1. ResumeReelMontageWhen you prepare to copy your text clips, only put your story on the page. A hiring editor does not want to have to hunt for your work. And why would you want someone else’s writing competing against yours in a clip packet?
  2. Cut out the masthead and include it on the page with your story. That identifies the paper and pulls the reader into the piece. Be sure to include your headline and the jump. The jump will identify where it appeared in the paper, if it isn’t obvious. Try to put it all on one sheet.
  3. Don’t write notes or make corrections on the clip.
  4. Do not reduce the size to make it fit. Sad but true: Many hiring editors may have weak eyes (don’t tell them I said that.) If they have to strain to read the print, trust me, they won’t.
  5. Your clips must fit nicely on a 8-by-11½ or an 11-by-17 sheet that can be folded in half with your story on the outside. Do not use 8-by-14 paper. Do not submit tearsheets, cut-outs or awkward sizes. They look sloppy, don’t present well and become tattered or torn. If a hiring editor has to unfold a lot of paper to read your work, he won’t. He’s got too many other applications on his desk to bother.
  6. Make sure your clip can be read clearly. If the color ad on the other side of the newspaper clip bleeds through in the Xerox version, then place a piece of black construction paper behind the clip and make another copy.
  7. Include 10 clips in your packet, unless otherwise instructed. Put your best clips on top. If your weakest is on top, an editor may not read the rest. You don’t need to staple them all together. Put your cover letter and resume on top of the clip pile when you insert it into an 8 x 11 and 1/2 inch envelope to mail.
  8. If you are applying for a newspaper job, a clip should be a copy of a newspaper article, not a printout from a Web site–if it appeared in both platforms. Why? Because a copy from the newspaper will show the kind of play the story received, and not all Web stories make it into the paper. But if the story was Web-only, by all means copy that.
  9. For reporting jobs, include a variety of stories that demonstrate a range of reporting – spot news, trend stories, investigative pieces, profiles and soft features.
  10. If you are applying for a multimedia job through an online format, links or a page of links (on a personal Web portfolio) will most likely suffice. Slide shows, Web video stories and interactives such as quizzes and maps and Flash projects do not show well on flat paper. Be prepared to show a fluency with social media tools, for reporting and marketing of your stories and for audience interactions.
  11. Video and audio stories not published online may be burned onto a DVD.