Saturday, 29 September 2012

Opportunities outside of London: Where do I start?

I’m well aware that there are lots of work experience opportunities in London and probably not as many as there are outside of London, or at least not as well known. It can be more difficult to find local publishers but the extra time can pay off. For example, I undertook a placement with OldCastle books for four weeks and it barely cost me anything apart from packed lunches. This company are based in my hometown so I could easily walk to and from the office. I only found them because I did my research. I simply went onto Google and searched ‘publishing’ and ‘intern opportunities’ in ‘Hertfordshire’. I never expected to find a local company, but luckily, I did and it gave me just as good experience as any well known company.

I always recommend that interns seek placements locally and especially for those that can’t afford them in the London area. This could be particularly relevant to those that live North of London. This is why I’ve dedicated a blog post to touch upon the opportunities available outside of London. Of course, there are publishers based in the Midlands and North, but obviously than can be a lot more difficult to find. You’ll probably end up stumbling across one accidentally on a Google search.  Anyway, work experience isn’t all about London and just because you don’t live there, doesn’t mean that you are any less better off gaining experience at a company local to you. At the end of the day any experience counts. Below I’m going to share a few links with you to start your search for intern opportunities, outside of London.   

Society of Young Publishers
The SYP has a Midlands and Northern branch that host events and talks regularly. These have a wealth of potential in terms of networking with other publishing professionals. Believe me, getting into the publishing industry is a lot about networking and whom you know. Check out the events dates below and add them to your diary.

Children’s Publishers
There are quite a lot of children’s publishers outside of London and specifically around the Manchester/Leeds area, but it does depend what area you’re looking to get into. I would say though, even if it’s not children’s specifically, there’s still valuable experience to be gained at any publishers. By this I mean that all publishers will have an editorial department whether they’re a children’s or adult’s publisher, so it’s worth gaining experience where you can in the relevant department you’re most interested in.

Once you’ve had a look at the list do your research. Are any of these publishers nearby? Do they take work experience applications? If not, is there an email address where you can direct your enquiry?

Other useful websites
The Oxford Brookes website is brilliant for advertising intern opportunities particularly around the Oxford area (link available here). Additionally, Manchester University Press offers internships. Contact the member staff stated in the relevant department you’re interested in (link available here) and send them your CV. 

Don’t forget that my blog has a book publishing page and magazine + journalism page that supplies links to intern opportunities.   

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Intern Opportunities: 25 September 2012

Do you want a paid internship?

Are you looking for your first job?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Intern Opportunities: 18 September 2012

Do you want a paid internship?

Are you looking for your first job?
  • Bauer Media has a position available for a receptionist/facilities assistant. Click here to apply

Saturday, 15 September 2012

I keep getting rejections, what shall I do?

A question that I’m sure has been asked by many  in this difficult climate. Sometimes you can spend hours or even days on applications and still find that you’ve fallen short at the first hurdle. Some employers don’t even bother to inform you or take the time out to give you feedback. More often than not, many graduate applications will appear to go unnoticed or just receive a standard rejection. However, there is a way forward and below I’ve supplied a few tips to help you on your way to success.

1)Question your application
If getting rejections is a recurring outcome for you then a good place to start would be to question your application. This may be difficult at first as you’re the one that’s written it, but put yourself in the position of the receiver who no doubt will receive hundreds of applications.  Have a read of my questions below as a starting point.

Have you tailored your CV and cover letter?
If you haven’t then you don’t stand a chance. This should be considered second nature when it comes to your graduate applications.

Is your application just full of ‘empty words’?
By this I mean, are you simply stating that you’re very hard working and not supplying any evidence or an explanation as to why you’ve said it. Empty phrases like this on their own do not add anything to your application. Make sure you give these phrases have a purpose otherwise erase them.

Is your application relevant to the job you’re applying for?
For instance, if your cover letter and CV is based around your entire editorial experience and you’re going for a social media role, then you’d be best off just relating your social media experience in your application. For example, stating that you’ve written/edited articles will not suffice. Better examples will consist of ‘In my previous placement I have written tweets and posted on Facebook to drive a marketing campaign’. You may have been working in the editorial department but you’ve at least tried to relate your previous work experience to the role.

Does your application give a genuine interest in the company?
This will come back to how well you’ve tailored your CV and cover letter. If it’s been tailored well, it will mention the company a few times and give an indication as to why you’re applying to that company. For example, you may have a personal interest in the books that they publish.

Are you standing out?
Obvious examples of standing out are if for instance, you are applying for a creative role and you can be visually creative with your application. In an editorial role this may be more difficult, but by just creating a portfolio in the format of a word document including your CV, cover letter and writing samples is an obvious start. Other simple ways of standing out will be to make sure your application fits what they’re specifying as the ‘ideal candidate’. Make sure this is clear in your application. See my previous blog post for job seekers for more information on the ‘ideal candidate’. 

2)Explore the field – what does a successful candidate have that you don’t?
I don’t expect you to be a psychic and know what other successful applications look like, but the point is to know why you’re falling short. For instance, do you have no experience in the roles that you’re going for? Do you have no experience in the relevant field? Do you not have the right qualification? All these facets need to be examined. The good thing about being a jobseeker is that you have the time to examine what is going wrong with your applications and then you have a chance to make some positive steps to making your applications better in future. 

3)Ask advice from others
If you feel comfortable, why not show one of your friends or parents your most recent application and see if they can give you any advice. Sometimes others can notice things that you’ve missed. If you don’t feel as though you can ask anyone then email me – I always love to hear from my readers.

4)Be careful with your timing
It’s always best to apply for a job as soon as you see the vacancy advertised. In other words, don’t hold off for a few days. Instead, apply as soon as you can because early applications create a good impression, whereas applications on or even after the closing date won’t be as impressionable. Once your application is submitted, wait at least 10 days before you follow up (if you decide to) and it’s probably best to call up rather than to just email. Calls will be handled at that moment whereas emails are easier to just acknowledge rather than respond to.

For my readers that do keep getting rejections or not hearing back from companies at all – don’t give up. A rejection is the worst thing that can happen to an application. Learn from it, and as long as you now make positive steps towards changing it, then the only way is up!  

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Intern Opportunities: 11 September 2012

Do you want a paid internship?
  • Online Store (interior and lifestyle) is after a digital copy writing intern. This position could lead to a paid freelance role within the company. Click here to apply

Are you looking for your first job?
  • Book publisher Penguin has a position available for a PA/Administrator. Click here to apply

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Intern Opportunities: 4th September 2012

  • is after an intern to support their online magazine and shop. Click here to apply

Do you want a 6-month internship?

Are you looking for your first job?
  • Hodder and Stoughton book publishers are still looking for two social media assistants to join their team. Click here to apply 
  • Bauer Media is seeking a staff writer for their brand Trail Running. Click here to apply.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

When is the 'right' time to apply?

I’ve been pondering the answer to this question for a while now, and after my graduate success, I can’t help but think that any time is the right time to apply. I know that a lot of graduates want to enjoy their summer and have a break before they go into the world of work, but in today’s climate it simply isn’t as straight forward as that. We already know that there aren’t enough jobs to go around so why delay applying. Perhaps they believe that as soon as they start applying for jobs, they’ll soon have interviews and soon have a job, but for those that have been out of work a while will know that the scenario plays out differently. So below I’ve complied a few pointers for you to think about when contemplating when to apply for graduate jobs.

1) Never assume
This pointer is building on my points above. If you’re in the position of just finishing university and desiring to have a couple of months off, I would still recommend that you apply for jobs. Those lucky ones will get interviews and jobs, whereas the unlucky will be forced to have a couple of months off. If you decide not to apply for jobs later rather than sooner, then you could hinder your chances of getting a job when you do start to apply. So never assume that once you start applying for jobs that you’ll hear back from the companies and be offered interviews – the reality is very different and the competition is fierce.

2) Sooner is always better than later
If you’re asking yourself when you should apply and you’ve already graduated, well the right time was probably at least six weeks before you graduated. It may seem like that is too early but it really isn’t. In today’s climate, multiple applications may not even gain one interview. So increase your chances of getting an interview and apply for jobs sooner rather than later. Use the same principle when actually applying for jobs. If a position has just become available, don’t wait a few days to apply, write your application now.

3) Give yourself plenty of notice
 Preferably you need to start applying for jobs before you actually need one, so a maximum of six weeks in advance. This is because you need to account for when applications are simply ‘ignored’ without notice, any rejections and multiple interviews leading to either a rejection or a job.  You need to account for the worst-case scenario in order to minimise the amount of time you’re out of work.

4) If you’re still a student...
Don’t wait until your graduation to apply for jobs, start applying when your course ends. I applied for jobs at the end of May as I was available to start working from June onwards. Don’t forget that many graduates that have just graduated will apply from July onwards – get in there first.