Recruitment at Christmas Time

recruitment

It’s that time of the year again. The first dates of the advent calendar have been pried open, the decorations have gone up, the streets of London are lit like a chandelier and, of course, Die Hard is on TV. But what does it mean work-wise?

Well, for a lot of offices, it means a short month as everyone closes up for the holidays. And where there are brief intervals, there are temporary contracts!

Already, the temps desk has had several short-term roles in that start immediately and run up to Christmas Eve. These vary from junior roles to more senior ones, with some contracts extending into the new year, depending on workload and performance.

A lot of people think Christmas is an unstable time to go job-hunting but here at Atwood Tate, we can attest to the fact that the search never stops. Some people like to wait it out, go into professional hibernation, so to speak, and check what the lay of the land is in the new year. How is anyone supposed to think about a new job when there’s Christmas shopping to do, family and friends to see, Star Wars films to watch in the cinema?

But we know from experience that some companies are looking to fill roles right up to the holidays and the industry is ripe with opportunities for the brave and the bold.

This very minute, we are reading applications, arranging interviews, sending congratulations, playing matchmaker between client and candidate like we always do. Christmas doesn’t need to be a quiet period, it can be the ladder to a very different year for you! So, if you’re looking for a change, drop us a line. John McClane was in the wrong place at the wrong time but if you’re smart, you could be in the right place at the right time!

To get in touch with the temps desk about possible temp work over Christmas call Kellie Millar on 02070347897 or Alison Redfearn on 02070347922!

Be sure to enter our Christmas Giveaway for a  chance to win a Stocking of Christmas Goodies!

If you have any questions regarding our temps team, temp jobs or other just get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.! We’re happy to help!

Merry Christmas!

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PPA Business Class: Tech and Data One Summary

PPA Business Class: Tech & Data one

PPA Business Class: Tech and Data One Summary

A week ago Friday, Kellie and I attended The Tech and Data One, an event put together by the PPA (Business Class). The event was held at M by Montcalm in the heart of London’s tech city.

The event was excellently executed with well thought-out content coupled with interesting debate. It was an opportunity to meet publishers and suppliers (to publishers) alike from Chief Technology Officers to Chief Data Officers, Strategists and Compliance Specialists (as well as top of their game consultants from the recruitment sector!).

  • Chaired by Chris Fosberry, CTO of Argus Media, the event kicked off with a panel discussion involving Mark Brincat, CTO of The Economist Group, Mike Fraser, CTO of Wilmington PLC and Jonny Kaldor, Co-Founder of the Kaldor Group covering the implementation of the right technology, the best strategy, skill-set and partnerships  in order to help the business grow and flourish.
  • Sean Hayes, Group head of Data from Incisive Media was next presenting Data, Data Everywhere which was all about getting the right data strategy for the business and utilising the best data so that the correct demographic knows your product and services, increasing the revenue stream.
  • Following this, and beautifully delivered by Duncan Smith, Director iCompli with a touch of clever humour, was an interesting piece on compliance regarding the use of data, where we are with it and where we’re going. Lookout for the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation!).
  • To conclude the presentations, Lee Atkinson, Enterprise Solutions Architect of AWS (Amazon Web Services) explained how new cloud architectures can benefit the publishing sector, by streamlining operations and increasing value whilst in a secure environment.

With the presentations over, we split into small groups for an informal workshop where we discussed and shared ideas of our technology experiences and best practices.

A great event and I would highly recommend the next one!

If you attended the event, or will be attending the next, let us know! Contact us via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

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Atwood Tate: Blogmas 2016

Blogmas

We don’t know about you but Christmas is our favourite time of year! It is a time of family, friends, food as well as giving, sharing and fun! Hence this year Atwood Tate are taking part in Blogmas!

For anyone unaware of ‘Blogmas’, it is the term created by bloggers who attempt to blog daily over the month of December! Now we’re not sure how feasible blogging everyday would be for a working business such as ourselves…so we are taking part in our own form of Blogmas!

From the 1st of December until the 23rd, when our offices close shop for the holidays, we will be doing lots of Christmassy, fun things tying back to Publishing!

We will be running weekly competitions, quizzes, Q&As and more!

To see a full run-down of what we have planned see our Events Calendar! Or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for daily graphics and tweets about our exciting events!

Blogmas: Giveaway

But the biggest thing we’re doing – starting from today – is running a Christmas Giveaway! It is open from the 1st until the 16th of December (Christmas Jumper Day!) and involves a large prize of Stocking Goodies!

The Prize includes: a free CV/Cover letter review, bookmarks, vouchers, gift sets and more!

We’ll be revealing more about the prizes as we go along! All you have to do to enter is complete the tasks in the Rafflecopter box below! Two are compulsory and the rest are voluntary – but the more you do the more likely you are to win the prize!

We’ll be running our Blogmas across all social media platforms, and each event will be individual to that platform so make sure you follow them all so you don’t miss out!

  • Instagram: Advent Calendar – Competition every Tuesday!
  • Facebook: Specially made Infographics about Publishing on Monday and Xmas Quiz/Competition on Friday!
  • Twitter: Q&A at 12:30-1:30pm every Wednesday about any Publishing related topic! Plus daily catch-up of blogs, news and jobs!
  • Blog: 3 blogs will be going up weekly! Monday, Wednesday & Friday! And our Giveaway will be hosted here!

Make sure you don’t miss out! Join in! Say hello! Let’s have some fun and spread some Christmas cheer this year!

Merry Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Break into Publishing: Networking

Breaking into publishing: Networking

Common Symptom #2: Networking

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Book

You’re at a fancy venue. You have a glass of wine in your hand, maybe some food or maybe only the fond memory of food at this point, you’ve been standing here so long, watching, waiting, trying to find an in, an opening, a shot – that’s right, you’re networking.

Networking in publishing can be a fairly daunting prospect, especially for young graduates. It’s difficult to be assertive when you don’t claim to be an expert on anything this early in your career. And if you’re quiet and retiring, you’re not exactly going to make a lasting impression. But it’s a worthwhile endeavour so it’s important to try.

As we’ve previously covered in our work experience blog, publishing is a saturated market so you will always have to run a little faster, climb a little higher, work just that little bit harder, to make any headway. It can be bitter pill to swallow but it comes back to how badly you want it.

The important thing to remember is that, believe it or not, networking in the publishing world can actually be quite fun! It’s a chance to mingle with like-minded people who know your struggle and are usually quite helpful in offering advice or tips. A memorable conversation can go a long way. What starts as an observation about the venue or your journey there can lead to suggestions and introductions you could not have come across in any online search you might try. Take a business card, take two! Take as many as you can until you have a winning hand. And if you have your own cards, even better.

Events

There are great events happening all the time, from Christmas parties to pub quizzes, hosted by a variety of societies and institutes, all of them masters at bringing people together for a night of fun and games while also creating an ideal space for networking.

And don’t worry, if networking doesn’t come naturally to you, remember that, like everything it gets easier the more you do it. You don’t need to own the room, you can be yourself and let your passion show through. Think of talking points in advance to help break the ice, familiarise yourself with publishers and who their authors are so you can show you know their company and what they’re about.

Next step? Sign up to newsletters, check out websites like the SYP, Bookseller, BookMachine, then pencil in some dates – who knows, it’s possible you could bump into one of our staff making the rounds and we might be just the person who can help you!

If you have a question in need of answering, about networking or other work experience related questions, let us know on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn!

 

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Charity Walking Challenge

Charity Walking Challenge Blog Header

A few weeks ago the Atwood Tate team took part in a walking challenge for charity! We attempted to walk 10,000 steps, or more, a day in order to raise money for Beanstalk.

Beanstalk is a national charity that gives one-to-one literacy support for children in primary schools. The money raised helps to send volunteers out to schools to spend between 30 minutes to two hours with a child, listening to them read and helping them to grow their confidence and develop their literacy skills.

Both the Atwood Tate London and Oxford office took part in this sponsored walking challenge aiming to walk over 10,000 steps a day in aid of Beanstalk.

Results of the Walking Challenge

Unfortunately not many of us succeeded, but we did all manage to take more steps than the average person:

  • On average a person walks between 3000 and 4000 steps a day
  • The Atwood Tate team, on average, walked 7788 steps a day!

Out of 12 participant’s only two consultants, Christina and David, managed to walk more than 10,000 steps a day, with Christina winning our overall competition to see who could do the most during the week.

walking-challenge-results-table

Walking Challenge results table

Some of us even carried the Walking Challenge on over the weekend and Karine trumped us all by walking over 50,000 steps in two days!

It was great fun! We all enjoyed ourselves and felt much fitter by the end of the week! But most importantly we raised £171 to give to Beanstalk!

Why not take part in a charity challenge yourself? For Beanstalk or for another charity of your choice.

Let us know what charity you would support, what you would do and what you think of our Walking Challenge on any of our social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

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Rave Technologies – Annual Publishing Conference 2016

Rave Technologies - Annual Publishing Conference 2016

On the 8th of November,  Karine and David, attended the Annual Publishing Conference 2016, hosted by Rave Technologies. David attended the morning and Karine the afternoon.

Speakers: Annual Publishing Conference

The Next 15 Years

David’s talk, amongst other things, was an interesting insight into the future of technologies and how this could benefit us or possibly hinder us.

He spoke about why some companies had failed in the last 15 years as they had not kept a breast with up to date technologies and why some had not because they had done! And the pattern would continue for the next 15 years if we all don’t get on board the rapid moving technological landscape.

Another point he raised is information/cyber security both in publishing (how there needs to be more awareness of it) and in our everyday life as the number of gadgets we use increase.

Implementing a Content Enrichment – The easy way, or the right way

Jason, Director, Platform Capabilities at Wiley gave guidance on how to implement a content enrichment strategy. The idea is to enrich digital content as to make it more valuable to the publisher.

This could include related article services to grouping together content so that it can be used for multiple purposes such as SEO and TDM services.

Going beyond Content is the Secret to your Success

Paul spoke about how to really know your customers through the enhancement of data and, by doing this, knowing what products your customers want (and will ultimately purchase!).

In a nutshell, this is done by analysing the digital footprint of your customer; what their purchase history looks like, their demographic etc. (the list is endless, these are just two examples), you then can tailor products, services and campaigns to they want.

What happens when you involve users in developing your products?

Sharon Cooper, Chief Digital Officer for the BMJ, gave an interesting talk on how their digital products need to be designed in line with user needs. But how do they know their individual user needs? What could be a good function for one may not be good for another.

Well, the conclusion to this, is to involve the actual users on their specific needs across the whole spectrum of the medical industry from student to GP and management. They are then able to get an idea of the requirements and build in the functionalities for the relevant level.

Secondly, hold a Design Sprint, where you take 5 people from different sectors of the business (sales, technology etc.) and take 5 days out to road map the product as follows:

Day 1: UNPACK

Share knowledge, common understanding of the design challenge and define metrics.

Day2: SKETCH

Generate ideas and variations, critique and weighted voting.

Day 3: DECIDE

Conflicts and assumptions, storyboard and plan prototype.

Day 4: PROTOTYPE

Build a realistic version of the storyboard.

Day 5: TEST

Validate with real users and determine how people understand your product.

Did you attend the Publishing Conference at Rave Technologies? If so let us know in a comment below or send us a message on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram!

 

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Creative CV Design: the do’s and don’ts.

Creative CV Design: the do's and don'ts

There is lots of advice out there on how to write a good CV for most roles in publishing, and one of the key things you are told is not to put images in and not to get too creative with your layout.

But what if you are designer and images and creative layout are what you do?

So here are some things to help when applying for book designer roles * (this will post mainly talk about roles in Trade book design, but the same hints/tips can be applicable for most sectors).

Before we get started:
Firstly, bear in mind that the CV, cover letter, and your portfolio, all need to work together. Let’s call this bundle “the application pack”. Whist most people will read a cover letter first, you cannot guarantee it won’t be the CV (or even the portfolio) that they start with. So make sure each part of your application pack gives the very best impression of you and your skills that they can.

Next, remember you are a designer. You profession is essentially about imparting information in a visually impactful way. The application pack are the first pieces of your work a potential employer will see. So make sure they are good!

One hiring manager I spoke to takes all the application packs submitted for a particular job, prints them out (in black and white) and spreads them over the meeting room table. All the team then walk around, picking up their favourites. The lesson to take from this? You have to be prepared for the application pack to be viewed in multiple ways – print, screen, colour, black and white… The way to go is A4 and portrait for the CV and cover letter. A4 and either portrait or landscape for the portfolio.

Creative CV Advice

Designers, a “creative CV” can be helpful. However, it can go horribly wrong if it is badly designed or illegible.

  1. Make sure the layout is clean and readable. It is quite common to have a one page CV as a designer, but if you need more room take the full two pages.
  2. Get some personality in there – don’t just use a stock template.
  3. At the same time, don’t go over the top. The CV has a fairly traditional format for a reason. If it doesn’t clearly show your past work experience, education, and relevant skills, then it isn’t doing its job.
  4. Put dates on your CV – dates of qualifications, education, and past employment.
  5. Include a link to your portfolio on the CV. Be prepared for the CV to get separated from the rest of the application pack and handed/emailed round the office. Make it easy for the person viewing just your CV to get to the relevant information about you.
  6. Detail what your responsibilities were in each role: if you were working on covers; did layout; worked with illustrated books, children’s or adults; if you were dealing with illustrators; if you were commissioning freelancers, managing staff, etc. It’s not all about your design skills, you also have other skills to show!
  7. If your CV is in PDF format (standard for designers) and you’ve put in a link to your portfolio, make sure that the link is clickable but also fully visible. Show the person viewing on a screen that you are aware of the possibilities of InDesign. Show the person viewing a print-out that you can design for multiple audiences.
  8. Lastly, (and to reiterate the first point) it needs to be readable! Showing your skills and your creativity is great, but most importantly we need to be able to see at a glance what your experience is. If it is too much of an effort to see what you’ve been up to, the recruiter/HR might give up quickly as they likely have a big pile of CVs to go through.

Portfolio Advice

As a designer, a portfolio is essential to show that you actually have the skills you said you have in the CV.

  1. We highly recommend you have a website version of your portfolio. You don’t have to pay for a personal domain, or for a very elaborate design – unless you want to! There are lots of free services out there – behance, Tumblr, WordPress, Deviantart to name just a few. At a minimum you need a place to display examples of your work. It also shows recruiters you have technical skills in digital software
  2. But you also need to have a curated PDF version of your portfolio ready to supply if asked for it (especially if the advert expressly wants this). This demonstrates your ability to select your work, and to present it in an orderly and beautifully designed way.
  3. Try to make sure this is a fairly small file size because quite a lot of companies limit the size of attachments that can be received. 4MB is a good guide size. It also shows you are capable of choosing the appropriate resolution and image size for your audience.
  4. Avoid dark backgrounds in your application pack – it is still very common to print out applications, and often only on a B&W printer. Dark backgrounds become unreadable really easily.
  5. TAILOR YOUR PORTFOLIO – applying for a print job? Make sure your book/magazine layouts are at the top. Web-design? Feature them first. And be aware of your audience – applying for a job at a children’s publisher? Don’t feature NSFW art!
  6. In the portfolio – both web and PDF – consider using headings (books, web design, product design, adverts) and providing a bit more description about each project (e.g., “I did the full layout for this book for a paying client” , or “This is a self-started cover design to practice” …)

Cover Letter Advice

We’ve talked about cover letters before on the blog and all of that advice still holds true for designer roles. Whilst your portfolio is your main selling tool for design jobs, don’t ignore the cover letter – especially in publishing, where words matter. Take the one A4 page to clearly demonstrate your suitable skills and why you want this particular job at this particular company (and don’t forget to include that link to your portfolio!)

Some general advice

(a.k.a what-not-to-dos from a recruiter who has looked at a lot of CVs from Designers of all levels in the last few months):

  1. Illustration is not book design. Whilst the two are related, and there is often overlap, the two are different skill sets. For example, your experience illustrating gift cards doesn’t necessarily mean you have what it takes to do interior layouts for text books. Know what you are applying for and what your relevant skills/experience are.
  2. And book design can be more than just cover design. You will often need to be able to do layouts, both text and visuals. If this is specified in the job description, make sure your portfolio (and CV) details any relevant experience you have.
  3. Don’t have printers/formatting marks on the edges of your CV/portfolio/cover letter. The first impression these give is that you cannot export a document from InDesign that is suitable for your audience.
  4. Don’t try and take over my screen with Full Screen mode in the PDF. It’s just rude. Most of us live with multiple windows open.
  5. Keep your website simple – see everything I’ve already said about making things easy and readable – (and please avoid Flash if you possibly can!)

And that is it from us. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please do add them in the comments.

If you have any questions we haven’t answered through our blog or website let us know through anyone of our social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

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PPA Business Class: The Tech and Data One

ppa-business-class-tech-and-data

You may remember that on the 21st October we attended the PPA Marketing Conference; well on the 18th November we will be attending the Tech and Data One!

For more information about the event click here!

Here’s a brief summary of the sessions you can attend on the day:

Sessions:

The Panel: Systems, Big Data And Making the Money
As a senior tech executive, how do you drive strategy and help business grow? What are the partnerships you can seek to create, and are there particular skill sets you can hire to help meet your objectives?

  • Creative Advertiser partnerships
  • Strategies for data-focused technologies
  • Investing in specialised staff and skills

Other sessions at the event include topics on:

  • Data
  • Compliance and Legality
  • Transformational Publishing
  • Suppliers: The Inside Track

Speakers Include:

Chris Fosberry, CTO, Argus Media
Mark Brincat, CTO, The Economist Group
Mike Fraser, CTO, Wilmington plc
Jonny Kaldor, CO-Found, Kaldor Group
Sean Hayes, Group Head of Data, Incisive Media
Duncan Smith, Director, iCompli
Lee Atkinson, AWS Enterprise Solutions Architect

We’re happy to be an official sponsor for this event, as we were for the last which you can read about here!

Two of our consultants, David Martin and Kellie Miller,  will be attending the event! David handles all of our IT and Data roles whilst Kellie is the Temps team manager. Please feel free to contact them via their emails, which can be found here, or via LinkedIn to request a meeting or to get in touch on the day.

Let us know if you’re attending the event on Twitter, Facebook and don’t forget to share any photos on Instagram!

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Equal Opportunity and Diversity in Publishing

 

equal-opportunities-and-diversity-1

Building Inclusivity in Publishing Event

On the 15th November our consultant Helen will be attending the Building Inclusivity in Publishing event, run by the Publishers Association and the London Book Fair.

The day-long conference will look at each component of the publishing industry and the representation of people in each area, from authors to consumers.

The day will encourage the attendees to re-evaluate their ideas of diversity and to see who the real audience are, by drawing on positive examples and personal experiences! By the end of the conference the attendees will know how to build inclusivity within the publishing industry!

As an Equal Opportunities company Atwood Tate are very keen on spreading the word on inclusivity throughout Publishing! Within our company we never discriminate against the candidates, clients or employees we work with, we encourage diversity in publishing! For more information on our Equal Opportunities and Diversity policy click here.

The Inclusivity conference will include panels and speakers from all areas of publishing, including authors, agents and booksellers. Here’s the Conference Programme.

Speakers Include:

  • Crystal Mahey-Morgan, founder, OWN IT! Publishing
  • Robyn Travis, author, Mama Can’t Raise No Man
  • Tim Hely Hutchinson, Group CEO, Hachette UK
  • Louise Clarke, Latimer Group
  • Diana Broccardo, Profile Books
  • Emad Ahmed, Creative Access and ex-News Statesman
  • Sunny Singh, academic and author, co-founder Jhalak Prize
  • Siena Parker, Penguin Random House
  • Jessica Kingsley, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • Jazzmine Breary, Jacaranda

And many others! For a full list of speakers see here! Conference Speakers.

The panels and case studies look fascinating and we can’t wait to hear the thoughts of everyone who attends!

Be sure to watch out in the days after the conference for a summary blog about the event and the level of inclusivity in publishing, and please say hello to Helen if you see her!

In the meantime we will be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to cover the conference! Let us know if you’re attending.

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Museum & Cultural Publishing: an evening with OPuS

 

opus-museum-and-cultural-publishing-event

Last Thursday, OPuS held an event to discuss Museum and Cultural Publishing. The speakers were Declan McCarthy (Ashmolean Museum), Samuel Fanous (The Bodleian Library) and Katie Bond (National Trust). John Hudson (Historic England) was the Chair.

The publishing and retail scene in museums, galleries and the heritage sector has been resilient during the recent unsettled years in publishing, and is a significant component of the wider cultural sector which is one of our national success stories. Within the sector, books are published on a variety of models – on a fully commercial basis or one of cost recovery, or in some cases conscious subsidy as part of a wider agenda. In this session, publishers from the National Trust, The Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum, all based locally, describe their business and the particular characteristics of the cultural publishing sector.

 

opus-logo

Things learnt:

  • Lots of cultural publishers are members of ACE: The Association of Cultural Enterprises
  • The Ashmolean publishing programme focuses on event catalogs, tied to the 3-5 exhibitions the museum holds each year. These differ from general trade books in that the sales are tied very strongly to the actual exhibition, and any sales beyond a show are a bonus.
  • For the Ashmolean, business is still very focused around producing beautiful, physical books. E-books, apps, and other digital forms do exist and are continually looked into, but at the moment they are not viable revenue generators.
  • Whilst the Bodleian has always published, the current publishing programme is still very new and has been grown gradually and carefully.
  • Public engagement is fundamental to the continued survival of cultural institution, and a publishing programme is a useful tool for this.
  • The Bodleian has several different approaches it takes when publishing titles: 1) doing a direct facsimile edition of an out-of-print book, 2) repackaging material in a new format, 3) publishing newly authored titles (that often use illustrations and source material from the collections), 4) gift-books to bring in a new audience of non-scholars.
  • The National Trust has over 200 shops – that is more nationally than Waterstones – and around 50% of their book revenues come from sales in those shops. The other 50% is primarily from sales in the UK trade. Like the Ashmolean, most of their sales are print, with digital and ebooks having more presence overseas.
  • Along with the annual Handbook that goes to all National Trust members, and the individual property guidebooks which are done in-house, they also publishing specialist books, illustrated narrative non-fiction, and children’s books. These are published in partnership with Nosy Crows, Pavilion, and Faber & Faber.
  • A book that sells well in the Trade does not (always) sell well in the gift-shops, and vice versa. Katie has learnt that the more a book is embedded in the organisation and ties back to their core message, the better it does.
  • The Children’s market is challenging, nostalgic, brand driven, infuriating, hard to break in to, but with massive talent, potential, and hugely rewarding.
  • As an editor you may come across challenges from elsewhere in your organisation about why you commissioned a particular title from a particular author. You need to know what you are publishing and why, and don’t be afraid to stick to your guns if it is important. That is the editors job!

All in all, it was a fascinating evening learning about a sector of the industry many of us are not aware of. The main lesson I learned was that publishing in the heritage sector requires a thorough understanding of the requirements of your market, a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of your source material (be that a museum, a library collection, or several hundred distinct properties around the country), a creative mind to see the new potential, and the willingness to take a risk on something that hasn’t been done before.

Let us know your thoughts on the event, on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn! Or tag us in your photos on Instagram!

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