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Cover Letter Dos and Don’ts

You have found the job of your dreams, researched the role and the company and perfected your CV. Wait, and you still have to write your cover letter, right? Yes you do!

Do not underestimate the importance of the cover letter, it works simultaneously with your CV to reflect and highlight the skills you have outlined.

A well written cover letter will help you to stand out and increase your chances of the recruitment manager remembering you.

We know how daunting application writing can be, so we are sharing our top dos and don’ts.

Do:

  • Research the role and the company before you start writing
  • Have a clear structure; use paragraphs and an easy to read font
  • Have an opening sentence with a positive tone that also signals that you are applying for this specific role `I am writing to apply for….’
  • Highlight why you are interested in the role, and what is attractive about the company
  • Let them know why they should interview you by summarising your strengths and skills that make you the best candidate to do that job
  • Your skills and strengths should be tailored to the requirements and objectives set out in the job description
  • Emphasise what you can do for the company, you can outline a career goal that meets with the company’s objectives or expand on the key skills in your CV
  • Thank the employer for their time and that you look forward to hearing from them
  • If you start with `Dear name’ you should end with `yours sincerely’ and if you start with `Dear Sir/Madam’ you should end with `yours faithfully’.
  • Check your spelling and grammar not once, but twice or three times  

Don’t:

  • Send a generic, untailored cover letter
  • Write more than one page. The aim of a cover letter is to summarise concisely why you are applying for the role, why you are the right candidate for the job and why you want to join the organisation
  • Use creative fonts, colours, abbreviations
  • Include unnecessary personal information or skills/qualifications not specific to the job
  • Include your salary preferences or requirements unless asked by the employer
  • Generalise or be too casual in tone. Instead be specific in how you have excelled in previous roles
  • Write without having researched the company and what your role involves
  • Send your cover letter without checking you have addressed it to the right company and contact

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Sales and Customer Service

I joined Atwood Tate in February 2018 and specialise in recruiting for Sales, Production, Production Editorial, Rights, Contracts, Project Management, Design, Distribution & Operations roles.  In this blog, I will be explaining jobs in Sales and Customer Service sectors within publishing.

Sales

What is a sales role in publishing?

Sales roles are diverse – from Sales Assistant, Sales Executive, Sales Representation roles which bring in new business to an Account Manager role looking after a designated group of client/company products, i.e an Account Manager for children titles in the US market for an international leading trade book publisher.  For sales roles, it is also usually divided into a specific list of titles and accounts: normal accounts (bookshops/direct customers) and special sales (supermarkets/retail stores/ wholesalers). 

What does a sales role involve?

Your job is to understand the front list titles, prepare new titles presentation, build and maintain relationships with customers/clients, represent your publisher and persuade your target audience to sell your titles or products.

What skills do you need to succeed in a sales role?

Communication and presentation skills. You need to be results and target driven and have a good head for numbers. Excellent negotiating skills are a must.  You will also need to keep up with latest market trends, observe the market, feed it back to your publisher and make strategic plans to keep the business going. 

Is there good progression in sales?

Sales roles are very diverse so they are always full of opportunity and progression.  You can make a lateral move or you move upwards and onwards.  The contacts and relationships you will build up throughout the years will also become one of you biggest assets when you look for a new opportunity – so make sure you stay in touch with everybody!

Customer Service

What is a customer service role?

Customer service is fundamentally a role to support the operations of a sales department.  You will update metadata on the company database, websites or other online platforms.  You will also handle queries from booksellers/clients/direct customers, issue invoice and follow up on the finances.  Other responsibilities may include logistics management, stock queries, and resolving problems.

What skills do you need in a customer service role?

As for the nature of the role, you will be a tech-savvy person.  Preparing sales materials for your colleagues, updating the database and processing orders will be your main duties so a good eye for detail, good communications skills and a high ability to solve problems will be essential.  

How do you progress in a sales/customer service role?

You can start as a Sales Coordinator and then move towards managing accounts and eventually overseeing a sales operations team.  Keep up with the latest technology and software, be an expert in what you do.  If you eventually wanted to have a fresh challenge, you could look into operations or project management roles.

If you have any questions about Sales or Customer Services roles in publishing, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Clare Chan, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Tel:        0203 574 4428 Email: clarechan@atwoodtate.co.uk

Specialist areas: Sales, Production, Production Editorial, Rights, Contracts, Project Management, Design, Distribution & Operations roles.

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10 Dos and Don’ts of CV Writing

Are you putting off writing or editing your CV? One of the most commonly asked questions we get is about the format of CV’s. To help you along with your CV writing process we have written a summary of our top 10 dos and don’ts of CV writing!

Dos:

  • Keep your CV at two pages max (we know it is hard!). You need to demonstrate you can prioritise relevant information with the content you provide
  • Introduce yourself in a personal statement at the top of the page, including your skills and what you are looking for in a few sentences
  • Include your contact details and a link to your LinkedIn profile
  • Save your CV in a word doc or PDF in the format `full name and CV’  
  • Set out the dates of your employment, the company and your position clearly with accurate spacing
  • You can include a brief description of the company you worked for, followed by bullet points to present your achievements, using figures and stats where necessary (use power words!)
  • The education and employment sections should be in reverse chronological order. You can include a `relevant experience’ section
  • Have a skills section highlighting any IT and language speaking skills. You can also include any courses/training, driving skills or leadership skills that are relevant
  • Choose a professional font, one that is easily read and looks good when printed or scanned
  • Important: Be meticulous in your spelling and grammar!

Don’ts:

  • Avoid long, chunky looking paragraphs (white space is your friend!)
  • List all of your GCSEs/O-Levels or every module from your degree, just those related to the job you are applying for
  • Experiment with size (making the text bigger to fill the space/smaller to fit) or wacky colours and fonts
  • DOB, picture and marital status are not necessary
  • Use acronyms, technical terms or clichés (instead demonstrate clichés such as `hard worker’ in your experience and achievements)
  • Use personal pronouns
  • Include irrelevant skills and work experience (not including them will not decrease your chance of getting the job!)
  • Explain why you left every single position. You can cover this at interview, but also in your covering letter.  If you are not currently in employment and want to explain why, put a brief note in your covering letter.  If you are applying through an agency, be transparent with them and they can help you to explain.  If you have done a series of fixed term contracts, putting “fixed term contract” next to the job title will signal that this is why you haven’t stayed longer in the role
  • Submit your CV with unprofessional email addresses or names
  • Lie! With a simple search a lie can be found out and this won’t go down well with your interviewer

Extra Tip: Don’t leave gaps.  Account for any gap years/sabbaticals or times out of work, but briefly and without it becoming distracting.  If you omit something, it will raise more questions than a brief sentence accounting for the gap.

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Stephanie Hall


Stephanie has recently re-joined us at Atwood Tate after working as an internal recruiter at HarperCollins for four and a half years, managing all the recruitment across the different sites and at all levels. Stephanie worked at Atwood Tate from 2012-2014 and has returned to look after Editorial (non B2B & Professional); Production; Design and Operations outside London and the Home Counties.

What do you love about working in publishing?

I love the people, which is handy for being a recruiter! I consistently find the people in the industry to be interesting, friendly people. It can feel like quite an insular industry when you’re first starting out, but people are usually willing to chat and because people never seem to leave publishing once they’re in, you get to build great relationships with people over time. I have candidates that I placed in 2012 that I’m still in touch with!

What is your favourite book/play/poem or author?

I don’t have a favourite book anymore, I don’t think… I’ve probably read all of Judy Blume’s books several times each and find going back to them incredibly comforting, but if we’re judging favourite books by number of times read, at the moment it’s the That’s Not My… series. We’re currently very into locating and identifying our monkeys, dinosaurs, llamas, pirates and kittens at home. Otherwise, I’ve recently re-read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Dear Ijeawele,: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions which I would highly recommend to anyone, not just parents. It has some brilliant suggestions on how to raise an inclusive and strong kid and all my friends now have a copy.

Who is your hero?

Frida Kahlo. I really admire her resilience and ability to turn any setback into something creative (and profitable!). She was all the things I want to be when I grow up: strong, brave, honest, successful in her own right, unashamedly feminist, generous with her time and most importantly, able to stomach a lot of tequila. I think I have better taste in husbands though!

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

The ability to control time – to pause it, speed it up, slow it down. I genuinely don’t understand anyone that would want a different power. I could pause time during the night to get more sleep or have a lie in, slow time down when I’m running late (I hate to be late!) and speed it up when time is dragging and I’m getting impatient. What more could you want?

If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be?

Oprah. I think she’d be fascinating to talk to and would have some absolutely exceptional gossip about other people, as well as some really interesting experiences and incredible achievements of her own that I’d like to ask about. And if the conversation runs dry, we can chat about the episode of 30 Rock that she’s in, which is one of my favourites.

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Industry Spotlight: Temping

What is temping?

Publishers contact us to book temps when they need an extra pair of hands to help them meet a deadline or when they are extra busy. These roles are also urgent with almost immediate starts. Our clients also need temps to cover sick leave or to cover whilst a new permanent team member is being recruited.  They may even consider the temp! Temp roles can range from 2 days up to 6 months and can be extended further and even lead to a permanent role.  

Temping with Atwood Tate

The Temps/Freelancers team cover roles across the entire publishing industry including trade and educational, Academic, Science as well as professional and B2B, digital and print.  They also cover administration, finance, HR, marketing, and sales.

The team are:

Kellie Millar (Temps/Freelancers Manager) kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk

Novia Kingshott (Senior Recruitment Consultant) NoviaKingshott@atwoodtate.co.uk

Anna Slevin (Temps/Freelancers Administrator) annaslevin@atwoodtate.co.uk

Anna is a former Atwood Tate temp herself and had a few admin placements in Accounts Payable and Publications Teams. As she can testify temps are paid weekly on Fridays and receive holiday pay which goes into a “pot” they draw from when they go on annual leave. Temps can be paid by hour or have a day rate depending on the job.

Our clients aren’t all publishers but have a busy publishing team. These also include a royal academic society, a charity or even a standards or ratings publisher. A lot of the time when temping, skills are readily transferrable and employers are more flexible regarding your work background. Marketing roles are particularly easy to transfer across or specialist knowledge such as science or law can be very useful in editorial for those specialist subject publishers.

How will temping benefit me and is an extension guaranteed?

Sometimes temps cover a role more senior or more junior than they would typically expect. This could be in a different area to one they have worked in before or one they do because they love what the publisher works on and the job. Temping is great for exploring the industry and various companies.

Temp roles will often say “extensions possible” this is because roles can be extended for more days and weeks or a contract on the publisher’s payroll could be offered. There are no guarantees but it does happen and you are more than welcome to apply for internal vacancies while working for that publisher which may not be available to the general public.

Candidates do come to Atwood Tate specifically wanting temp or freelance work but quite often they are looking for a permanent job but don’t yet have the required experience so the Temps team can help to get that ‘foot in the door’. Once a candidate has a bit more experience in publishing, the Permanent Team can help look for a permanent role in publishing. Kellie and Novia can help you to build up that in-house experience.

What is the recruitment process for temping?

A role comes in. We tell you about it / You express interest. We put you forward. If the client chooses your CV you can start working immediately or there may be a telephone interview or even a face to face interview. Interviews are less formal and shorter with temp roles.  

As a Temp: work hard + submit timesheets + be paid on Fridays = WORK IN PUBLISHING!!!

(You also learn a lot no matter how well you know the role and get to work with some really lovely people.)

With contributions from Anna Slevin

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Atwood Tate Book Club: Christmas

Welcome back to the Atwood Tate Book Club, where we reveal what books have a special place on our shelves! For this entry our team of publishing recruitment specialists are delighted to bring you our festive favourites, that keep us feeling warm during the winter months and get us in the Christmas spirit!

 

Charlotte Tope, Publishing Recruitment Consultant

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.

Christmas is a time of indulgence, togetherness with loved ones and a shared experience. This book offers advice of how to make the most of your feeling of home and comfort.

Charlotte says: ` Christmas is for everything cosy, and this is pretty much the festive season rolled up into a book. Best read with hot chocolate, PJ’s and a blanket.’

 

Anna Slevin, Temps & Freelancers Administrator

Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce

This is an alternative present where the UK is about to join the Eurozone, when two brothers find a bag stuffed with stolen money they have less than 3 weeks to spend all of it before the Great British Pound becomes worthless. Young enough to think this is a good idea… old enough to have their own problems anyway. Centred around the value of money and giving, this is a perfect read for this time of year.

Anna says: `Millions is one of those odd books that is intrinsically linked to the screenplay as the author did both but I think the book is better! The perfect Christmas book where you work out what’s important to you with a measure of sainthood thrown in.’

 

Helen Speedy, Associate Director

The Box of Delights by John Masefield

 

The story is set during the Christmas holiday when the protagonist, Kay Harker, returns home from school and gets mixed up in a magical and sometimes menacing adventure around a magical box.

Helen says: `It’s an exciting and atmospheric mystery story and for me means Christmas with themes of magic and wonder. There was an amazing TV series in the early 1980s which my brother and I watched avidly and I wish the BBC would re-run this, as I think children today would love it as well.’

 

Parissa Bagheri, Trainee Publishing Recruitment Consultant 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

 

A Christmas classic that warms the heart! Where the reader witnesses the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge change into a kinder man after visits from the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come.

Parissa says: `I just love Dickens and A Christmas Carol is one of my favourites! It’s one for everyone to enjoy whilst being cosy at home with some Christmas music playing in the background!’

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Faye Jones

 

 

Which three books changed your life?

  1. 1984 by George Orwell – I read this book for my English Literature A Level and then went to see a theatre production of it and it blew my mind. Everyone in my family has read it and we will often say that situations in the news can be “very 1984”. This is the first book that changed the way I looked at surveillance and made me think about how we’re always being watched by someone!
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – I read the Great Gatsby on holiday and managed to finish it in a couple of hours because I was hooked. I then went on to study it at Alevel before I read 1984 and it made me want to study English after I left school. I really enjoyed the Baz Luhrmann film adaptation as it’s quite true to the book but I would definitely choose the book over the film if I had to make a choice between the two.
  3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time by Mark Haddon – I didn’t think that I would enjoy this book when I first heard about it but it was another holiday read that I couldn’t put down. I love the way that the main characters thoughts are narrated and the story is fantastic. I really want to go and see the theatre adaptation of the book so hopefully I can book tickets to see it soon!

Who would you invite to your fantasy literary dinner?

  1. Roald Dahl – would love to pick his brain about what his books are inspired by and how his upbringing in Cardiff effected his writing.
  2. W H Auden – I absolutely love Auden’s poetry especially Miss Gee, I would just sit and listen to him read his poetry all day if I could.
  3. Jacqueline Wilson – I grew up reading all of Jacqueline Wilson’s books and would love to meet her in person.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

I graduated from university in July 2017 and while I was studying I went to weekly Lindyhop classes and became quite involved in the Swing Dance Society. It was sad leaving Reading after I graduated but luckily for me I got to move back 9 months later and started going back to Lindyhop classes straight away. I loved seeing my dance friends again and seeing how the beginners have improved while I was away.

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

If I had to write a book on anything it would be how to handle yourself in social dancing situations within partnered dances (if you can’t tell I really like social dancing). I think many beginners are worried about doing something wrong or stepping on another person’s feet but it is all about confidence! I would love to write a book that guided you through how to build up your confidence and eventually, ask a stranger to dance with you at an event.

True fact: My mother made me go to Ballet classes when I was 4 because I use to walk around on what I called my ‘tippy toes’ all day and everyone was worried that I would really hurt my feet.

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ALPSP Conference 2018

Atwood Tate is a long-term member of the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) and were delighted to attend their conference 12 – 14 September 2018.  This conference plays a key role in scholarly publishing, and it attracted a high-level audience from all sectors including publishing people from academic, professional and STM publishing.  This conference provides an opportunity to share information and knowledge, learn about new initiatives, as well as engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing publishing.

 

I spent a day at the ALPSP conference and attended a number of fruitful talks, including Evolution of Peer Review, Industry Updates, Openness & Transparency in Scholarly Publishing and What’s New in the Digital Humanities.  The talks were very informative, and it also strengthens my knowledge in the field.  In particular, I enjoyed the talk by The Charlesworth Group where the speaker Jean Dawson talked about how scholarly publishers can use their service and promotes their works via WeChat to the Chinese audience.  Ann Michael from Delta Think made an interesting point on how data is never perfect so we need to build skills and team to fill the gaps.

Other than talks and seminars, there was also charity run in aids of FODAD, a small UK registered charity providing support to those in Sri Lanka, conference dinner and after-dinner quiz. Featuring a wide-ranging programme, this is a must-attend event for everyone involved in the scholarly publishing community.

If you weren’t able to attend, there are a number of resources and presentations available to view and listen to here: https://www.alpsp.org/2018-Programme

Video footage of all plenary sessions is also available on the ALPSP YouTube page.

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Atwood Tate Book Club: Halloween

 

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 peek under the bed and around darkened corners with our favourite Halloween appropriate reads.

Anna Slevin, Temps & Freelancers Administrator

Gentleman & Players by Joanne Harris .

Psychological thriller that really ramps up the tension in an all-boys school, written by a former teacher (of Chocolat fame) with two narrators and two time periods as a former tragedy comes back to haunt the school… Honestly one of the most disconcerting reads as hindsight and ignorance confuse the reader as the disturbing mystery plays out.

The Stuff of Nightmares by Malorie Blackman

Short stories that show schoolchild nightmares that ultimately reach a conclusion as the reality of a train crash hits home. Memorable a decade later! Dreamscapes are the perfect landscape for awful situations with terrible images that stay with you…

Charlotte Tope, Publishing Recruitment Consultant

The Virago Book of Ghost Stories volume ll

 

It’s not in print anymore so you’ll have to do a bit of searching to get a second hand copy, but a collection of haunting tales all written by women. I recommend Black Dog Penelope Lively. You’re going to have to read in-between the lines for this one!!

 

Faye Jones, Publishing Recruitment Consultant

The Woman in Black  by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black was the first horror book that I read after finishing school, and even though I couldn’t put it down I wanted to because it was so scary! I only read it at night time which was probably a bad idea and when the film came out I convinced my friends to try reading it before watching it in the Cinema. If you’re looking for a chilling read I would recommend the Woman in Black.

 

 

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Industry Spotlight: STM Publishing

Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. This week Clare returns, focusing on roles in STM publishingSTM word cloud

 

What does ‘STM’ means in publishing?

STM publishing refers to scholarly, Scientific, Technical, Medical and professional publishers.  In Atwood Tate, we work with a wide range of publishers from academic and scientific publishers, learned societies, open-access publishers and professional bodies to reach out to publishing professionals.  The content is often journals or books based, for journals, there are open-access journals and subscription journals.

What will be the academic requirement?

The majority of roles we work on require a scientific degree.  It is not often that a Master’s or PhD is required but for senior editorial positions, especially working on a particular scientific subject, it is likely that a specific academic background will be needed. However, for roles that are more operational or with a strategic focus, companies might be more flexible on educational background.  Some candidates have, for example, an English degree who now work in a managerial STM publishing role so never say never!

What roles do we work on within STM publishing?

We work on roles from junior to senior level.  From Editorial or Publication Assistant, to middleweight Production Editor or Commissioning Editor; senior level Managing Editor or Publishing Operations Manager and so on.  STM publishing is a big area and it is full of potential to transfer your expertise.

Is there good progression in STM Publishing?

STM publishing is fast growing and blooming quickly so there will definitely be good progression.  Through working with different portfolio of journals and academia, you will grow your network and gain a wider knowledge of STM publishing.  Currently, a lot of STM publishers are expanding and restructuring so there are definitely opportunities to grow your career in the field.

If you are looking for a job in STM Publishing, get in touch with Clare at clarechan@atwoodtate.co.uk.

Atwood Tate is a member of ALPSP (The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers).

Keep an eye out for ScholarlySocial @ScholarlySocial which has networking meetings.

 

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