Tuesday, 27 September 2011

CV Workshop - 'Extracurricular Activities' heading

If this is the first time you are viewing this blog series, please refer back to the first summary post called ‘CV Workshop – Top 5 Headings for your CV’.

If you have done a lot of extracurricular activities at school or university, then this heading is definitely a good optional extra for you to have on your CV. For instance, I’ve worked on the University student newspaper, which is significant experience as it is part of my journalism experience. In particular, the student newspaper is well recognised in the publishing industry, so if that’s the direction you want to go in, then the student newspaper is a great starting point. Furthermore, it’s really important to detail all your activities, even if they don’t directly relate to the work you’re applying for. This is because these activities develop many skills e.g. team work, which all relate to the work place.

As I have emphasised before, make sure that all the extracurricular activities are detailed in chronological order starting from your most recent position at the top, and work your way down. Also, as an added thought, try to make sure that you’re consistent throughout your CV in terms of layout, font and sizes etc. If you’re following this blog series, an easy way to format the extracurricular section is to do so in the same way as the education section. So, you’ll be using a template that looks a little bit like this:

{Start date} – {End date/Present} NAME OF POSITION/ROLE, LOCATION, Brief DESCRIPTION

Please do remember that the above template is just a guideline of what you could do with your extracurricular activities section. I would strongly advise doing some of your own research and having a look at CV’s that are considered strong.

The next and final CV Workshop will be for the ‘Skills’ heading.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Website Pick of the Week

The Society of Young Publishers is a great starting place for young budding publishing professional. The main aim of SYP is to provide people with the industry services they need, to get their publishing careers off to a fantastic start. The society offers, regular monthly speaker meetings, a free subscription to the InPrint magazine, industry contacts, a comprehensive job database and more. The only snag is that you have to pay to be a member of SYP. Memberships for students are slightly cheaper though at £24 as opposed to £30 for adults. Nevertheless, this society is highly recommended and I’m definitely going to consider joining.

For more information visit: http://www.thesyp.org.uk/

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

CV Workshop - 'Employment History' heading

If this is the first time you are viewing this blog series, please refer back to the first summary post called ‘CV Workshop - Top 5 Headings for your CV’.

I’m going to discuss another compulsory heading that should be in your CV, employment history. This section will range in length depending on how many different employers you’ve had. It was only yesterday, when I was having a little read about CV’s and finding out some more common errors that people seem to make with their CV’s. The main error that stood out was the chronology aspect of a CV. For instance, I’ve already spoken about the ‘education’ heading, and organising it with the most recent qualification first, so in my case that would be my degree. This organisation should work in the exact same way throughout your CV. Therefore, you should start the employment section making sure that the most recent employment is listed FIRST, and then you should work back chronologically. So below I have created an example line, which can be incorporated into your CV if you like.

{Start date} – {End date/Present} COMPANY NAME, company ADDRESS, company contact NUMBER

Above is a simple outline to how you may like to layout each employment. Of course, indentation, bullet points and bolding of the font can be used for added finesse.

Depending on how much employment history you have, you can also add a line or two below about what your role was and what you did. Though, I think this is more significant to do so, when it’s a full time job listed, rather than a student’s part time job. In addition, you can put a reference here, or you can separate and create a references section. However, you can leave references off your CV and ask employers to request references, if they’re desired.

If your anything like me, I lack room on my CV as I have been in and out of part time jobs since I was 16, and I also have done a lot of work placements over the past year and a bit. So, I haven’t included what my role was or references in my employment section, but I have created two versions of my CV (shorter and a longer one). I’ve also separated my employment history (part time jobs) with my work experience in publishing (I’ve created a separate heading called work experience). I did this to make sure all my information was organised and concise, so that reading my CV won’t be hard work for my potential employer.

Anyway, do pick and choose from the above if there is anything you’d like to implement to your own CV. Also, do some online research about CV’s, it won’t take you long and you’ll probably learn a lot in very little time!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Keeping you updated...

Due to just coming back from Spain, I thought I’d write a quick note about what I have been doing over the past few weeks.

Before I went away, I completed a week’s placement at HarperCollins, and I would highly recommend this company for work experience. The team and the staff were all very friendly and gave me plenty of work to do. I would say that it is definitely one of the best placements I’ve been on, in terms of productivity.

For those unaware, I’ve been doing little things for the Guardian online, including a podcast to share my experience of work placements, and a live Q&A on ‘blogging to boost your career’. Please find the links below if you haven’t already taken a look.

Blogging to boost your career

Career Talk Podcast: A guide to work experience

Lastly, I have been continuing my internship at CocoKouture magazine and this week I had my first article published. This article was actually my ‘sample’ article, which I sent in to the magazine when I first applied. Luckily they liked it so much that I’m going to have my own special column, which will be named something along the lines of, ‘Steff’s take on living and loving’. I really wanted to write about love and relationships, so I’ll be starting the new series ‘Guide for the relationship girl’ and ‘Guide for the single girl’ – see below for the link to the debut article in the series.

Guide for the Relationship Girl: How do I know when it’s really over?

At the moment, I don’t have any upcoming work experience plans but I’ll keep you updated as and when I do.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Snapshot Diary - Hachette April 2011

Unfortunately this post isn’t as long as my previous snapshot diaries, and this is namely because it’s been one of the shorter placements I’ve partaken.
After my previous placement at The LittleTiger Press, I had pretty much established that I preferred working at larger companies as opposed to smaller ones. This is one of the reasons that I chose to do a placement with Hachette (and not to mention how well known they are). This time, I had chosen to go on a placement which I had never done before, and this was in the Marketing department. I really enjoyed my time with Hachette and I think they would be a brilliant company to work for.

Anyway,these were the tasks that I was involved in:
  • Handlingdata using spreadsheet
  • Researching
  • Mail out
  • General admin duties
  • Marketing campaign for Laini Taylor

Overall, the majority of my time was spent helping out with the Laini Taylor marketing campaign. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my time Hachette and had a chance to circulate the different departments and talk to other employees. This is how I eventually got my second placement with Hachette, but I’ll talk more about that later. The next snapshot diary will be on John Blake publishers.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Website Pick of the Week

Yesterday at work, I came across a website by a writer and author called Katy Moran. Unlike some author websites, Katy Moran’s includes a number of pages about writing and being published.

These include:
  • Getting Published
  • Tips for writers
  • Working in publishing
  • Book cover design

She talks about a range of topics like the above, and gives us some really useful information. It’s definitely worth a look: http://katymoran.co.uk/.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

CV Workshop - 'Education' heading

If this is the first time you are viewing this blog series, please refer back to the first summary post called ‘CV Workshop – Top 5 Headings for your CV’.
A compulsory aspect of your CV is to include all your educational qualifications; these will be ranging from GCSE’s, A-Level’s and Degree(s) or equivalent. So, your education section will be one of the first things the employer will look at. Therefore, I’ve decided to place the Education section straight beneath the profile section (profile = few lines about yourself and your contact details could go into the header of the doc).  As this is a compulsory part of your CV I’m not going to go into the why, what and how, like I did for the ‘profile’ post as for this heading it’s pretty obvious. Instead, I’m going to give you a few ideas of how you can layout your qualifications in a neat and concise way.
You should always begin your education section with your most recent qualification (predicted or obtained) so, for me, I’d start with ‘University of Surrey: Degree in English Literature predicted 2.1’. On the next lines I would then include my A-level’s, ‘Sir John Lawes School (address): 4 A-Levels English (grade) ICT Double (grade) ICT Single (grade) and Media (grade)’, and so on. Also, I would continue in this format, with every new line signifying my different qualifications – like a list.
After looking at quite a few examples of CV’s, I think it’s a nice touch to include a few modules that you are studying/studied for your degree. For instance, you can extend your initial sentence ‘University of Surrey: Degree in English Literature predicted 2.1, modules include classic realism and its decay, constructing the self and contemporary literature.’
As well, for some added finesse you could indent your sentences on after each school/university name so that your qualifications are indented in the same layout. 
Finally, put your font in bold for all your obtained/predicted qualifications e.g. 2.1 (i've done this above), just so that it is very clear and easily distinguishable for your potential employer.
Once you have listed all your qualifications, the education section is now complete.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Would you like to write TV drama scripts for the BBC Writersroom?

The BBC have opened a competition for all the talented drama writers. 
The winning candidate will receive the 'Future Talent Award' for Writers, as well as given development opportunities and mentoring within the BBC. Additionally, the three runners up will receive one to one feedback on their scripts, and receive a detailed report from the BBC professionals.
The deadline is December 2011 so there's still plenty of time to get writing that award winning script!