Tag Archives: Temping

SYP Panel Help Aspiring Publishers to Kick-Start Their Career

In September, SYP London kindly hosted ‘Kick-Start Your Career: How to Succeed with your Job Search this Autumn’ for aspiring and entry level publishing candidates hoping to gain some career and work experience from established members of the industry. Speakers included our very own Associate Director Helen Speedy, who all brought their experiences and insights on how to build a successful career in publishing.

Did you miss the event? Perhaps you would like a recap! Helen Speedy shares her publishing career advice and experiences.

Explain your role and how you got there (approx. 5 mins each).

I am the Associate Director at Atwood Tate, a specialist publishing recruitment company based in Central London and Oxford. My job is to manage the Permanent team day-to day, who consist of seven consultants and an administrator, and make sure everybody is hitting their targets, having smooth relations with both clients and candidates and generally feeling happy. I am also the contact for senior publishing roles across the country, so a day can be talking through pipelines and business development with my team, or taking briefs from clients and sourcing appropriate candidates for the recruitment process.

I got my first job through talking to one of the speakers at the Oxford Brookes Careers Day towards the end of my MA, who gave me the contact details of someone looking for an Office Junior.

How do I get my first job in publishing?

There are a number of ways to get your first publishing job, and it’s worth trying a few to give yourself the best possible chance.

  • MA (plus work experience and networking)
  • Work experience placements that could lead to your first job
  • Through an agency – temping can lead to perm or to getting that work experience you needed but being paid properly along the way (also perm)
  • Networking events are a great way to build up your contacts and make a good impression before you’ve even made an application!
  • Proactive volunteering/personal work are also worth considering to boost your CV and stand out from the crowd. It is a lot easier to prove your interest in children’s illustrated fiction if your social media, blogging or volunteering backs you up!

What advice would you give your younger self, when you were just starting out?

Be more confident and don’t always assume that there are people better qualified than you.

What do you regret doing in your career?

I don’t have any regrets really. That may sound a bit complacent, but I have the philosophy that you make the right decision at the time and there is no point looking back. There are various points in my career when I could have taken a different path and I have turned down jobs and also taken roles that didn’t quite turn out to be what I thought. I remind myself that I made those decisions and they felt like the right choice at the time.  As long as you feel in control  and you are happy with your decision at that time, you should not have any regrets.  The only lasting regret I have is not calling out a bully, but I was young and in the junior position, so I forgive myself and it has given me the strength to help others confront difficult situations and not be scared to do so myself.

Associate Director Helen Speedy (second from left) after speaking on the panel

What’s the best career advice you’ve heard?

  • In terms of CV advice, make sure it shows the difference you made and the impact you’ve had, not just a list of your duties
  • If you’ve got lots of voluntary experience, internships and temp roles, try categorising rather than listing chronologically – tell a story and make sure the facts support the narrative.

How do you know if you should go for a role or not?

  • Can you tick 70-80% of the boxes (usually nobody has it all!)
  • Is it located in a sensible place for you to commute to?
  • Does picturing yourself in the role make you feel excited?
  • Do you think it would give you opportunities to learn?
  • What do you know about the company culture and how that would suit you?
  • If you’re not sure, try to have a conversation (with recruiter or name on advert)

Is it off-putting for employers if you apply for lots of different positions at the same company?

It depends on the size of company. It can be off-putting if it looks you are applying for anything and there is no real effort on any of the applications.  HR will begin to wonder how can  you be truly that interested in so many different roles with different skillsets! If there are different roles that catch your eye, find out if they will refer you if their role isn’t suitable. In a small company,you may get referred internally (I did for my first job and ended up with a better job than the one I applied for!)

Want to hear more about the SYP?

The Society of Young Publishers is a membership body for aspiring publishers and current candidates in the first ten years of their career. With branches in London, Oxford, South-West, North, Ireland and Scotland; the SYP is the biggest membership organisation in the publishing industry. For more details and to sign up, go to https://thesyp.org.uk/membership-signup.

 

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Industry Spotlight: Temping

 

 

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. Our first entry is with our wonderful temps and freelancers desk, manned by Kellie Millar and Alison Redfearn. Kellie and Alison help clients not just in London but nationwide, and they work with temps and freelancers at all levels, in all publishing sectors from trade and education to Scientific and academic as well as professional and B2B. They also proudly help and support many interns gain their first paid assignments in publishing. The temps desk is supported by Anna Slevin, who helps with on-boarding new temps, administering holiday pay and dealing with all time sheet or payroll issues.

How can temping benefit my career?

Companies can’t always predict when they’ll need someone. The requirements can come fast and without notice and are urgent. If you’ve been struggling to get a job, through temping, you could actually start working tomorrow.

Due to the urgency of the requirement, sometimes, there isn’t even time for an interview. At most, the client may ask for just a quick, informal phone call so they can ask some relevant questions and gauge a candidate’s answers and then hire. That’s how quick it can be sometimes – you might hear from us on Monday and start working on Tuesday. Sometimes, our temps move directly from one role to another, developing new skills and using the temping experience to further their publishing careers step by step, or even get made permanent! Temps can be booked to cover sick leave, holiday, special projects or to take the pressure off a team whilst they are recruiting for a permanent role – they may even hire you!

What type of job sectors do you cover?

We cover temp and freelance roles across the book, journal and B2B magazine sector as well as  the ever evolving digital publishing and IT technology sectors within Editorial, Marketing, Sales and Production, Product Development, E-Learning as well as Admin and Customer Support.

What type of roles can I get as a temp?

Here is a small sample of roles we have placed!

  • Social Media and Marketing Assistant, Trade Publisher
  • Customer Support Administrator, Magazine Publisher
  • Editorial Assistant (Exams), Educational Publisher
  • Brand and Marketing Executive, Children’s Publisher
  • Production Controller, Arts Publisher
  • Part time Publicity Assistant, Non Fiction
  • Publicity Manager, Fiction Publisher
  • Marketing Executive, Scientific Publisher
  • Legislation Editor, Legal publisher
  • Freelance Sub Editor, B2B publisher

How would I get paid?

Temps are added to Atwood Tate’s payroll and get paid on a weekly basis, on an hourly rate. We use online timesheets for you to record your hours, which your manager approves. Temps also accrue holiday pay and can also opt into pensions too. Payments are paid directly into your bank account each Friday, just in time for the weekend!

What if I want to go permanent?

Temping can be an excellent route to finding a permanent role in publishing. You can treat the temporary assignment like a working interview and network with your team and various departments to learn about roles that may be coming up. There is the possibility while you are temping to be offered a permanent role. You can also apply for any internal roles you see being advertised. The beauty of temping is the variety, the opportunity to explore. More senior candidates also enjoy the flexibility that temping or freelancing offers. For those of you starting out, you can build up your admin and publishing experience and even if you don’t go temp to perm through your temp assignment, the experience gained and added to your growing CV, will put you in good stead for applying for future permanent roles.

For more information about temping or freelancing do feel free to contact us via Atwood Tate’s “Meet the team” page or to apply for temp and freelancer roles visit our job pages 

 

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The Spare Room Project: Helen’s Experience Hosting Publishing Interns

What is the Spare Room Project and how does it work?

Let’s be honest, opportunities in the publishing industry are mainly in London and this can be a real obstacle for anyone looking to enter the industry from outside of the capital. This is where the Spare Room Project comes in.  In 2016, James Spackman (publisher and consultant) with the support of the Publishers Association, set up this project, which provides aspiring publishers with the opportunity to stay in the city for free and take up work experience placements.

So how does it work?  It’s simple really: interns are matched with hosts who are willing to offer their spare room for a week.  If you sign up to the Spare Room Project, you’ll be added to a mailing list and alerted when there are new lodgers to host.  There’s no immediate obligation to host and you only need reply when you see dates that will work for you.  I would urge anyone with a spare room to sign up and see whether you can help now or in the future.

Helen’s experience hosting interns

I’m excited to be hosting my third Spare Room Project intern in June.  Not being a Londoner by upbringing, I am sympathetic to the challenges facing anyone looking to enter the industry from outside of the publishing hubs of London, Oxford and Cambridge, so it’s been great to be involved in this scheme.  It’s not only good to be doing something practical to enable those without existing contacts to gain an insight into publishing and hopefully get a foot in the door, but it’s also been an enjoyable and enriching experience from my point of view.  We’ve had two quite different guests so far, one who was a huge fan of musical theatre and managed to get cheap tickets for shows most evenings, so we hardly saw her and our second guest, who quickly became part of the family and was a huge hit with (and incredibly tolerant of) my children.  Quite different experiences, but both were perfect lodgers and no problem at all to host.

You can find out more here https://thespareroomproject.co.uk/ or on their Twitter, @SpareRoomProj, and don’t just take my word for it, read some of the testimonials on the PA’s website and check out their FAQs https://www.publishers.org.uk/activities/inclusivity/spare-room-project/.

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Team update: Welcome to the team, Anna!

We are delighted to announce we have a new Temps and Freelancers Administrator, Anna Slevin! She will be providing administrative support to Alison Redfearn and Kellie Miller in our London office.

Anna Slevin

Anna entered the publishing and recruitment worlds by temping (some of those roles gained through Atwood Tate!) after finishing her broad English and American Literature degree. Instead of completing a dissertation at university, Anna opted for the more unusual opportunity to write 6000 words of creative non-fiction about cinnamon and she has continued to think outside the box ever since. Passionate about food, theatre and stories in general, she is happy to help with most things. She joined Atwood Tate in February 2018 as the Temps and Freelancers Administrator in the London office.

annaslevin@atwoodtate.co.uk

0203 574 4427

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

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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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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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A Day In The Life Of . . . A Temporary Rights and Permissions Assistant

Today, we have another of our temporary workers, breaking down their role as a Rights and Permissions Assistant for us!

What was your role and how long was the assignment for?

I started on a six week placement which extended to three months reviewing permission logs.  This then progressed to the current temporary contract and I have been in this role for 2 ½ years.

Were you interviewed for the role?  Yes

What were your key duties?

Reviewing published books to check any third party items such as images and quotes had been cleared for use.

Processing incoming permissions queries, preparing licenses and invoices

Processing incoming translation and other rights requests, negotiating the terms and fee payable, preparing the contract and invoice

Some marketing of titles for rights selling

Tell us about the culture?

Everyone at the company is very friendly and helpful (which has been great given how many questions I have asked of people).  Everyone is keen to produce the best books they can.  Many roles include foreign travel and even if you stay in the UK you are always working with people around the world both inside and outside the company which gives a real multi-cultural flavour to the role.

What did you like best?

There are so many things, among them I really enjoy being able to tell authors that their books are being translated. Seeing the translated books when they arrive is always a great pleasure as you never really know how they will look until you see them.

What did you learn?

Everything!  I had never done this role before and so it has been a real baptism of fire as I have learned how to use new systems and databases, copyright rules as well as refining my negotiation skills.

How did you find your experience with Atwood Tate? Great, Kellie, Michael and the team have always been very supportive and helpful at every step.

How did Atwood Tate approach you for the role? Atwood Tate’s database, job board?  I first contacted Atwood Tate after seeing the role on The Bookseller website and then spoke with Kellie about it in further detail.

Interested in temporary opportunities? Please contact Atwood Tate’s temps team administrator, Michael Lawlor michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk

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A Day In The Life Of . . . A Temporary Office Manager

Temping with Atwood Tate can open up a world of opportunities and can put you on the road to employment as soon as tomorrow!

We thought we’d share some of our temps’ experiences and demonstrate the variety of roles available…

 

A Day In The Life Of . . . A Temporary Office Manager

What was your role and how long was the assignment for?

I was assigned to a trade book publisher as a Temporary Office Manager for 4 weeks.

Were you interviewed for the role?  

Yes, briefly on the morning that I started in the role. They needed someone to fill the role quickly, at short-notice, so I started working there within two days of being told about the role.

What were your key duties?

As Office Manager, I was in charge of the Post-Room, which involved distributing incoming post, and ordering couriers and franking outgoing mail. It was also my duty to monitor and report any facilities issues within the office, and also to monitor and order office supplies. I also managed the logistics of author book signings in the office. Other duties included processing invoices, general administrative duties, and various ad-hoc duties as they arose.

Tell us about the culture?

The office was a friendly and welcoming environment to work in. As the office was open plan, the different departments were all very approachable, and there was a great sense of a team effort, supporting each other, across the entire office.

What did you like best?

What I liked best about this role was that it was a busy and changing role, where there were new challenges and opportunities each day. I also enjoyed the opportunity to interact and work with all of the departments in the office.

What did you learn?

I learnt a lot about how a trade book publisher works, and how each individual department plays a vital role in bringing a new book title to fruition. I also learnt a great deal about the logistics side of publishing, from sending out new releases for promotional purposes, how to order a courier to transport a large window display. Finally, I learnt the importance of ensuring a happy office, such as getting light bulbs changed quickly, ensuring the air conditioning works and keeping coffee supplies well stocked!

How did you find your experience with Atwood Tate?

I had a great experience with Atwood Tate, being kept informed at all stages of taking on the assignment as to what was going on, and being briefed along the way as to what the role would involve and what was expected of me. They were always available to contact by phone and email whenever needed to.

How did Atwood Tate approach you for the role? Were you registered on Atwood Tate’s database or was it via a job board?

I had registered for Temping opportunities with Atwood Tate, and they contacted me asking if it would be possible for me to start in the role immediately.

Interested in temporary opportunities? Please contact Atwood Tate’s temps team administrator, Michael Lawlor, at michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk

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Advice from the Careers Clinic

Advice from the Careers Clinic

Advice from the Careers Clinic

Last week two of our consultants, Alison and Karine attended the London Book Fair Careers Clinic, run by bookcareers.com.

For all of those who were unable to attend the book fair or the Careers Clinic we wanted to provide you with the information which was most requested by those that attended.

How to write a Good CV:

We have many blog posts on writing a good CV, which you can read here:

The main things to remember when writing a CV is to include all of your publishing experience and to keep it clean and simple.

You must also remember a Cover Letter. The main thing about a cover letter is that you tailor it to each job you apply for. Try not to over complicate things and keep it as concise as possible.

For more information on cover letters take a look at this blog post:

Work Experience

The most popular questions at the Careers Clinic were about work experience.

We don’t handle work experience or internships. But to gain an entry-level job in publishing you need to have at least 3 month’s work experience in publishing.

You can gain this experience through a work experience placement, internship or through temping.

For more information about temping take a look at this post written by our temp team’s administrator Michael:

Temping is a great way to gain paid work experience, and possibly gain a full-time job upon completion of your contract. If you’re looking for an entry-level role Alison Redfearn and Kellie Millar, our temps team consultants, are your best point of contact at Atwood Tate.

For more information about looking for work experience, internships and other ways to gain experience within publishing we suggest you look at our Work Experience and Entry-Level resources page:

We hope all of this helps you on your career search. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about gaining experiencing, applying for roles or registering with us online.

To register with Atwood Tate you can upload your CV and preferences here, and we will get back to you with information as soon as possible: Registration page. 

You can also take a look at our publishing resources leaflet which we were handing out at the careers clinic: Publishing Resources Leaflet

If you want to know something in particular get in contact with us on any of our social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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Companies: Why You Should Consider Temps

Why You Should Consider Temps

Companies: Why You Should Consider Temps

Our articles on temping have typically been to inform candidates of the many benefits that come with temping, both professionally and personally. But today, we’d like to point out the many reasons why temping is such a useful avenue for clients to consider.

  • The flexibility of temps also means company flexibility.

If you’re expanding your team but you’re not quite prepared to hire a permanent person, a temporary employee is a great way to establish exactly what it is you need in terms of additional resources. Maybe you’ve never had extra hands on deck and you’re only now starting to realise the new objectives you can tackle. A temp-to-perm scenario can be a match made in heaven for company and employee alike. As someone grows into a newly created role and reveals the kind of results that can be produced with more staff. The manager can then take these results to HR as Exhibit A on what expanding the team can mean for everyone.

But more than that,

  • Temps bring their own expertise with them.

They don’t need to be entry-level candidates acting as a stop-gap. By hiring consultants or veteran freelancers, a company also gets to avail of a temporary worker’s own experiences, the different business practices they’ve witnessed in their time. New blood often means new ideas and even if the worker doesn’t stick around, their contributions can last forever.

And, of course,

  • Temporary workers can provide much needed breathing space to permanent employees.

When the day-to-day administration is taken off their hands, they’re able to concentrate on the bigger picture and implement the projects. This improve service and streamline practices. You can get a lot done when you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Even if it’s only for a little while.

So, for anyone who’s currently reviewing team numbers or work-loads, don’t commit until you know for sure exactly what you need – try a temp today! Get in touch with Kellie Millar, who manages our Temps and Freelancers desk, or her colleague, Alison Redfearn, and they can send you more workers than you can shake a stick at!

5 reasons to get a temp:

  • Cover sick leave
  • Cover holiday
  • Help with a project
  • Flexibility – have for 1 day / 1 week / 1 month…
  • No admin – we cover all payment, NI, holiday pay, pension

Kellie Millar
E: kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk
Tel: 02070347897

Alison Redfearn
E: alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk
Tel: 02070347922

You can also contact us with any questions via our social media pages: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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