After work yesterday, we made our way to the Hotel Strand International to attend the evening’s Women in Publishing (@WIPublishingUK) event. Our Managing Director, Suzy Astbury (@Inspiredjobs), was speaking at the event and the topic was “Jobs in publishing”. This is our area of expertise and we work with recruiting for publishing companies every day, but there is something different about sitting in on an informal, intimate gathering, full of people who have a passion for publishing and want to either break into it or move upwards within their existent publishing careers. The atmosphere was one of networking, of learning, of feeding back experiences and of helping one another…we were in our element!
Suzy led the discussion, inviting interaction from the audience and asking people to share their opinions and experience. We talked through the CV and the cover letter, giving hints and tips as to how to present yourself as the ideal candidate for the role that you really want. We talked through the CV structure – how do you make it stand out from the batch? How do you format it? Should it be chronological or skills-based? While the floor was divided on some points, for example whether to give references and whether to put your education first, one message was loud and clear – skills, skills, skills! Show them off!
Moving on to the cover letter – the unavoidable and instrumental opening act to any job application. How does one decide on what elements of the job spec to address? We need to avoid it being too long but we still want to mirror the spec and demonstrate our suitability. This is where the real test is and we need to be smart and savvy and know what to filter out and what to focus on. Like an English essay, you need your start beginning and end and a good structure will read well and draw the Hiring Manager in.
Amongst all this technical advice and structured information, there was another message threaded throughout the discussion – one of hope and of encouragement. It is tough out there and it is hard to believe that you will ever reach your dream goal, but you must keep it in sight. Twists and turns will inevitably occur on the path towards it and few achieve that first stab attempt but it has to be kept on the horizon and you cannot lose that drive.
Make intelligent and necessary career decisions and keep networking. Have a strong CV that shows, if not the perfect experience, at least a consistency and a goal. Work hard and stay focussed. We hope all those who attended took something from the night and found inspiration within the advice given, the networking afterwards or, most importantly, from the obvious passion for publishing that existed in the room.