Happy Friday, bookworms! I hope everybody is doing okay in the current situation and lockdown is not being to tough on you.
I graduated from university with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in June 2020 and have been looking to begin a career in publishing since then. The job market is incredibly competitive at the moment so I wanted to share some tips with you guys that I have learnt on my journey so far. Doing these things will by no means guarantee you a job – I have been looking for work for seven months now with little success – but I hope they point you in the right direction!
When you are competing against 1000 different applicants for one job role, it is important to make sure your CV is as perfect as you can get it! There are so many online resources you can use to help you with this, for example Ain’s Notes has a great video on it or EllesBellesNotebook has loads of brilliant blog posts on publishing, and it you are a uni graduate, a lot of universities offer careers advice after you graduate. The most important things to bear in mind I would say is to keep it short and sweet, make an interesting personal statement and only include experience relevant to the job you are applying for!
Getting some knowledge of the industry is vital to your job search because it will really allow you to show you know the area of publishing you are applying for and it will help you decide which department you are interested so you can narrow your job search. Eleanor Marie Rose’s YouTube has some fantastic interviews with a range of industry experts. The Publishing Post is a bi-weekly magazine that includes lots of information about publishing and I recently purchased The Publishing Business which I have found really useful. It is also great to keep up with new releases and industry news so you can demonstrate your knowledge of a publishing house when applying for a job. The Bookseller is great for this, as well as following publishing houses on Twitter.
Networking is probably one of the most important things you can do in publishing. I have found it to be a really lovely community with lots of people willing to share there expertise with you. I have had a few lovely publishing people take a look over my CV for me or proofread cover letters before I submit them. Twitter is really the place to be and you can follow so many people in different roles. LinkedIn is another great place to get into contact with other professionals. I’ve found that most people are lovely once you get into contact with them and want to help you as much as they can!
If you are struggling to get work experience during the pandemic, then there are lots of other ways of adding additional skills to your CV. Take a look at some publishing job adverts and see what skills they are looking for. Organisation, communication and time management are usually the biggies but a lot of companies also look for IT skills so watch a few YouTube tutorials on Microsoft Office, or if you’d like to develop your social media skills while showing your passion for books, create a #bookstagram account or a blog just like this one!
It is important to realise you are not going to get the first job you apply for, unless you are very lucky, and your journey is going to last at least a few months. Set yourself a realistic goal of how long you are prepared to put energy into your job hunt and approach each application or interview as an opportunity to learn and develop your skills further. If you are not successful with a job, then it wasn’t the one for you and that is okay!
I hope these tips were useful for you all! Leave me a comment if you have anymore questions or additional resources you have found helpful. Good luck with your job search!