Considering a career in publishing? Impeccably written English, an error-free CV and some relevant work experience will all help you to gain your first job in this competitive industry. However, you’ll also need determination and a thick skin, as the number of applicants hugely outweighs the number of jobs on offer.
Editorial roles are the toughest to land, so why not look beyond this department and consider an alternative area of publishing? Here’s our guide to the variety of roles on offer.
Marketing and Publicity
Fancy developing marketing campaigns for new books? Then you’ll enjoy working in this department. Tasks include promoting books to consumers and booksellers, as well as obtaining media exposure. This could involve arranging author signings and radio or television interviews.
To break into marketing, you’ll need to be an excellent communicator with a high standard of written English, as you’ll be working closely with the publisher’s editorial team. If you’re studying marketing or business and you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, this could be your ideal career.
If you study a STEM subject, you may be expected to include more technical information in your CV when applying for work experience, internships, placements and graduate jobs. The trick is to create a CV that introduces a rounded, human candidate who has the relevant technical expertise, rather than one that presents list of technical skills but not a person! Here are some tips:
- Consider a profile at the top of your CV: this can be a short paragraph or a few bullet points which clearly and succinctly state your key skills and experience and, most importantly, your career ambitions. Naturally these should relate to the position you’re applying for!
- Bear in mind that the first person who reads your CV will probably not be an expert in your field. They will understand that you need to use technical language, but at the same time, they need to be able to understand enough of your CV to see that you’re filling the criteria for the position. So, make sure that you’re using the same kind of terminology/buzzwords as are being used in the job specification and also be sure to include some evidence of broader, transferable skills (such as teamwork, leadership and communication), especially if these have been asked for.
Kate Reynolds, 3rd Year History student
This year I am taking part in the Three Faiths Forum’s Parliamentors scheme, which is a UN award-winning leadership programme. As a Parliamentor I work with a team of 5 students from Queen Mary who all have different faith and cultural backgrounds. We are working on a social action project centred in our local community, whilst being mentored by a local MP, Stephen Timms.
I applied for the programme because I was excited by the prospect of creating change in my local community and building my team work and leadership skills. I was also interested to be mentored by an MP as I have a keen interest in politics. Alongside being a Parliamentor, I am the co-chair of Queen Mary Labour Society, and a Beaver Scout Leader at my local Scout group. Parliamentors has offered me the opportunity to work with people of varying faiths and political alignments.
Parliamentors kicks off with a training residential in September, which gives you the chance to meet the other Parliamentors both from your university and from across the country. It was a massive learning opportunity as we received training in everything from public speaking, engaging with your community and an introduction to Westminster politics. The range of people and faiths represented meant that everybody could to learn from each other. But the training doesn’t stop there – the Parliamentors team offer continued training and support throughout the year.
My team decided we wanted our social action project to focus on building interfaith relations on campus at Queen Mary. We felt that there are tensions that exist between different faiths on campus, and we wanted to do a project that would address this and bring about greater interfaith dialogue. My team are in the process of planning an interfaith gardening project focused on an onsite allotment. We believe that by bringing people of different faiths together through this allotment, we can break down barriers and challenge student’s assumptions about people of different faiths.
Whether you are approaching an employer speculatively about a role that isn’t advertised, or you are applying for a role where you are given little information, looking at the organisation’s website can give you helpful clues about what to include in your application.
So if you don’t have a formal job description listing essential skills, how do you make your application fit what the employer is looking for?
You can find out this information yourself, by learning how to research the company or organisation using their website.
Here are some common areas that you might focus on:
Most employer websites will have an “About us” page, which gives an overview of the organisation and what they do. These pages can be really useful for finding out about:
- Specific services that the organisation provides
- Sectors the organisation works in
- Relevant language or terminology that the employer uses to describe their work
- The ethos or history of the company
Ever though about being a crisp inspector?! Believe it or not, this is a real job. Along with many others, like professional tea tasters and bed warmers. Or how about being paid to line up in queues for people?!
These might sound daft, but the message to take away is that there’s a whole world of opportunities out there that we just don’t know about. So think outside the box, and beyond the big employers and you could find some great roles that you never knew existed.
See this list of 24 unusual jobs, including pet food taster and eel ecologist: www.careerexperts.co.uk/graduate-careers/weird-jobs-never-knew-existed
Imagine the jobs that might not yet even exist – 10 years ago, there would have been few roles dedicated to social media, and 20 years ago the internet was barely off the ground. In fact according to AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services), students now will work in industries that don’t yet exist with people that they may never meet, using skills that don’t yet exist.
If you’re not sure of your next move:
A great programme of events for international students, and all students who want information about working overseas during their studies and after graduation.
All events taking place on the Mile End campus.
Kick start your career in the US! – J1 visa conference, Mon 12 Feb, 5.15-6.15pm
Stand out from the crowd and give your CV a potential competitive edge with an Internship in America. J-1 visas are open to all nationalities and to all levels of study! Find out how to find your paid internship, placement or training, what careers are hot right now in the US and much more! Come and meet the J-1 experts.
UK Interviews for international students led by the Language Centre, Weds 14 Feb, 6-7pm
This workshop will look at the type of language you need to use in UK job interviews. It will raise your awareness of language commonly used in interviews and will look at some model answers. There will also be an opportunity for you to practise your answers.
Working in the UK after graduation for International students, Thurs 15 Feb, 5-7pm
This workshop will give you an understanding of how the recruitment process operates in the UK, the timeline for applying to jobs and what employers are looking for. You will also get information on visa regulations for working after study. This event is open to all students at QMUL.
My name is Landysh Yanborisova, and I’m a Postgraduate student studying Marketing at Queen Mary. The reason why I decided to apply for QConsult is that I believe it will be a brilliant opportunity to gain valuable Project Management and Consulting experience working on a real-life project with a real client.
One of the best parts of working for Queen Mary is the valuable training we always receive which helps us not just with this particular project but my personal development as well. The training was about the role of consultants, the skills necessary to develop, and professional conduct with tips on working with your clients. We also had great mentors working in consulting in various fields share their experience with us.
This project is a great chance for many of us to meet like-minded people with different knowledge and expertise, and then brainstorm and work on strategies that will improve and grow the business. Our team consists of five students from China, UK and Russia, studying business management, finance and marketing.