Category Archives: Advice

Interview, CV, Job Seeking Advice.

How to Have a Successful London Book Fair

With less than a week to go until the start of the London Book Fair 2018, here’s a collection of our top tips so you have a fun and successful time. These suggestions are aimed at first-timers, whether you’re coming as a student, job-seeker, intern or first-jobber, but it’s good to keep them in mind no matter where you are in your career.

  • Wear flat shoes

    You might be tempted to wear heels, but trust me, you will regret this decision. The Olympia is huge, and you are likely to be on your feet all day. Dress code varies according to the sector you’re in, but you can’t go wrong with business casual. Your old gym trainers are probably a no-no, but a clean pair of flat shoes or boots will be fine.

  • Plan your time in advance

    You might have meetings booked or be required to be on your company’s stand at certain times. Check the list of seminars in the programme so you have a rough idea of the things you don’t want to miss. There’s so much on and it’s such a big venue that you’re bound to miss things otherwise.

  • Plan some chill-out time

    It will get exhausting walking around all day, so plan some time to yourself so you can sit down and have a cup of tea or some lunch. If you are nervous in crowds, plan somewhere you can go to escape for a while if you get overwhelmed. This is close to impossible in the venue itself, as the bathrooms and cafés are packed all day, so plan in advance somewhere you can go nearby. This is a tough event for anyone prone to anxiety in crowds, so be prepared and look out for friends and colleagues who might be struggling a bit.

  • Bring a portable phone charger

    It goes without saying – you don’t want your phone to die halfway through the day. Download the Book Fair app for a convenient map and timetable of the event, and stay up to date on Twitter by following the #LBF18 hashtag. Take photos! Take pictures of stands you like as a reminder to yourself, or share them on social media.

  • Come to the Careers Clinic on Thursday

    Remember to bring your CV if you’re coming to this event. Two of our consultants, Alison and Christina, will be at the clinic along with other publishing HR and recruitment professionals, ready to answer your questions and offer advice. This is the place to go if you are job-seeking. Other people around the fair and on stands are not there for recruitment purposes so it’s best not to go around handing out your CV outside of this event.

  • Remember to stay hydrated!

    Bring a bottle of water (and maybe a snack if you’re super organised). It’s very easy to get hot and dehydrated, and queues are long and prices high at the cafes.

We look forward to meeting you there! Keep in contact via our Twitter or come along to the Careers Clinic. Also see our previous blog post about What to Expect at the London Book Fair.

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Is a Publishing MA right for me?

A Publishing MA can be a big boost to your CV, due to the technical and theoretical knowledge it can give you, as well as the practical work experience you will gain. It is by no means a prerequisite for a job in publishing, but it can help when you enter an over-saturated job market. However, it’s not for everyone and lots of people get into the industry via other means, such as internships and work experience. Before you apply, you should consider whether the course is right for you.

What universities offer a Publishing MA course?

Some universities which offer the course include:

Things to consider

Cost

Fees vary between universities, but are usually around £6,000-£10,000. You will also need to fund living expenses. UK postgraduate students can apply for a loan of up to £10,280 (https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/what-youll-get), and there are various bursaries available. See the websites of individual courses for more information about the financial support they can offer.

You may want to work part-time during your MA; however, if your course includes full-time work experience placements as well as studying, then consider whether you will have time to work alongside it.

What does the course cover?

What sectors of the publishing industry does the course look at – trade? Academic? STM? And what job roles/departments will you learn about – editorial? Production? Marketing?

If you are not 100% sure which area you want to go into, a Publishing MA can be a great way of finding our more information about areas you may not have previously considered. Then you can make an informed decision about your future career path rather than going in blind.

Links to publishing houses

What publishing houses does the course have links with? Ask where previous students have done placements and consider whether these are the types of companies you want to work for. Work placements and contacts at top companies are one of the most valuable components of publishing courses.

Other things to think about

  • Are you the kind of person who likes working in an academic environment? Are you prepared for the exams and/or dissertation or would you rather gain your skills on the job?
  • Will this help you get a foot in the door or increase your future earning potential?
  • Have you already done some work experience in the publishing industry? This can help you make sure this is the right career for you – before you spend any money.

For more information about getting into publishing, please see our Work Experience and Entry-Level Resources page.

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Make #BlueMonday into #BrightBlueMonday

Let’s face it: January can be a miserable month. It’s cold, Christmas is over, and the days may be getting longer but you wouldn’t know it when sometimes you go days without seeing the sun at all. This all gave rise to #BlueMonday – allegedly the most depressing day of the year.

#BrightBlueMonday

However, the charity Rethink Mental Health acknowledges that mental health isn’t dictated by the date. Depression can and does affect people every day of the year and this isn’t an issue to take lightly. That’s why they have come up with #BrightBlueMonday, a day to do some good and spread a bit of joy. They suggest that you ‘share a coffee with a colleague, bake something for the office or […] text an old friend to say hello.’

Brightening up a gloomy Monday morning is definitely something we can get behind. It’s also an opportunity to talk about serious issues. Employers: what are you doing to support those with mental health issues in your company? According to Rethink, 1 in 4 of us are affected by mental illness. The charity Mind’s research shows that ‘a culture of fear and silence around mental health is costly to employers’, and it may lead to poorer employee retention, higher absenteeism and lower motivation among staff.Woman smiling under rainbow umbrella. Text reads: 15 January Show your colours on #BrightBlueMonday

So what can employers do to help?

Mind have put together a fantastic collection of resources for businesses here. It’s about being accommodating and offering tailored reasonable adjustments to employees, whether that’s flexible working, providing a workspace that is, for example, quiet or has lots of natural light, or extra support for employees experiencing stress. Another policy could be a buddy system, which offers support outside of a line-management structure.

Charities like Mind and Rethink Mental Health have contributed to the positive cultural shift in attitudes towards mental illness. Companies are also making changes to better support their employees, but there are things we could all do to reach out to our friends and colleagues who may be struggling. So let’s make #BlueMonday into #BrightBlueMonday and spread some positivity today.

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5 Steps to Achieve Your Career Goals in 2018

The beginning of a new year is a good time to reassess where you are in your career and where you would like to be. This is the first stage of achieving your career goals. As we begin 2018, start making a plan of how to fulfil your ambitions and get the most out of your career.

1)   Assess where you currently are compared to where you want to be

Do you know what a typical career ladder in your field might look like? If not, it’s time to do some research. Ask colleagues, contacts, even Google. Or have a browse of Linked In at the people who are doing the job you want to be doing – and see the steps they took to get there. (You might want to check your Linked In privacy settings first if you don’t want them to know you’re looking at their profile!)

We also post infographics showing, for example, a career path for Production, on our Facebook page! Follow us to keep up to date.

2)   Decide on a timeline

It’s not a good idea to be looking for a new job or a promotion if you’ve only just started in a new role. Hiring Managers will be wary of someone who has switched jobs every six months. 2018 might not be the year you get that new, dream job, but that doesn’t mean you’re not moving forward and getting closer to achieving your goals.

Alternatively, it may be that the time is right and you’re ready to move on to new challenges. If that’s the case, get in touch! Register on our website, or if you are already registered, make sure we have your up-to-date CV. We’d be happy to help you in your search!

Speaking of…

3)   Update your CV

Make sure it’s up to date and looks its best. Ask for feedback from people you know. Also see our advice on our blog, like our recent post on the Do’s and Don’ts of CVs.

4)   Brush up on your skills

Are there skills you know would be useful in your career that you haven’t got around to learning? If training opportunities arise in your current job, take them! Or if not, there are great resources available online. Codeacademy is a great free resource to learn to code, including HTML and CSS. Alternatively, if you have the resources, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) offer a number of reputable online or classroom-based courses. Also see what’s coming up from:

5)   Follow through

It’s easy to start the year full of motivation, but it’s hard to follow this momentum through all year. Set yourself deadlines if you’re learning new skills, or print out your career resolutions and stick them above your desk at home so you can see it and be reminded of your goals.

Good luck! We wish you the best in achieving your career goals this year, and hope you’ll be in touch with us if you’re looking for a change so we can help.

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Tips for Video Interview Success

Video interviews are becoming increasingly popular. They may take two forms: they may be conducted via Skype or a similar platform, where you talk in real-time to an interviewer, or they may involve recording answers to pre-set questions without the presence of an interviewer. The former is similar to a face-to-face interview, although there are a few things you should watch out for. The latter may feel more unnatural if you haven’t done one before, but remember everyone is in the same boat and there is nothing to worry about!

Our Top Tips for Success in your Video Interview

  • Make sure you won’t be interrupted. Remember that video interview on the BBC that went viral when the interviewees children came bursting into the background? Interviewers will probably understand if something like that happens, but it’s likely to throw you off your game! Make sure your children, pets, roommates etc. are aware of what you’re doing and are kept out of the room. You don’t want your cat walking all over your keyboard in the middle of the interview!
  • Use a plain background – a plain wall is ideal. You don’t want the interviewer to be distracted by the stack of laundry in the background or your unusual taste in posters.
  • If it’s a Skype interview, make sure you check your webcam and microphone are working well before your scheduled interview time. Call a friend or family member to check, and to help calm your nerves.
  • If you have to record your answers, make sure you practice and listen to yourself back a couple of times. Without the presence of an interviewer, it’s easy to feel awkward and that can come across in the recording. Practising will help you feel more natural.
  • Dress smartly – as you would for a face-to-face interview – and not just on the top half. You’ll feel more in the interview ‘zone’ as well as coming across more professional.
  • Look at the camera, not yourself. This will give an appearance of eye contact, otherwise you’ll appear to be looking down.
  • Relax – you’ve got this!

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CV Tips – Do’s and Don’ts

Working in recruitment, we look at a LOT of CVs. One thing that can help or hinder a candidate is how they’ve laid out their CV – we try to look past the structure to the content, but this is made MUCH easier when the information is presented clearly and logically. It’s not about fancy designs (unless you are applying for design roles), but a well-structured CV demonstrates your written communication skills, which are essential in any publishing job.

Do

DO clearly set out the dates (month and year) you worked at any position.

e.g. November 2015 – October 2017        Atwood Publishing          Sales Assistant

DO use concrete figures and examples to back up your achievements. Statistics sound impressive!

DO use bullet points which list your responsibilities and accomplishments in each previous role.

DO include a brief ‘Profile’ at the top of your CV. This is optional, but can give you an opportunity to highlight your most relevant skills and experience for the job. It should be tailored to each role you apply for. Do NOT exceed a couple of sentences.

DO save your document as a Word or PDF document and name it something like ‘Jane Bloggs CV’.

DO specify the relevant IT programmes or programming languages you are competent in under your ‘Skills’ section – InDesign, Microsoft Office, WordPress, HTML etc. Also mention if you can speak any foreign languages.

DO maintain a professional style. You can include details of your interests to make it personal; however, a CV shouldn’t be in an informal or ‘chatty’ style.

DO list your education and employment in reverse chronological order. However, if your most relevant experience is not your most recent, you may want to do a separate ‘Relevant Experience’ section above your ‘Recent Employment’ section.

DO provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, and if it’s relevant (such as for publicity roles) your Twitter handle or blog URL.

Don’t

DON’T write long paragraphs. It makes the relevant information harder to find and a Hiring Manager might miss something important.

DON’T go over two sides of A4. You need to demonstrate you can prioritise relevant information.

DON’T include a picture, date of birth or details of your marital status.

DON’T write ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top. It’s a waste of space as the hiring manager already knows what they’re looking at, so just put your full name.

DON’T list all your GCSEs or O-Levels, as it takes up too much space. It’s fine to put ‘3 x A grades, 6 x B grades, 1 x C grade, including English and Maths at grade B.’

DON’T include details of every module you took for your degree, but only include something if it’s relevant for the role you want.

DON’T mention anything political or controversial.

Other Resources

See our suggested CV layout here! You can also find more resources on our advice page.

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Q&A Round Up

Last week was the Publishers Association’s #workinpublishing week! We did a Q&A on Twitter – if you missed it, you can catch up here.

Q: What are the key features recruiters look for in a CV and Cover Letter when recruiting for entry level publishing jobs?

A: Office/admin experience is useful across the board, as are work experience, internships or temp roles in publishing houses! A well written, clear and concise cover letter will also get you a long way.

Q: How important do you think events like literary events and trade shows are?

A: Getting to know people at industry events can be really useful, especially as you can get a feel for different roles and sectors! Having said that, it’s not compulsory, so if you don’t live in London and you can’t get to events easily, don’t worry!

Q: When considering a job offer, it’s not just about salary. What else should candidates be thinking about?

A: Consider what’s important to you – the commute time, flexible working opportunities, training/professional development and company benefits!

Q: What are the most desirable additional tools to have experience in?

A: It depends on the role! But skills like InDesign, social media, general admin/database experience are useful for a lot of publishing work.

Q: I have a lot of volunteer experience with indie pubs, and I’m starting to look for my first publishing job. What would you say my next step should be?

A: Sounds like you should start applying for entry-level roles! You’d also be a great temping candidate, which can sometimes lead to long term roles.

Q: how can I make myself stand out from the hundreds of other graduates when applying for jobs?

A: Make your cover letter stand out by talking about your work experience, any temp roles, admin experience, and extracurricular interests which give you transferable skills!

Q: Are entry level publishing roles hard to come by? I feel like I haven’t seen many around since I graduated.

A: Entry-level roles are VERY competitive so get filled quickly, but a great way to get your foot in the door is through temping! Register with us for temping opportunities and we may be able to help.

Q: What are the most in demand roles in publishing?

A: Most people want to work in editorial, but publishers are always looking for Commissioning Editors and Production Controllers!

Q: What are your top tips for writing a good CV?

A: Be clear and concise, use bullet points, and put most relevant experience at the top! No long paragraphs please! For more tips see our blog post here.

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BAME in Publishing: One Year On

We are very pleased to bring you a guest post from Sarah Shaffi and Wei Ming Kam, founders of BAME in Publishing, a group which aims to support and encourage people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the publishing industry.

Last year, they wrote a blog post for us about why they set up the group and provided some advice for working in the industry, which you can read here.

One year on, they reflect on their experiences of the group, and if anything has changed:

Five things we’ve learnt in a year of BAME in Publishing…

A year ago we set up BAME in Publishing – a networking group for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds working in publishing, or wanting to break into the industry. Here are five things we’ve learnt from running the group.

  • BAME in Publishing fills a gap

When we set up the group, we weren’t sure if anyone was going to be interested, but even a year later we’re still getting new members, and all our meetings are full. It’s shown us that there is a real thirst for a group and a space when BAME people can form relationships, get career advice, and feel like they belong.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help/favours

We’ve turned to a lot of different people for help with various things and have been surprised how many want to support us in any way they can. We’ve been offered venues to host meet ups from publishers and bookshops, and it’s been heartening to know that much of the industry supports the work we do.

  • There are BAME people in the industry

Sometimes it feels like there are hardly any people from BAME backgrounds working in publishing, but running BAME in Publishing we’ve seen that this isn’t true. Our members come from all kinds of companies – big, small, trade, academic, publishers, agencies and so one. BAME talent is out there, which is encouraging, however…

  • There is a long way to go

It’s clear from our membership that a lot of the BAME talent are in junior positions. There are definitely some great senior role models out there (Ailah Ahmed from Virago, Natalie Jerome and Perminder Mann at Kings Road Publishing to name a few), but more needs to be done to make sure junior staff rise up the ranks quickly so that they can affect real change when it comes to the ethnic diversity of the industry. However, we do think that…

  • The future is bright

One thing we see at meeting after meeting is that there are so many talented people coming into publishing who want to make a difference, publish brilliant books, and be the leaders of tomorrow. We have no doubt that today’s bright young things will be heading up tomorrow’s publishing houses.

Wei Ming Kam and Sarah Shaffi at the BAME in Publishing 1st Birthday Party

Sarah Shaffi is online editor and producer at The Bookseller and tweets @sarahshaffi . Wei Ming Kam is sales and marketing executive at Oberon Books and tweets @weimingkam.

For more on BAME in Publishing, visit bameinpublishing.tumblr.com. You can also check out the #BAMEinPublishing hashtag on twitter and follow them on Instagram.

The group meets regularly, mostly in Central London. If you are interested in joining, please email bameinpublishing@gmail.com with your full name, email address, company you work for and your position (if applicable).

BAME in Publishing has been shortlisted for the #HClub100. Vote for them here!

 

 

Atwood Tate Limited embraces diversity and aims to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities. For more information visit our policies page https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/policies/

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Filling the Gap – An Increase in Temp Hire

Recently, the REC released the results of a Jobs Outlook research study that indicated employers were predicting a greater reliance on temporary workers in the near future due to a shortage of skills. It showed that 20% of UK employers planned to increase agency workers in the medium term.

The likely reason for this is that temp workers allow a certain level of flexibility for employers and can help with the skills gap. It is also beneficial to workers who are looking to avoid long-term commitments. While temporary or contract roles might seem to lack stability or job security, we have found that many of our candidates prefer these types of roles as it enables them to quickly develop skills and move on into new and challenging environments. A quarter (24 per cent) transfer at least half of their temporary workers to permanent positions each year. We’ve seen this ourselves first-hand as many of our temps have been made permanent, due to their hard work and dedication. It goes to show what making the right impression can do!

The research also indicated that the attitudes of larger companies around temporary workers have also changed and there is a marked increase in employers planning to increase these numbers in the short-term.

Here at Atwood Tate, there’s no fear about a shortage of skills! Our desk is dedicated to sourcing temporary workers and our track record of placing candidates in a variety of short-term and contract roles gives us the confidence to know we can provide much needed support to clients during this period.

Many of our clients have come to us to recruit interim support (urgent, fast and speedy placements – reliable temps with the required skill set and attitude). While it may seem like a period of uncertainty, we see it as more of an opportunity for both employers and employees to ‘try each other out’.

So, if you are looking for temporary workers, do get in touch. And if you are a candidate who has been considering a job change but were nervous about the current market, just give us a call and we can let you know about some of the opportunities that are currently out there. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be permanent to be the right choice for you. There are often no interviews and the hiring process can happen so quickly, you can often find yourself working the very next day!

If you are interested in temping with Atwood Tate or are looking for interim support, please get in touch with:

Kellie Millar

kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk

02070347897

Alison Redfearn

alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk

02070347922

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Publishing and the unpaid internship

A recent article in the Bookseller covered the attitudes changing around the unpaid internship. For some time now, there has been a building frustration with how impenetrable the publishing industry can be to people who cannot afford to undergo the necessary work placements that make finding one’s first job that much more viable.

Those already in publishing have recognised this roadblock and are making significant steps to facilitate entry into the industry for those candidates who may have considered it an impossible option previously. Paid internships are slowly but surely becoming a feature of some of the larger publishers, who have determined to increase diversity through any and all means. It is certainly a cause for celebration for a lot of recent graduates but also for anyone who has hoped to make the move into publishing from another industry but could never forgo a regular income, even for a short period of time.

Atwood Tate’s temp’s team have helped a number of graduates unable to work unpaid, get their first paid job in publishing. Publishers are always looking for support staff with some office and administration experience, and contact the Atwood Tate temps team often with urgent, start next day roles.

Candidates that do not have a traditional background in publishing also have found their way into the industry through our desk and it is a great source of pride to us that we are able to provide the underdog with a much-needed chance to live their dream.

We do also help interns to build on the experience they have gained and get paid roles. We act as another lever into the industry and our clients come to us when they need help managing a volume of roles or need temp staff quickly.

So, while the industry slowly brings about the necessary changes to internships, Atwood Tate is here to lend a hand. Get in touch, send your CV. We’re here to advise you, and answer questions about salary, job types, the different sectors, feel to pick our brains and see if we can help you get your foot on the publishing ladder!

Our contact details are below and we look forward to hearing from you!

Kellie Millar                                                              Alison Redfearn

0207034787                                                             02070347922

kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk                            alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk

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