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#WorkInPublishing 2018 : What Skills Do I Need?

Are you unsure about what skills  you need to enter the publishing world? In the middle of a degree and trying to decide what publishing sector suits you best? For #WorkinPublishing Week 2018, we have pulled some of our best material into one easy to reach place! Today we look at what each publishing sector might look for in their candidates.

If you would like to find out more about the individual sectors, click on the hyperlinks for the full lowdown on the type of roles available.

Sales

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Presentation skills.
  • Results and target driven
  • Good head for numbers
  • Knack for negotiating.
  • Driven, determined and ambitious.

Customer Service 

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Problem solving and
  • Empathy with customers.

Operations and Distribution

  • Analytical skills
  • Excellent software knowledge. You will be using Excel spreadsheets a lot, including Excel formulas. Depending on the publishers, you might also need to have certain software knowledge.
  • Communication skills and
  • Strong organisation skills are also essential

English Language Teaching

  • An excellent command of the English language
  • Very strong editorial skills
  • ELT teaching experience
  • Any relevant ELT qualification such as CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Production

  • Good learning attitude is a must.
  • Good communication skills
  • Project and account management
  • Time management and organisation
  • Numerical skills
  • Good software skills, i.e. Excel spreadsheets, InDesign and Adobe CS, Biblio3 or XML publishing.

Marketing & Publicity 

  • Superb communication and relationship building skills.
  • Excellent organisation skills.
  • Attention to, and eye for, detail.
  • Strong copywriting skills
  • Creativity.
  • Photoshop and Indesign desirable.
  • Innovation and resourcefulness
  • Software skills: CRM, email, social media, marketing automation software and analytics
  • Up to date with market trends
  • Video & Audio content creation desirable.

 

 

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Welcome to the team Parissa!

We are delighted to announce we have an amazing new trainee consultant, Parissa Bagheri! Parissa has joined our London office where she is learning the ropes before becoming a fully fledged Publishing Recruitment Consultant. Parissa is supporting Karine Nicpon on editorial in London and the Home Counties.

 

Parissa Bagheri

Parissa graduated earlier this year with a Masters with Distinction in English Literature, looking for a role in the publishing industry. Her interests include reading, writing, health and fitness and travel. She is currently reading Everything I know About Love by Dolly Alderton and her favourite film is Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Parissa joined Atwood Tate as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant in October 2018 where she works on Editorial roles in London and the Home Counties.

parissabagheri@atwoodtate.co.uk

0203 574 4431

See our Meet the Team page for more information and contact details for all our consultants.

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BookMachine: Talking Tech

Anna Slevin our Temps Administrator attended the BookMachine “Talking Tech” event a few weeks ago and after Ada Lovelace Day recently celebrating the first computer programmer* we thought we’d let you know about the “manifesto” they discussed. We need Tech skills in publishing today!

As discussed by an all-female panel: led by the chair Emma Barnes (Founder & CEO, Bibliocloud and MD, Snowbooks), Sara O’Connor (Full Stack Developer, Bibliocloud), Lola Odelola (Software Engineer and Founder of blackgirl.tech) and Janneke Niessen (Entrepreneur, Investor, Boardmember, Inspiring Fifty, Project Prep). Anna, our Administrator tells us more.

Anna

All of the speakers were genuinely passionate and clearly knew what they were talking about but none of them were afraid to admit that when they don’t know the answer they turn to Google or the community. (It turns out that the tech community are often very helpful and generally prioritise make something work and finding the answer, most things are open source.)

A lot of the information is free and readily available on websites like Learn Enough it’s just a case of working through it and understanding what you’ve read. Which is the part most of us struggle with! You may have heard of things like C++ or Python and thought it sounds like a foreign language and it turns out it is!

Ruby

Which brings me to Ruby. Like Dorothy’s ruby shoes** prove there’s no place like home and Ruby is fun mainly because it is an object based language you can use to code. It feels more familiar (and homely) like a typical word-based language and once you start to see the output you’re already a programmer!

If you are a woman interested in trying for yourself with a bit of help, they publicised the next free Rails Girls London event: https://railsgirls.london/#events – you might even see some of us from Atwood Tate there! (Applications close in one month.)

Sara, Lola, Janneke and Emma

The panel (and chair) all talked about their own experiences in tech and why it’s important to publishing and society in general.

The key concerns raised time and again were:

Empathy. Accessibility. Diversity.

A lack of women in tech roles was partially why they were speaking at all but Lola raised issues around a lack of diversity across tech teams. Much like architects sometimes forget to consider spaces for wheelchairs or prams, the tech industry similarly sometimes can’t anticipate an issue until a product is rolled out to the public such as Lola’s observation about the photo tagging incident with an app a few years ago.

Resources/Opportunities mentioned:

Anyone can code.

Even a man with little or no sight hired by Janneke.

Even Sara who as originally in Editorial and is now a Full Stack Developer (which I asked her about and means she does the part people see and the back end stuff that makes it function).

Even that SUM formula on Excel pretty much counts as programming. Programming in publishing could save you a lot of time on those repetitive tasks… Give it a try!

 

*incidentally the daughter of Lord Byron (it’s all connected to publishing!)

**disclaimer: working in publishing, we know the shoes are silver in the books!

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Administrator in the Hot Seat: Anna Slevin

If you could write ‘THE book’ on something, the definitive how-to guide on any subject, which topic would you choose?

This is also my one true fact to share but I wrote 6,000 words about cinnamon instead of a dissertation for my degree! It wasn’t definitive so I’d quite like to go back and do that someday. (It was a choice between cinnamon or coffee at the time but I didn’t want to end up hating coffee!)

What three books changed your life?

First Test by Tamora Pierce

Where a girl didn’t have to pretend to be a boy to do what she wanted! (Tamora Pierce started in the eighties and is having a revival at the moment) It didn’t so much change my life as shape it from the start because my mum read it to me when I was about six I think.

The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell

(Slightly cheating I know but I only picked it up because it was so thick!) This autobiography melded fact and storytelling the point where I went off and wrote about cinnamon and studied Creative Nonfiction later. It’s been adapted into several television productions each different from the last. It showed me that real life can be as interesting as fiction and imagination can be applied to everything. Even slugs.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

I often give people the impression that I only read longer books or sprawling series, this isn’t entirely true because of this book. The amount of foreign literature in translation on British shelves is minimal – this is criminal. Kitchen is two novellas by a Japanese author that were somehow mainstream enough to be in English at my local library. Novellas are often underrated or undervalued, unfortunately they cost almost the same as much lengthier paperbacks. But some stories should be a certain length. Some stories need a certain style, a certain pace. Some stories are specific and individual and particular. But resonate. I now actively look for shorter fiction and translations.

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?

 Walking between worlds. It’s something of a theme in Diana Wynne Jones from her nine-lived enchanters with the title Chrestomanci to Howl of the Moving Castle fame (the film is very different! In the book he’s actually Howell Jenkins from Wales in our world) and in Homeward Bounders while in The Merlin Conspiracy there is confusion with multiple Earths…

The way it can mean so many different things even to one author strikes me as something special. It normally makes the character appreciate the world they come from or find one they prefer! I like the idea of seeing how different societies function and being able to choose for myself, much like a good book…

Bonus Question

Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner party?

There’s a saying: “never meet your heroes” and a lot of the best characters can be very obnoxious… I’m actually reading The Immortal Dinner at the moment with Keats and Wordsworth in appearance but Wordsworth sounds like a very difficult guest at times!

Do you invite characters or authors? What would they eat? Does Bob Dylan count, having won the Nobel Prize? If this is a fantasy literary dinner party I would invite my dad and Bob Dylan to talk to each other because my dad would love that, and William Morris; I would invite my mum and Margaret Drabble because she introduced me to her, and Eric Hobsbawm; and I would quietly slip out the back door and ask my parents about it later as an after-party. I don’t know who would be making the food. My parents introduced me to literature for which I can never thank them enough so I think I’d rather they get the opportunity and I know I would have no regrets, facilitation being the better part of valour.

 

 

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Atwood Tate Book Club: Back to School

 

Have you ever wondered what a team of publishing recruitment specialists like to read in their down time? Curious about our favourite books growing up? Welcome to the Atwood Tate Book Club, where we reveal what books have a special place on our shelves! For this entry, we go back to school with our favourite reads from our educational careers.

Julie Irigaray, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The first book I read after having passed the French equivalent of the GCSE (around the age of 15). I was moving to another school and to a higher level, so I suppose I needed to read a book about the changes taking place when one becomes a teenager. This novel deals with dark themes like suicide, sex and obsessional love in such a delicate way and with such a rich language that I couldn’t resist. The mystery surrounding both the main characters and the narrator makes it even more mesmerising.

 

Anna Slevin, Temps & Freelancers Administrator

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard.

I read the play for fun around the time I was sixteen and bored at school. The way time merges together and the interplay of language between characters really captures the imagination. I’m still wondering if it would be anywhere near as good on stage!

 

Claire Law, Managing Director

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

 

I did a course at Uni on Canadian Women’s literature and this and her other books had a great impact on my reading both for study and pleasure purposes from that point. I also decided to make a literary nod to her name when I set up Atwood Tate!

 

Helen Speedy, Associate Director

Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasian Chalk Circle) by Bertolt Brecht

I can’t remember whether Bertolt Brecht’s Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasion Chalk Circle) was one of my A-level set texts or an add on, but it remains one of the most influential plays that I have read. Our literature focus for German was Die Gerechtigkeit und das Gesetz, which translates as Justice and the Law.  When I got into trouble at school it was usually a rebellion in the face of injustice, so Brecht, who explores the concept of justice and the tendency for corruption to manipulate the law and even favour the criminal over the innocent, was appealing to me.  I recently re-read my other set text by Duerrenmatt, Der Richter und sein Henker (The Judge and his Hangman), and would recommend this as a quick and accessible read.  It’s a thriller (verging on noir) which delves into this issue of justice and (or versus) the law and I hope you can find it in translation somewhere if you don’t read German.

 

Charlotte Tope, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman

I couldn’t put these books down – they delivered a great message, in a thoughtful way, to a young audience. Such an effortless read!

 

Faye Jones, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald 

I studied The Great Gatsby for A Level English and become completely immersed in the characters and history behind 1920’s America. Even though the first chapter of the book is difficult to get through, I always recommend The Great Gatsby to anyone who’s looking for a short read and the film is great as well!

 

Cheryl O’garro, Administrator and Social Media Coordinator 

The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan 

This 18th century satire from Irish playwright Brinsley Sheridan was one of my AS level set texts and I have been in love with it ever since.  The play follows Lady Sneerwell and her band of gossips and the hypocrisy of their behaviour. The two plots are amazing: Sir Peter Teazle and his new, much younger wife and their marital troubles (half of which stems from society rumours)  and Sir Oliver Surface who, wanting to write his will, sets out in various character disguises to test if brothers Peter and Charles Surface are as respectively good and bad as society claims. I picked up a leather bound 1903 third edition copy from an antique book shop in Dublin (where he was born) and I was so happy I nearly hyperventilated!

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B2B Job Focus: Digital / Online / Web Editor

Are you a journalist or a section editor who wants to climb up the career ladder? In a previous post, Atwood Tate introduced you to the world of Section Editors. Today we’ll focus on Digital/Online/Web Editors!

Digital / Online / Web Editor

Web editor positions (also known as Digital or Online editors) developed as online publishing was spreading across publishing. It is now a rare thing for a publication to have a print version only but not so peculiar to have digital only titles! Web editors are responsible for creating content tailored for online publication. This includes a wide range of material from text to videos and podcasts. Web editors create and develop editorial guidelines to attract and increase online audience.

Web editors’ responsibilities include:

  • producing appealing content for the publication’s website, app, etc.
  • liaising with in-house team members and clients to adapt digital content
  • ensuring that search engine optimisation (SEO) is effective
  • overseeing the online publication’s layout (text, images, videos…)
  • developing and monitoring online communities
  • monitoring online messages boards and social media

 

Web editors act as the main point of contact with technical staff. They need to collaborate with several professionals (web developers, writers, photographers, web designers, the marketing team…) to enhance the website’s visibility. They also monitor online traffic to measure popularity and find new ways to make content attractive.

Required Skills

Not surprisingly, web editors should have strong IT skills. An excellent knowledge of desktop publishing and photo imaging packages like Photoshop and InDesign is necessary to work as a web editor. They must also be familiar with SEO and content management systems. They still need to have strong editorial skills though as this is ultimately an editorial position! And employers value creative candidates who can anticipate the next trade or burning topic within their industry.

Career Background

There is no particular route to become a web editor although a strong body of experience is often required. Many web editors have worked as journalists, and have solid knowledge of online publishing. Some digital editors move into editorial team management, but once again the career paths for this role are pretty flexible. With the boom of online publishing, many companies hired web editors and new graduates are all expected to be familiar with online publishing. It seems that this function is nowadays more and more engrained in Editor roles as onlube publishing has become inevitable and it is probable that this specific function will merge totally in an Editor role.

You can find relevant Digital/Online/Web Editor jobs here: www.atwoodtate.co.uk

Inspired by the different careers in B2B publishing and thinking about new opportunities? We are running a contest to receive a personalised CV surgery session with Karine, our Lead B2B Consultant, to make sure you are the best applicant you can be! Apply here between midnight 20th August and 11.59pm 2nd September to secure your chance!

 

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Atwood Tate Does The SYP Pub Quiz Night

What happens when you mix four publishing professionals, good burgers and a pub quiz with pictures? A good night out, apparently!

Not far near London Bridge lies The Miller – a pub with excellent burgers and an interesting range of cider (including Frozen Strawberry Slush!)

Last week, four of the best and brightest that Atwood Tate have to offer went along for the annual SYP Pub Quiz in support of the Book Trade Charity (BTBS).

We called ourselves Atwood Great (modest!) and went head to head with  7 other teams of people starting out in the publishing industry.

What we thought would be a straight forward question and answer session turned into a feat of anagrams and guessing opening and closing lines!  We did worryingly well on the children’s literature round, but the most team bonding happened on the ‘Say What You See’ – how many can you get from the picture below?

say what you see

Unfortunately, we had to bow out early, but we had tons of fun! Thank you to the lovely team at the SYP for organising.

Want to get involved in an SYP event?

Society of Young Publishers (SYP) have a great events schedule and job board for the publishing industry. We recommend becoming a member!  Some of our team will be at How to Succeed with Your Job Search so make sure to have your questions ready!  

SYP logo

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B2B Job Focus: Section Editors

Thinking of a career in B2B journalism? Atwood Tate is here to help! In a previous post we introduced you to the wonderful world of B2B publishing. Let’s continue our closer look at the different editorial career paths of B2B publishing with Section Editors!

Section Editors

 

Becoming a section editor is one of the career paths available to reporters/senior reporters interested in editing or getting some managerial experience. Section Editors can focus on a particular type of content like news or features. They could also specialise in a particular topic such as fashion, games or technology.

Section editors are responsible for overseeing the content of their part of the publication. They commission articles for their sections and work independently with their team of journalists (if the publication is big enough for them to have a team). They ensure that their section is of quality, up-to-date with the industry’s latest developments, and informative.

The duties associated with this role include:

  • scheduling content for their section of the magazine/website commissioning/writing articles
  • supervising freelance writers to ensure they hit deadlines and potentially managing in-house reporters.
  • editing, proofreading and subbing copy

Section editors may write some content for the publication but their main duty is to supervise writers and guarantee that deadlines and quality standards are met.

Our clients expect candidates to have solid experience as senior reporters to apply for a section editor position. They are looking for reporters with good proofreading and subbing skills as well as the ability to manage a team and to plan content for the section of the magazine.

The natural progression for section editors is to move on to a deputy editor position and then an editor role. No specific qualification is required to become a section editor but a journalism degree can be a bonus as previously stated in our Reporter focus.

Next week, we will be looking at the typical job description and career path for a Digital/Online/Web Editor position!

Is our career advice helping you in your job search? Do let us know via our social media channels!

Inspired by the different careers in B2B publishing and thinking about new opportunities? We are running a contest to receive a personalised CV surgery session with Karine, our Lead B2B Consultant, to make sure you are the best applicant you can be! Apply here between midnight 20th August and 11.59pm 2nd September to secure your chance!

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What happens to my CV?

Introduction

If you’ve never worked with a recruitment agency, it might be difficult to know what the different stages actually mean. Does registering with us automatically mean you’ve applied for a job? How will I know what the details are? Lead Recruitment Consultant Karine Nicpon explains.

Applying for role via a job board (Guardian/Gorkana/Bookseller) or via our website

Applying through a job board or through our website doesn’t send your application directly to the client. Instead, it is reviewed for suitability by the consultant, based on a full client brief (required skills, experience and salary expectations.)

If we think you are suitable, we send full details: name and website of the client, job description, salary, and any other relevant information. This is when you can decide how interested you are.

If everything still looks rosy, great! It’s time to send us a tailored CV and cover letter for us to send to the client. The process to your shiny new job begins!

Unfortunately, if we don’t think your skills and experience match what the client is expecting, we won’t proceed with your application. The client hasn’t seen your CV, as we only send over a personalised application with your permission. If you haven’t heard from us, you are welcome to apply for other jobs that we may have available or request to be added to our database for future opportunities.

Registering with us via our website/E-mailing us your CV

When you send us your CV by e-mail, one of our administrators reviews it for relevant experience. If we can help, we invite you in for a registration meeting. If there isn’t enough relevant experience, we have a range of temp and freelance roles to build up your experience. Many temps move into permanent roles, so don’t be disheartened! If your CV is strong but not publishing focused, we send you a reply acknowledging your experience.

Registering your CV via our website is similar: fill in a form with your preferences, which is reviewed against current vacancies to see if we can help. If we can, we invite you in for a registration meeting to discuss your needs and start the job search process!

If we can’t help you, we will let you know so you aren’t left hanging.

Automatic job alerts

Once we have added you to our database, we activate your job alerts (unless you tell us not to!). These are instant alerts to our new vacancies so that you are always aware of the jobs we have. While these come up with a consultant’s email address, they are sent by our IT system based on your preferences, not by the consultants themselves. Receiving a job alert is not a guarantee that your application will be progressed!

If you don’t like the sound of a job you can delete it but, if you do, you can apply via our website for your CV to be reviewed by our consultants. One thing to remember: our alerts are not matched by salary, so please don’t be alarmed or offended if you receive something that seems too high or low for your experience! If you feel you are receiving too many alerts, you can ask to switch them off or edit your preferences directly by logging into your profile.

Contacting the team

Our team are always happy to hear from new and existing candidates. If you would like to get in touch, there are a few options:

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B2B Job Focus: Reporters

Thinking of a career in B2B journalism? Atwood Tate is here to help! In a previous post we introduced you to the wonderful world of B2B publishing. Let’s now take a closer look at the different editorial career paths of B2B publishing, starting with Reporters!

Reporter/Journalists 

B2B Reporters/Journalists source and write news and features articles for a variety of formats, from print and online magazines to newspapers and broadcast (TV and radio).

B2B journalists investigate and report the latest news within a specific market. In this capacity, reporters may be required to travel nationally and/or internationally to cover industry events. Typical duties include:

  • Sourcing and writing news stories/features/opinion pieces about a specific market
  • Researching and interviewing key industry contacts to deliver accurate content
  • covering conferences and reporting on industry events
  • building strong contacts within the industry and developing an expertise of the market covered

B2B publications cover a wide range of subjects: from mechanical engineering to cabinet-making, energy to nursing, there is a publication for every trade!

Our clients are open to journalists without prior B2B experience for entry level positions. For roles requiring previous experience, a B2B background is desirable as writing for business audiences requires a different approach to consumer journalism. Some of our clients also value experience working for a local newspaper as local reporters often have strong investigation skills. Employers are looking for journalists with good research skills and the ability to pick up a subject quickly. You don’t have to know all about civil engineering to work for a civil engineering magazine, but you do need to be able to get to grips with the subject quite quickly. For more senior positions, our clients might ask for previous experience in a specific sector. This is particularly true with complex sectors such as finance or law.

Career paths vary according to what reporters are interested in. The natural progression for news-driven journalists would be from reporter to senior reporter and possibly section editor (news editor or features editor) positions if editing is something of interest. They can also choose to become assistant editors before moving on to a deputy editor and later editor positions, while those who prefer focusing on editing and copy-editing can become sub-editors. There is a thin line between all of these roles and your choice to follow one path or another will depend on your skills and preferences. Job titles can also mean different things in different companies (It’s confusing, we know!) Always read job adverts and job descriptions carefully before applying to try and understand what the role really entails. Or speak to your recruiter!

Is a formal qualification really necessary to become a journalist, I hear you ask? It isn’t an absolute requirement and some of our clients are quite happy with equivalent experience. A course might help craft your skills and teach you the basics of what makes a good reporter. If you can, we would recommend doing a course/training or gaining some relevant experience like internships before applying for a first job. The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) offers accredited courses and many universities have journalism degrees.

We hope this helps! Watch this space as we will continue the series next week, where our next post will be on section editors!

Inspired by the different careers in B2B publishing and thinking about new opportunities? We are running a contest to receive a personalised CV surgery session with Karine, our Lead B2B Consultant, to make sure you are the best applicant you can be! Apply here between midnight 20th August and 11.59pm 2nd September to secure your chance!

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