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AKS in Portland, Oregon

94 months ago

I've applied for copywriting, am continually told the creative director wants heavy 'fashion writing' background and rejects anyone without that background. Yet, I keep seeing position postings, repeatedly, for both staff and contract.

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Senior Citizen in Atlanta, Georgia

94 months ago

I am afraid I do not follow your line of thought. Please advise if I have misunderstood, but it appears you are not understanding the relationship between the jobs offered and the backgrounds desired.

I am a technical writer and am quite aware of the vast difference between writing on different subject matters. A person who can write a wonderful novel may not be worth much if the job entails writing ad copy for a fashion mag - as example.

Likewise, the director may want staff and contract applicants to more or less ALL be from a fashion background. My particular expertise is electronics and I can and have written highly technical manuals and training materials in that field, but I would not have a clue when it came to writing, evaluating or even knowing how to handle fashion industry ad copy.

What little I know of that industry seems to be a case of having mostly visual copy with a few scintillating words of how extraordinary the design is and then the decision is made to go to press. It is all over in a few days. In my area, you write details and specifications and archive the information so anyone who works on or purchases the equipment can read up on information even years from now.

An analogy is that what your director wants is what is written on the side of a package that contains a new computer. What is written in the user's manual for that computer is formatted in a completely different way and by very different writers - or should be.

Would you be induced to buy a new dress if I wrote that it had four pounds of satin, 180 yards of stitching, 50 buttons that are 10mm in diameter and the dye formula's for the various colors is, etc? Oh and this dress is part number 023186745 revision -004b. :)

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AKS in Portland, Oregon

94 months ago

Ah, yes. I was not clear in my point. Sorry. I assumed all readers would know I was referring specifically to retail copywriters. What I meant -- and what was confusing to me when I applied -- is that perfectly qualified, competent copywriters, with proven apparel or retail and/or catalog writing experience seem to be dismissed because they do not come from "high fashion" publications or industries. After all, EB is NOT Vogue, and, my instincts would tell me it would be a big step down (or sideways, anyway) to have come from, say, a copy editor position with a NYC publication or Seventh Ave. office to churn out catalog or web copy for a more mainstream, casual and outdoor clothing outfitter as EB.

In short, WHY is it so necessary to be of the fashionistas to the point of not standing a flip-flop's chance on Everest at getting the job? And my remark about continuing to see postings for the same types of positions applied for, long after my own rejection, makes me wonder if they've ever found someone who fit the bill.

And, actually, yes, I would be intrigued to buy your technically endowed satin dress. As a creative copywriter sort, your clinical description is refreshingly sexy to me! : )

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Senior Citizen in Atlanta, Georgia

94 months ago

AKS in Portland, Oregon said:
And, actually, yes, I would be intrigued to buy your technically endowed satin dress. As a creative copywriter sort, your clinical description is refreshingly sexy to me! : )

You can find this exciting new dress in the new L.L.Been Fall catalog. It comes with matching accessories like a cell phone that clips on the sash and smashing, lace up, knee-high waterproof hunting boots for those dates that go from the opera to the fishing camp with no time to change! :)

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AKS in Portland, Oregon

94 months ago

Well, that's just funny! ...and you say you'd be lost for non-tech prose. Umm, though, I do spy a typo in your "copy block." I'ts L.L. Bean, not Been. That's just my eagle proofreader eyes. See, told you I'm qualified.

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Senior Citizen in Atlanta, Georgia

94 months ago

AKS in Portland, Oregon said: ...I'ts L.L. Bean, not Been. That's just my eagle proofreader eyes. See, told you I'm qualified.

Ah yes, but you see in your world, you are allowed to skim lightly over the cold hard facts where I am used to being extremely exact. If I write that a device uses only 2 watts of power, then it better not use 2.5 watts or it is false advertising. Likewise, using the actual company name spelled correctly, the copy constitutes a false advertisement for a dress that does not really exist. It was more efficient to purposely misspell the name than to write the disclaimer. :)

Perhaps we should co-author a book. I could describe the characters and scenes in excruciating detail and you could describe all the tawdry shenanigans they get up to.

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