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AskSHE: 2018 Wrap Up

Welcome to the last few days of 2018, babes! I hope it has been a wonderful year for you. And if not, may I just encourage you to use the remaining few days to reflect, relax and get ready to try again in 2019.

This month’s column was a question free-for-all, so there’s no particular theme, just a 2018 wrap up! But I think all three will help prep you for the new year to come. Good luck out there, and happy holidays!

Q: How do you rock an interview that you’re applying “up” for?

A: This is a great question! And I can’t remember where I saw it, but there’s this quote I love: Always be interviewing. Always be interviewing The idea is that even if you’re happy where you’re at, it’s a great idea to practice interview skills and get a feel for other positions in your industry.

If you’re applying “up” for  a job, I might recommended a couple of things. First, in any line of work I think it’s important to know your own philosophy—how do you approach the job? What are your values and priorities? Make sure you have this defined for yourself. My philosophy as a social media manager is taking care of digital marketing so that artists and entrepreneurs have time to focus on their craft, and I try to help each client find their niche group online. Knowing this about yourself will help you answer big-picture interview questions and speak to how your philosophy aligns with the company’s (because I know you’ve read the “about” section on their website!).

Secondly, practice makes perfect! I know that once you’re far enough along in your career it can feel redundant or like a waste of time to practice interviewing, but I disagree. Interviews give us all the jitters, and practice will only help you remain calm throughout the process.

Lastly, be sure to brush up your resume if needed and print any hard copies you may need (if the interview is in person). Test drive Google Hangouts or Zoom if it’s a video chat, and generally make sure the little details that could go wrong or be forgotten day-of are handled ahead of time.

I would wish you good luck, but honestly, you got this!


Q: What’s the best way to read the news? With all the talk about mainstream media and all the news outlets, it’s hard to keep up.

making a habit of reading the news can be tough if it’s not been a part of your life before.

A: You know, making a habit of reading the news can be tough if it’s not been a part of your life before. There are tons of people who prefer not to, but I completely disagree—it’s crucial to know what’s going on in the world!

My favorite news publications include NPR; be sure to check out their “Up First” podcast, a short rundown of everything you need to know every weekday morning, and “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” That’s their famous news game show, which is pretty hilarious and makes keeping up with the world’s news a lot less stressful, because let’s be honest, it is stressful out there right now!

Another favorite of mine is the New York Time’s daily email newsletter; it’s a roundup of important international headlines, but also includes interesting articles, recipes and health topics.

Lastly, make sure you’re subscribed to any local newsletters you can. I loved reading the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, but of course now I read The Tennessean!


Q: I’m in the beauty industry and I want to start blogging and contributing guest posts to promote my brand. How in the world do I get started?

A: Great q! And an important one because it can be applied to any industry. If you’re trying to build your brand, may I suggest you become acquainted with the cold email pitch. become acquainted with the cold email pitch It will serve you well for many purposes for years to come!

Before you start emailing though, you need a target list. Which sites do you want to contribute to? Start compiling a list organized by “bigness.” Pitch a few small sites first, and if your idea is accepted and published, use that to start pitching larger sites. So maybe start with a small beauty blogger, then work your way up to pitching Marie Claire, or whatever site is your dream goal.

Now, the best way to contact websites and their owners is generally via email, unless stated otherwise on their page. Start with a simple but cheerful introduction, explain why you want to write for the site and what makes you qualified to write this particular post or story. Then end with a quick time frame (“I can turn this around by Monday!”) and thank the person for their time and attention.

I would also Google “pitching template” or something along those lines. You can find loads of pitch email examples for different industries online!

Have a question that you want to #askAbbyLee? Email us at with your question and first name and last initial and you could be featured in the next AskSHE column!

About the Author: Abby Lee Hood is a queer sci-fi/fantasy writer and full-time social media manager in Nashville, TN. She loves stories that make the hard days a little easier, whether it’s telling a joke while presenting a social media workshop, writing a short story or tweeting about a cause her client supports. Ask her about her love for Chicago and adopting senior dogs.


ICYMI: Find out answers to other burning Qs about the C-Suite, Voting, and College Life.

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