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How much do you spend on clips?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 85bears, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. 85bears

    85bears Member

    I'm sure there have been dozens of threads like this, but just wondering, because it seems to get expensive ...

    I usually buy a binder, put photocopies of the stories (at 6 cents a page) in cover sheets (which are expensive), and put projects/enterprise stuff in a report cover separate from the rest of the clips.

    Then I ship it priority mail.

    It looks sharp, and keeps everything from falling all over the place out of the envelope, but it's starting to feel like that's way, way too much money to spend. Suggestions?
  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I get a two-pocket folder with the fold-up three-hole prongs in the center. I put my cover letter, resume, references in the prongs in the center. Writing clips in the right pocket, design clips in the left pocket. I print out a 3 1/2x5 sticker with my name on it and stick it to the front of the folder. Then I put the folder in a manilla envelope and mail it. Costs maybe three bucks for the whole thing, including mailing it.
  3. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    I email everything if possible.
    If not, I print out 8 1/2 by 11s, w/ my cover letter and resume on top, and send them Priority mail -- which they just bumped to $4.20. It's a bit extra, but when you have 20 manilla folders to every one priority mail, it stands out.
  4. 85bears

    85bears Member

    Paperclip the clips? My fear is that they'll just fly all over the place and annoy the prospective SE.
  5. joe

    joe Active Member

    Sounds like you're worrying too much about the wrong thing. Worry more about your cover letter and make it stand out, and it won't matter how you present your clips.
  6. 85bears

    85bears Member

    Oh, I agree. I think that's why I started the thread - feeling like I'm throwing money away when it really isn't necessary.
  7. Jersey_Guy

    Jersey_Guy Active Member

    Based on the 200+ applications for our last two open writing jobs at my place, I'd conclude that people generally do a lousy job on clips. The mistakes have included:

    -- Unreadable copies
    -- Copies with part of the clip cut off
    -- E-mail clips in formats our Mac-based system can't open
    -- CDs of clips that don't play.
    --- Whole papers without the clips highlighted, let alone cut out.

    My conclusion is well-presented clips are a real opportunity to set yourself apart. Will they get you the job? No, but if it's a close race, they really could help.

    And don't just e-mail clips unless that's what the job calls for. Why not? At least in part because they're harder to read than tradition clips and look flimsy and cheap when compared with well-prepared paper clips.

    It's fine to e-mail, but always follow up with real clips.
  8. Well, I am going to answer this from a designer's side, so take that for what it's worth. I suspect a writer can do things a bit more thriftily.

    For my last job hire (hi!) I produced:

    • An online resume with highlights and links to my portfolio. I still can't believe how cool this turned out - I write in the resume about a new feature and the text links to an image.

    • An 8.5x11 stack of design clips on paper, just using a paper clip. No fancy binder.
    This is where it got costly. I made PDFs of my clips, went to Kinko's and had them print high-quality proofs. Didn't help that my home printer died last month, but these clips looked sweet. And they should have - I spent something like $70 for plenty of copies.

    • A disk available - if requested - of everything. (Not requested. I think the printed clips are better in almost all situations.)

    I also suggest using priority mail for the envelope alone.
  9. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    in the wuides has it right.

    I haven't sent out clips in a while, but I never sent them out in a binder. Just seemed like it was trying too hard. Readability is huge, as is the cover letter, as joe pointed out. Print the cover letter and resume on nice resume paper and make sure your clips are tidy and readable.
  10. Pete

    Pete Well-Known Member

    One related suggestion that someone gave me years ago that I always followed was to include a one-page "explanation" of the clips.

    In numerical order of the clips, you list the headline, date and a one- or two-sentence description of the story ("This is a game story of the 2002 BCS title game that won such-and-such writing award"). I think it gives the editor a convenient cheat sheet to the clips before he/she even looks through them, by showing at a glance the mix of features, columns, gamers, what might be special about a given clip, how the clip might meet the job description, etc.
  11. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    It is best to seperate the clips? Or print out a PDF proof of the entire page, to give the SE/ME/whoever an idea of where the article was placed?

    I've had some success with each method, just wondering if there's a preference.
  12. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I struggle with clips on a constant basis. There are stories that I've never seen in print, which makes it difficult to make copies. I just cut and paste stories into text files and then make them into PDFs. To make them look nice, I add my own heds, which I disclose. I also add the publication name and date so that they can be verified. But I always wonder whether an editor wants to see it on the page. If that's the case, I don't have much to offer. I throw a lot of the stuff away and depend upon my own pre-editing copies and what I can find online.
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