required me to address their queries, provide status updates, and relay their feedback to our team. 

I am comfortable using all publishing software applications and have overseen social media campaigns and website launches. I find SEO fascinating and enjoyed record search results in comparison to the other eight publishing areas.

I have a passion for literature and am writing my first fan-fiction book. This gives me an insight into the tortuous writing process and allows me to empathize with our authors when deadlines go flying by. Having said this, I always seek to find the most appropriate way to influence the project team to stick to deadlines as much as possible. We have books to sell.

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Expert tip

There is likely to be a large volume of applicants for any editorial assistant role, so it is worth considering the role of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in processing your application. 

This software is used as a database for employers, but it may also play a role in selecting the most suitable resumes by conducting a keyword search. This is far from always the case, but it does have this functionality. Include enough keywords from the job description just in case, but don’t fall into the trap of keyword stuffing. That will seem inauthentic.

 

How to close an editorial assistant cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

The conclusion of an editorial assistant cover letter should finish with a call-to-action and a sense that you are curious to find out more about the role. When you love your job, this sentiment is perfectly understandable and it is a great way of hinting to the hiring manager that they have a decision to make. They do not know whether you have other roles that you are considering, so it is perfectly acceptable to hint at a sense of urgency.

Write in hope rather than expectation. They will understand that you are coming from a place of passion for the role. Hopefully, they will be just as keen to meet you.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I would welcome the opportunity to meet and find out more about the role. I met Harriet Jones at BookCon, and she encouraged me to apply.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lillian Dale

Copied!

Editorial assistant cover letter with no experience

Editorial assistants with no prior experience can come from many non-publishing backgrounds. If you are successful at administration and marketing, it is the sort of role that you can learn on the job. You should be experienced at influencing others and highly organized, with ruthless prioritizing skills. When an urgent deadline drops onto your desk, everything else must wait (but it still needs to be done eventually).

Show that you have the ability to thrive within a pressurized environment – publishing is not for the faint-hearted. Tell your future boss why you want to enter the industry.

Basic mistakes in an editorial assistant application letter (and how to avoid them)

If you make a mistake in the cover letter, you can expect a dark cloud of doubt to linger over your application. Take your time when proofreading. One small mistake can make a publisher consider whether you would do the same during your job.

  • Spelling and grammar skills are essential for any editorial assistant. Be forensic about proofreading before you send off the cover letter.
  • Write about the specific role. Don’t copy/paste anything from another letter that sounds like you are applying somewhere else.
  • Don’t be too conversational. Adopting a professional tone is essential at all times during both written and oral communication.

Key takeaways

  1. Talk about your ability to handle the volume of work with enthusiasm and care.
  2. Make sure that you share accomplishments that are relevant.
  3. Tell the hiring manager why you want the role – motivation matters in this job.
  4. Select an attractive cover letter design with our cover letter templates.
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