Author Archives: Claire Law

About Claire Law

Claire is the founding director of Atwood Tate. In her publishing life, Claire worked in Rights for Headline and Orion. She cut her recruitment teeth filling specialist publishing vacancies in London. After spending some time surfing in the West Country (who can blame her?), Claire realised she missed working with publishing people, and started Atwood Tate. With her trusted team, she has grown the business to offer a range of services including Freelance & Temp as well as Permanent and Contract recruitment for a wide range of publishers nationwide and internationally.

How to nail your video interview!

In recent years, telephone and video interviews have become increasingly common and in the challenging times we now live in, they are now a necessity. If it is your first time doing a video interview or you are worried you will not perform to the best of your abilities on screen, fear not! Here are some key tips for you to nail your video interview!

Prepare the equipment

We can never say it enough, preparation is key! In this case, it is not only preparing to answer the interviewer’s questions, but getting your equipment ready:

  • Familiarise yourself with the software used by the interviewer: whether it is Zoom, Teams, Google Hangout or Skype, make sure you know how it works
  • Test your equipment beforehand: are the video and sound both working (or do you know how to turn them on!)?
  • Check that your broadband speed is high enough
  • Do a test call with a friend or family member (or your recruiter!)

Dress smartly and tidy up your surroundings

This is an interview, so do approach it as you would a face-to-face meeting. If you don’t have a home-office/desk, prepare your surroundings to make sure they look professional:

  • Opt for a neutral background and make sure the lighting is suitable – not too bright or dim
  • Sit up straight, ideally at a desk/table (not slouching on the couch!) 
  • Test out your webcam in advance and get an image including most of your top half. This will allow interviewers to see any hand gestures and overall body language.
  • Dress professionally from head to toe (in case you have to stand up during the interview)

Try to eliminate possible interruptions

  • Unplug / turn off the ring on your landline and mobile
  • Close any doors and windows and make sure you won’t be interrupted by anyone else living with you
  • Put a note on the door (and front door) to say no interruptions, in a meeting

Prepare for the interview itself

  • As you would do for any other interview, do some extensive research on the company before your interview
  • Read the job description thoroughly and have some questions ready
  • Make a list of your achievements/examples to show the interviewers that you are the right person for the role
  • Have a copy of your CV and cover letter handy so you can refer to it during your interview
  • Make sure you have the email address and telephone number of your interviewer in case you need to reach them by another mean

During the interview

  • Do keep a glass of water next to you if you need a sip/take a pause during the interview
  • Don’t interrupt the interviewers or talk over them: this is true in a face-to-face meeting but even more so in a video interview where communication is slightly more tricky
  • Take your time: it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts
  • Have a notepad and a pen next to you in case you need to write down a question or take some notes
  • Answer the questions with strong examples but keep succinct, go to the point
  • Look at the camera, not yourself: this will give an appearance of eye contact – otherwise you’ll appear to be looking down
  • Try to relax and smile!

Technical problems

Things do sometimes go wrong, it happens, but do not panic!

  • Try to remain calm and calling again
  • If the problem can’t be fixed, suggest using a phone to speak while still using the camera or try a phone call instead
  • If you cannot hear/see the panel properly, do mention it straight away to the interviewers
  • Use this to show the panel that you can remain calm under pressure J

We hope this helps! If you have any more questions, do contact us on Twitter @AtwoodTate or by phone 0203 574 4420 /email info@atwoodtate.co.uk

You can find more advice about interviews on our website: interview preparation tips, how to impress at your interview and competency based interviews!

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Remote induction of a new member of staff during the lockdown?

Here are some tips on what to consider when inducting new staff now we’re all working remotely due to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid19). It’s vital to get new employees up to speed as quickly as possible so they can start to feel comfortable and confident in their new role. The main points of doing a remote induction will involve:

  1. Introducing employees to their new job and their main responsibilities
  2. What is expected of them and how their work will be assessed
  3. How they will carry out their duties and who/how they will be supported to do it

In advance of the 1st day ensure you have communicated regularly with your future employee to reassure them that their job is safe and inform them on how the remote induction is going to work. Make sure you have shared contact info so you can set up a Zoom/Skype/etc video call on the 1st day.

Things to include

  • Logistics for home working
    It’s a good idea to have a Work from home Policy or Checklist. This will ensure employees can work in a safe environment. Allow enough time to send any equipment (computer, phone, etc.)
  • Company history and Organisation structure
    Give an overview of the company history including strategy, culture and vision. Outline the structure and give the names of key people in the company.
  • Job role 
    Give a copy of the Job Description and Person Specification so it’s really clear what they will be doing. Explain how they fit into the department, any probation period and monitoring. The remote induction might imply doing more of certain duties whilst they are waiting to be trained in person on other tasks. Make sure the employee understands it is temporary.
  • Equipment / training
    Explain any new equipment / software to be used and outline how training can be done eg using a company intranet / online learning modules. Create a 3 or 6 month plan for them to follow.
  • Introducing them to colleagues / key staff
    Organise a group video call over lunch to introduce them to colleagues and people they’ll be working directly with.
    Assign them a work buddy they can liaise with to show them the ropes.
  • Company terms and benefits
    Give a copy of the employment contract and outline basics eg core hours, holiday allowance, pension, life assurance, pay dates, share company policies etc and any benefits eg gym memberships, social activities etc.

What not to do

  • Try not to overload on day 1 (or week 1)
  • Pitch the information you’re sharing at the right level for the role the person has been taken on to do
  • Make sure they get plenty of opportunity to ask questions and keep in regular contact

Revisit daily in the 1st week and have regular follow up meetings to ensure questions are answered clearly.

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Home Working Tips

Some of you may be used to working from home already but it’s very likely that the current situation will mean many more of us will be doing this from now on for some weeks.

If you’re used to working with a team in an office, working on your own at home can be a culture shock. It’s important to keep communicating with your colleagues and manager to ensure you feel engaged and motivated. Here are a few ideas and tips to help…

Checklist for companies / managers

  • Think about what equipment, software, access and logins your team may need to do their work remotely
  • Do a quick check on laptops, chargers, headsets, webcams etc to make sure they’re in working order before giving out
  • Ask your team to share their home/mobile contact numbers and circulate this list
  • Check your office can forward calls to another number and ideally turn the function off outside of work hours. Can people log in to check voicemails if left?
  • If people don’t have an unlimited phone package agree to cover expenses for usage
  • Keep a record of important stakeholder / supplier contacts and share with your team
  • Get everyone to access / download a video conference app like Zoom so you can have video meetings with each other and customers
  • Decide on an instant messenger eg Skype / LinkedIn etc so your team can communicate amongst themselves without clogging up emails
  • Agree guidelines on checking in to confirm you’re well and able to work that day / when plan on taking lunch / arrange cover for time off

For when working you’re at home

  • You’ll want to be as effective as possible, so make sure you have a clear workspace with suitable work surface and chair
  • Think about structuring your day – you might be able to start and finish earlier if not commuting
  • Try not to get distracted with household chores, factor in some break times and if possible take a proper break outside at lunchtime and get some fresh air, go for a walk etc
  • Communicate with your team on your movements and any successes / useful tips that have worked well for you
  • At the end of the day, make your to-do list for tomorrow and pack up the desk so you have clear free time separate from your working day  

Some useful links:

https://www.thebookseller.com/news/coronavirus-latest

https://www.theguardian.com/covid-19-could-cause-permanent-shift-towards-home-working

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/Coronavirus: What are your rights if working from home?

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Atwood Tate Update

We are all aware of the Coronavirus and how it is impacting us all on a global level. As a company, we are taking measures to ensure that we can continue running as usual under these difficult circumstances. We are fully cloud based, so our team now has the option to work from home and you will be able to contact us on our usual phone numbers and by email during normal working hours. We are holding meetings and candidate registrations by Skype or Zoom if not able to meet in person.

We are staying vigilant and keeping up-to-date with advice from the government, Public Health England (PHE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) and will be following all advice given.

We are confident that any further developments will have little effect on our day to day operations, including; Accepting new recruitment briefs (temporary, contract and permanent); Shortlisting and registering candidates; Organising interviews (potentially virtual); Managing offers; Payroll processing; General compliance.

We will do our best to keep all our stakeholders, including contractors and clients up to date with the latest government guidance in terms of recruitment and to support any queries you may have.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards

Claire Law, Managing Director

Useful links:

NHS:   https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

gov.uk website: Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice 

ACAS has released guidance for employers –  ACAS Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees that you can refer to.

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Post Brexit – Advice for employers and job seekers

Our industry body, the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) has a Brexit hub with helpful information for employers and job seekers.

The good news is that there will be no immediate change to:

  • Right to work checks
  • Immigration
  • GDPR Guide for candidates
  • Employment legislation based on European law e.g. holiday pay rights

Following the UK leaving the EU at 11pm on Friday 31 January 2020, the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and EU (Withdrawal) Act 2020 contain provisions that do not allow changes until the implementation period is complete. However, the UK will not be allowed to take part in EU institutions, governance structures and decisions etc. 

What is the implementation or transition period?

From 11pm on Friday 31 January 2020 to 11pm on 31 December 2020. During this time, the UK and the EU can negotiate on the new terms of their future relationship and until the transition ends, most things will stay the same including:

  • Freedom of movement (the right to live and work in the EU and vice versa)
  • UK-EU trade
  • Travelling to and from the EU 

Could there still be a no deal? 

Yes. The UK and EU reached an agreement for the UK to leave the EU but the future relationship is subject to negotiation between the UK and the other EU member states. There are currently 11 months left to reach an agreement so if no deal is agreed, contingency plans may have to be implemented. If so, the government would likely default to the World Trade Organisation terms. 

We will keep you posted on any major updates over the course of 2020 and share useful information so we can all prepare, whatever the outcome. Atwood Tate has access to the REC’s Legal Helpline and we undergo relevant training to ensure we’re compliant.

Helpful resources for businesses:

Checklist for Businesses if we have a No-Deal Brexit

Government’s advice

Helpful resources for Candidates:

If you are an EU national and you want to continue living in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/staying-uk-eu-citizen

If you are an UK Citizen in the EU: https://www.gov.uk/uk-nationals-living-eu

General info: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration

The key message still is:

Don’t worry if you’re already working here in the UK, you will be able to stay!

The rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021. If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you’ll be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021. You’ll be given either:

  • settled status
  • pre-settled status

Which status you get depends on how long you’ve been living in the UK when you apply and your rights will be different depending on which status you get.

If you do have questions, please do get in touch with us and we can clarify on some of this advice and hopefully point you in the right direction!

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Bite Sized Series: Exciting Editorial

Is it difficult to get an editorial role in publishing?

Some Editorial positions are notoriously competitive (particularly in trade publishing). But there are so many different types of editorial jobs, from editorial assistant, desk editor, project editor to commissioning editors, etc… and so many different types of publishing sectors, there must be an Editorial role waiting for you! Do not forget about educational, scientific or professional publishing, as these are very dynamic and rewarding areas of publishing. How do you learn about these? Research and networking! Talk to publishing professionals, attend events to get to know different markets, get in touch with your recruiter. Keep an open mind when looking for an editorial role as the right opportunity might be at a publisher you’ve never heard of before!

What skills do I need to work in an editorial role?

It really depends on the editorial role you are trying to get. If you are intending to go towards commissioning, a commercial mind set and networking skills are essential, as well as a strong relationship building aptitude. If you are considering project editing, then project management and organisation would come in handy. Generally a good attention to detail, strong interpersonal skills and the will to learn are valued in an editorial role. Soft skills are all the rage, and a positive, flexible and a proactive approach to work will get you places!

Can I change publishing sector later in my career?

Of course you can! The first job you get doesn’t determine the rest of your career. But try to explore a few routes at the beginning of your career maybe to find that special publishing industry you love. Or be prepared to be flexible if you are considering moving publishing sectors when you have already gained solid experience. You will have developed transferrable skills and valuable experience. But for more senior roles, publishers usually require established knowledge of their sector/type of list, so you might have to take a step down in order to break into a new sector.

So just to sum up:

  • Be curious and do keep an open mind when it comes to editorial roles and publishing sectors
  • Do your research and speak to people! It’s the best way to discover what a particular editorial position involves or learn more about different publishing sectors
  • Work on your soft skills (we have a blog on this)! You will develop many as you gain experience, but a friendly and positive attitude is your best bet to start.
  • Be flexible if you are trying to move into a new sector of publishing.

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Why Temping is Terrific!

Have you thought about temping? Did you decide to focus on securing a permanent role?

A common misunderstanding about temping is that it distracts you from finding your dream job! This is not the case…

Temping is the perfect way to decide the kind of role you would like, the type of company you would like to work for and where your skill set lies.

Not only that but temp positions can turn into permanent ones! If you work hard, stand out and prove yourself they won’t want to let you go!

Here’s what one of our temps said:

`Atwood Tate were really helpful and friendly when I first went to meet them and got me into a temp role really quickly at a great publishing house… They were also really enthusiastic and encouraging when my temporary role got made permanent (even though that meant cutting my temporary contract short). Would definitely recommend Atwood Tate for anyone looking to get into publishing!’

Once you are in, you get first pick of any internal roles and you can apply!

Temping also allows you to build up your publishing knowledge and experience that will assist you in an interview along with building up your network of contacts in a small industry.

Our temp’s team doesn’t stop assisting you once we have placed you in a role. Instead we will continue to place you into temp roles to build up your publishing experience which will secure you a permanent role!

`It has been a great success since registering in May this year. The windows into different areas of the publishing industry that assignments offered have proven invaluable for securing a permanent publishing role. I’ve felt support from start to finish.’

Contact our temps team to register:

Novia Kingshott, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant on 0203 574 4421

Kathryn Flicker, Temps Coordinator on 0203 574 4427

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Bite Sized Series: Super Sales

What is sales in Publishing?

Sales role can vary in different ways – you can be doing an office-based sales role or it can also be home working with a company car where you drive to meet clients on site.  Sales in publishing is often a very friendly environment and it is more of a warm selling because bookseller/wholesalers knows what sells the best for them.

Are sales roles all about cold calling?

Not at all!  A Business Development role, which in most cases means cold-calling and developing new client relationships.  However, Key Account roles is more of a relationship-building role with your designated clients/regions.  For Sales Representative roles, you will be most likely travel a lot, from arranging meetings to face-to-face, you will get to visit your region a lot.

The perks? Travelling!
Sales role, especially international sales means there are unlimited opportunities to travel with the role.  I once talked to a candidate who looks after international sales who has travelled from the UK to Singapore, then Australia and back.  When I was working in publishing sales back in Hong Kong, I was also very excited to have trips travelling to Frankfurt for the book fair and then Shanghai and Beijing too.  If you love travelling, you will not be disappointed!

So just to sum up:

  • The secret to successful sales is all about having passion for what you are selling
  • Friendly, observant and knowledge (of the market) will help you go a long way
  • Sales is the bridge between the customers and the publishing team. You will often bring back market feedback to the editorial and marketing team so you can all bring more success to the list
  • Budgeting and planning trips are usually included in the job too, so good numeric skills will definitely help

-Advice from our Publishing Recruitment Consultant, Clare Chan

If you want some more information then check our other blog!

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New Year, New Job!

Forget New Year’s Resolutions and form just one or two good job hunting habits to land your perfect new role in 2020

New Year’s Resolutions are often over-rated and over-ambitious.  How many times have you resolved to do something in January, only to lapse before January is over?  If your personal goal for 2020 is to find a new job, we recommend spending a little time every day or every week on one or two (or all) of these easily achieved activities and you will quickly find you have formed some new habits that might just lead to you landing that perfect new role.  As with most things, “little and often” pays off and helps you to feel positive and productive.

  • Sign up to targeted job alerts or make a list of job boards to check daily – maybe on your homeward commute.  For publishing jobs we recommend our own job alerts and website in addition to Google Jobs,  the Bookseller, Guardian, Cision, and the IPG

  • Log on to your LinkedIn profile every day, maybe for ten minutes at lunch time, and give yourself the goal of liking or sharing a post or connecting with someone new every day
  • Set aside time at the weekend for working on your CV and personal statement or LinkedIn profile and commit to that hour or so every week, even when you don’t have anything specific to apply for.  Your CV is a living document, so if you’ve achieved something at work that week, you might want to find a way of working it in to a new version of your resumé
  • Make a list of contacts to keep in touch with regularly, such as your recruiter or ex-colleagues or people you’ve met at networking events.  Add to the list as you build new contacts and once a month review the list and contact anyone who you haven’t spoken to in a while to let them know you’re still looking
  • Give yourself the goal of attending one networking event a month.  Check our events calendar for some inspiration.  Tell a friend that you’re committing to this, they might say they will come with you, but even if they don’t ask them to hold you accountable, so that you don’t wimp out.  If you’re a self-confessed introvert, don’t panic, networking can still be extremely productive.  There is a lot of advice available on how to network as an introvert, but you can start here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/network-like-introvert-gemma-stow/

Of course there are plenty of other things you can do, but start small, form a habit or two and see where that takes you!  Good luck with your job search in 2020 and if you would like to speak to one of our Publishing Recruitment Consultants, call us on 020 3574 4420.

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Atwood Tate’s Literary Christmas Stocking Wish List!

We are very festive here at Atwood Tate, and most importantly, we’re all such huge fans of books! I’ve decided to ask my fellow colleagues which book they would like to find in their Christmas Stocking this year!

Image result for twas the nightshift before christmas

Kathryn Flicker our Temps Administrator wished for `Twas the Nightshift before Christmas’ by Adam Kay.

“Because I loved `This is Going to Hurt’, which was

Image result for girl woman other

funny and heart breaking at the same time!”

Azraa Oozeerally would love to find Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo in her stocking this Christmas!

“I’ve been interested in reading it after seeing all the great reviews it received, especially after it won the Booker Prize! It sounds like an original read and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!”

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Novia Kingshott our Temps Senior Recruitment Consultant is hoping to find Rick Stein’s Secret France in her Christmas stocking!

“I have been watching the series on BBC as he travels of the beaten track in France finding amazing restaurants cooking fabulous French

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food!”

Our Associate Director, Helen Speedy is hoping to finally get Jonathan Coe’s Middle England!

“This novel has been on my wish list since it came out in 2018, but I still haven’t had a chance to read it.  I love Jonathan Coe and his darkly humorous commentary on society and the human condition.  I can’t wait to settle down in a cosy spot with a slice of Christmas cake and read Middle England cover to cover in one sitting, so I do hope someone puts it in my stocking!”

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Catherine Roney’s Christmas stocking book wish is, Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes!

“I am a huge Jojo Moyes fan, and cannot wait to get a copy of her latest book. Set in England in the late 1930s, it is a story about two women and a mission to spread the wonder of books and reading to those who are poor or lost. This book is based on a true story and sounds exactly like the wonderful and motivational read needed to start off the New Year

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well.”

Parissa Bagheri is dying to get Around the World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh!

“I couldn’t attend the Bloomsbury event on it but I’ve been interested in this since I first heard about it and it took home the title of Best Travel Book at last night’s National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards!”

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Last but not least, our consultant Clare Chan is hoping to get 1Q84 by Murakami!

“I love his fiction, but I haven’t managed to get around to this classic!”

If you’re in need of some great books as gifts this year then here are some of the best books of 2019:

  • The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams and Tony Ross –this book would be great for the younger ones to find in their stocking!
  • Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming, Home-style Recipes by Catherine Allinson, Kate Allinson, and Kay Featherstone, is the perfect stocking gift for someone who is passionate about cooking! (I have it myself and think it’s the handiest book ever!!)
  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood for someone who is a fan of Atwood this would be the best gift to find in their stocking!

There have been so many amazing books released this year, so there are plenty to choose from for the perfect literary gift! Here at Atwood Tate we cannot wait to see what books we’ll be blessed with next year!

Wishing you all have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

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