Category Archives: Advice

Interview, CV, Job Seeking Advice.

Don’t be Afraid of Remote Recruiting

Some people are understandably nervous of recruiting under the current constraints of social distancing, but this could be the perfect time for you to test ‘remote recruiting’.  Many people think that remote working could be the new norm, so how do those without experience of this adjust and make it work when recruiting new staff?

It is not necessary to put all recruitment on hold until everyone is back in the office – it is possible to recruit remotely – many companies have done this on a regular basis before it became a reality for us all.  Whether you want to consider this as just an interim measure or a more permanent solution, making this work will not only help you to keep your business moving in the current climate but may also be used as an attractive option for the future.  Being able to offer a mixture of remote and office based employment will not only present cost savings but also make you more attractive to future employees. 

Whilst many of us may be used to some form of remote interviewing, taking this one step further to ‘on-board’ new staff remotely may seem daunting and more of a challenge.  We all know how important the first days and weeks of new employment are, both for the candidate and the client, so it is extremely important to get this right, whether in an office or a remote location.  It is obviously important to make sure that your remote employee has the right equipment and technology and that you think about how your existing processes can be adapted to work in a remote setting. With the wide range of video and communication options that are available it is easy to have face to face regular contact wherever your staff are based and getting regular feedback from your new employee will ensure that you arrive at solutions that work for you both.  Our recent blog Remote induction of a new member of staff during the lockdown gives some useful tips on things you will need to consider.  REC business partner Howden has created a hub of resources to help employers manage employee wellbeing and includes a very useful 13 page guide to welcoming new team members remotely (towards the bottom half of the page) on On-boarding in a virtual world.

Many of our clients now recruiting remotely, with no previous experience of this, are finding that starting new employees on a part-time basis has helped them.  This has allowed them to adjust in a more manageable way.

The current situation has proved conclusively that flexibility in working patterns can work and that you don’t physically have to be in the same space to make decisions and work as a team. The enforced lockdown that arrived without warning has meant we have all needed to adapt and live and work in different ways.  There may be many negatives that we have all experienced from this but hopefully there will also be some positives that will help us all continue to build robust businesses that can thrive wherever we are based.

Further reading:

Here’s a quote from a candidate we placed recently: https://blog.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/candidate-testimonials

Guardian article: The new rules of remote recruiting

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Staying sane during the lockdown

Continuing with our theme to share ideas and tips for working and living through these strange times, we thought we’d suggest some ideas on keeping your mind fresh whilst staying at home.

Continuing with our theme to share ideas and tips for working and living through these strange times, we thought we’d suggest some ideas on keeping your mind fresh whilst staying at home.

From Clare Chan:

If you are working from home, why not create a standing workstation?

For the past weeks, I have been working at my desk sitting down.  I increasingly felt a need to break this habit to sharpen my mind so I decided to work standing.  If you don’t have a tall table? Try using books or perhaps a small stool. Working standing up keeps my mind sharp and active. I am also able to concentrate on my work much better so why not give it a go!

Find a new exercise

Very frankly, I am not the best cyclist. Living in London for quite a few years now, I have never cycled on the road.  This weekend, I jumped on a Santander bike as my once a day exercise. It was terrifying at first, but by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone makes you feel much more refreshed and stimulated, especially we are now spending a lot of time at home and might get a bit too comfortable at times.

Take a virtual museum tour

Miss travelling around the world and going to museums? Google Art & Culture has everything you need to keep yourself entertained.  It has virtual tours from the Pyramids to Anne Frank’s Family Home.  They also have over 3,400 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours of some of the most famous museums around the world.  Still bored? They have an Art Selfie function where you can see who you look like in the world of paintings!

From Claire Law:

It can feel like the weeks are starting to blur a bit now and it’s important to make sure we look after our mental health as well our physical. I’m much better at making myself do exercise, partly so I can eat and drink what I want but also as I (usually) enjoy it! It’s harder to remember to make an effort to look after our minds so here are some of my ideas:

Keep a diary / log of things that made you happy each day

I have a beautiful little book I try to fill in (admittedly I don’t do it every day) with at least a couple of things that made me smile that day.

Make time for some gentle meditation

There are lots of free apps out there you can use to help you relax / sleep / stay calm. We don’t want to recommend any particular one (I use Headspace but there are lots of other ones, try this search for a selection: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/g25178771/best-meditation-apps/

Have a routine

Even if you’re not working right now, it’s a good idea to have a routine in place so you get up, get dressed and find time to do a mixture of things. Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at a normal time. If you are working then make sure you take proper breaks and try to leave your workspace behind while eating.

Make time each day to communicate with friends and family, maybe keep in touch with at least 1 friend each day, by phone, email or post.

Please share some of your ideas with us!

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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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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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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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How to Convey the Value of Your Transferable and Soft Skills to Prospective Employers!

What are soft skills? Soft skills are defined as character traits or interpersonal aptitudes that effect the ability to work and interact with others in a work environment. We most often learn soft skills at school, in the classroom, directly or indirectly.  They are not always “people skills” but are abilities relating to emotional intelligence and can be useful for all industries and job types.

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Team Work
  • Problem-Solving
  • Work Ethic
  • Adaptability
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Time Management
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail

Hard skills unlike soft skills are more job specific skills that are usually acquired through education or training. They are based solely on technical knowledge. Hard and soft skills complement each other in the workplace: hard skills reflect whether you would be suitable for the job and the technical skills it requires, whereas soft skills are unique and personal as they reflect the way you deal with situations specific to a work environment or the role for which you are applying.

“94% of recruiters believe that soft skills outweigh experience… 75% of recruiting professionals have cut an interview short because a candidate didn’t demonstrate the soft skills needed for the position they had applied for.”–Forbes

Soft skills distinguish you from other employees as they are unique to your individual personality. They also tend to highlight your leadership skills and this is what employers most often look at. There are many ways that you can show off your soft skills to your employer, generally this is usually over face-to-face interviews. Using examples is a brilliant way to show off your soft skills as you can demonstrate how valuable your skills really are and how these have aided you in many difficult work situations. For example, it is particularly important that when asked questions about difficult work situations you cleverly answer with how it got solved or what you would do differently next time rather than just stating the final result.

Here are some examples of common soft skills and their DOs and DONTs:

Team Work & Collaboration

  • Avoid ‘I’s’ and use more ‘We’s’.
  • Make sure to mention team accomplishments as well as personal ones, how you contributed to team effort.

Perseverance & Dedication

  • Show confidence in why you made certain decisions.
  • Emphasise your passion and dedication to work, as it is a reflection of your work ethic.
  • Give examples that reflect your perseverance to accomplish anything, both work problems and personal work goals.

Time Management & Organisation

  • Time management is a clear representation of how efficiently you work.
  • It reflects an organised candidate, who shows how passionate and seriously they want the role!
  • If you have good time management skills, it reduces the likelihood of stress within the workplace.

Problem Solving

Describe how you solved a problem step by step e.g. “First I spoke to my manager and then…”

Soft Skills in Publishing

Now that you know all about soft skills, which of these will be the most important when you are applying and interviewing for a role in publishing?

Effective communication and emotional intelligence are important in the world of publishing. It is important to understand the mood, tone and the values of those around us. Fair and consistent communication is essential; being able to asses and attend to emotional needs is integral to gaining understanding.

Openness and honest are also very important. For those just starting a career in publishing it is imperative to be open to the entire experience being a learning process. Being honest in saying ‘I need help’/’I’m not good at that’ shows your interviewer/employer that you do struggle but are willing to learn and grow within those personal struggles.

Finally, learning with agility is another key soft skill in publishing; everything is a trial and error both in life and in the world of work. It is okay to fail in work tasks as long as you’re learning quickly. Persevering demonstrates your potential and growth in character. Always strive for better and work proactively within your job. You may find that in publishing certain traditions are kept, but all businesses look ahead, so having employees who are equally forward thinking helps the industry to grow! For more information on transferable soft skills click here!

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Why you should go for a sales role in publishing!

Our editorial roles receive a huge amount of interest, however our sales roles not as much. This made us stop and think, why not?

Many graduates come to us and ask our advice on how to launch their editorial career in publishing, which is great! But… editorial is not the only option available to you!

In this blog, we want to discuss why sales roles are also great and can even aid your future editorial career.

First things first, you want to work in publishing because you love books, right? Sales roles are the perfect way to express your passion! Why? Because you get to talk about books all day long!

It is your job to get the books out there! You go through lists, samples and catalogues deciding which bookstores need which books. What better way to spend your working day, than browsing the latest titles and most likely even receiving a copy for your own personal collection!

Sales roles are very social roles – you will work with a range of people from editors and writers to designers, buyers and journalists. This means you receive a comprehensive understanding of the industry.

A sales role will also give you knowledge of the market and trends; this will aid your knowledge if you wish to work in a commissioning editorial role for example.

Another advantage of sales roles is that they enable you to develop transferable skills. One of these being communication, a skill desired in every role.

In a sales role, you can find yourself working for many different publishers and selling to many different types of customers, this will enable you to develop key relationship building skills.

A sales role does not necessarily mean endless cold calling and this definitely is not the case in publishing. You are more likely to meet customers face to face in a more consultative sales approach. You may find yourself selling to bookshops, retailers, universities, or even software to libraries and hospitals.

This kind of sales approach means you get to have interesting conversations, develop strong relationships and take a break from being in the office!

You are also likely to be invited to events! A new store opening for example.

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Summer Reads!


A seemingly perfect crime, what can go wrong? A couple honeymooning in paradise find something in the water. Deciding to keep it a secret, they think they are the only ones who know about the discovery. They soon find out that their actions have deadly consequences and someone else knows their secret. A good thriller and the perfect summer book that hooks you in right from the very first page.

At the heart of this gripping read are a trio of brothers, a disappearance and a lack of suspects. Set in the Australian outback, this atmospheric thriller is not one to be missed this summer.

`One of the year’s most unmissable debuts’. Queenie’s life seems to be spiralling out of control, a family that don’t understand her, a boss that doesn’t seem to notice her and a man she can’t get over. Queenie is a character you will be rooting for from the first page.

A story of love and war. The Biafran War is told from the perspective of three characters whose lives are interwoven in ways they would not have imagined. This novel is great if you love to immerse yourself in historical fiction with compelling and intelligent characters.

Non-fiction that stirs the desire to make change. Mainly aimed at black women but plenty to take away for everyone. A read that will make you challenge your assumptions and think about `space’ in different contexts and ways.

May not be the typical relaxing holiday reading but worth it! Set post world war ll, a woman with financial inheritance attempts to build economic prosperity in a small community in Australia where her romantic interest lives.

Some more summer reading tips:

http://ow.ly/AS2z30pcRlBh

http://ow.ly/M3hp30pcRnR

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Publishing Interview Tips!

You have reached the interview stage, great news! Now you have to face the dreaded interview. Don’t worry, we have some interview dos and don’ts for you to master your publishing interview, and maybe even enjoy it!

Do

  • Use the job description and person specification to hone in on the skills and competencies they are looking for
  • Practice an interview situation with your friends or family
  • Greet the interviewer with a firm (but not bone breaking!) handshake
  • Take copies of your cv, covering letter and relevant documents with you
  • Dress well; publishing is a creative industry and you can express yourself with your dress whilst looking smart
  • Leave plenty of time to get to your interview; being late will make you feel stressed prior to the interview
  • Keep eye contact, wait for your turn to speak and listen carefully to the questions you are being asked
  • Answer the question and express yourself clearly (practice will help with this)
  • Be honest
  • Ask questions! An interview is also your opportunity to see if the company will be a good fit for you as well as you for them, so prepare some well researched questions in advance
  • Be confident in your skills and abilities, have examples ready which demonstrate your experience in relation to the job requirements
  • Show your enthusiasm! You can also follow up after the interview to thank them for their time

Don’t

  • Dress too casually
  • Complain about your previous role or employer! You want your interview to be a positive experience
  • Lie about your skills or abilities, lies can be detected! You also don’t want to be in a difficult situation if you find yourself unable to do the job
  • Be too hard on yourself if you do not answer a question quite right, instead remain positive and move onto the next. You won’t be judged for making a mistake on one question
  • Bring up salary, holidays and benefits unless your interviewer does
  • Be blunt or too simple in your answers with just a `yes’ or `no’, you are expected to explain where possible, without rambling
  • Talk over your interviewer or finish their sentences for them

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