Young publishers’ support posts: #1

Tip one: Have patience

You’re entering a hard, hard-pushed, hardline industry. You should know that now. When you come fresh from university and narrow your job searches down to “Publishing; editorial; entry-level,” you should understand that you will get next to nothing.

Publishers will tweet their vacancies, stick them up on various sites and agency blogs, but they will almost always demand skills that you don’t have. An English degree has not furnished you with STM experience, or at least 12 months’ experience in an office environment.

Getting to where you want to be in publishing seems (to me, at least) to be equal parts waiting game and passionate job applications. First, you need to learn how to be patient, in order to build up your experiences and then glean what you can from them.

Try these tips…

  1. Look for internships – in both big and local publishers. Check out their work experience schemes and apply.
  2. If a publisher doesn’t have a visible internship page or advertisement, try sending a speculative email. This may work better with smaller publishers (indeed, it was how I got an internship last year). Try not to sound too pushy or brash.
  3. Some of you won’t need this tip but others will definitely appreciate it. When dealing with staff at the job centre, always be polite and friendly. Even if staff are abrupt with you (and you will encounter one at some point), remain patient and, if you feel like you’ve been mistreated, write down the details and make a formal complaint. It never does to lose your temper.
  4. Prepare for your interviews thoroughly and calmly. View it as an audition, in which how you look, what you say and how you say it are all being judged.
  5. If you aren’t successful, don’t lose your temper or get upset. Remember that there are lots of applicants and the fault may not lie with you. Someone else may have had more skills or experience than you. You may want to email your interviewer and politely ask for feedback.
  6. When applying for jobs, always be patient and thorough with each one. Don’t rush applications. Don’t leave it to five minutes to midnight on deadline day to send off your CV and cover letter. I’ve read instances of people applying for up to 90 jobs a week – if you’re doing that, it’s likely you’re just firing off carbon-copy CVs. Do you read junk mail that reads “Dear occupier”? Well then, will an employer want to give you a chance if you demonstrate a junk-mail attitude towards their business?

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About fictavia

Fictavia (noun): writer, critiquer of the publishing world and witty reviewer.

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