Guest Blog: 6 Things to do While You Wait to Land Your Dream Editing Job


Sometimes it can feel as though getting into the world of book editing is an impossible task. According to Bustle, publishing can be a “tough field to break into.” It is an overwhelming industry but a desirable one for those with a love of books and proofreading. Like many, as an aspiring editor, you’re likely to be well-versed in scrolling through job websites and applying for publishing jobs left, right and centre. As important as this time is, it’s also a good idea to spend time becoming more employable for the publishing world.

So while you’re applying for every publishing job going, what else can you do to increase your editing employability?

Read… a lot

It’s no good wanting to work in book publishing if you’re not always reading. Employers want to see you’re knowledgeable on all things books. They want to see you’re passionate about your all-time favourites and that you know the books everybody is talking about.

Some top tips:

  • Read the books published by companies you’re interested in and/or companies you have interviews lined up for. If you want to stand a chance in getting the job, you need to do some revision.
  • Read the books of your favourite publishing companies’ top competitors.
  • Read some of the classics; maybe dip in and out of Goodreads’ “100 Books to Read Before You Die” list.
  • Chronicle Books even suggest reading books that explore the editorial process.

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Student story: Breaking into Investment Banking

Christian Hirsekorn – 3rd year Economics & Finance Student & President of QMTIS

CMy name is Christian and I’m in my final semester of my BSc Economics & Finance degree. If you’re keen on breaking into the Investment Banking industry, keep on reading:

Some background about me…

I did a two and a half year banking apprenticeship in my hometown near Frankfurt in Germany before coming to Queen Mary. I rotated through all banking divisions such as Private Banking, Commercial Banking, Real Estate, Marketing, Risk, Compliance, Insurance and Investments. This narrowed down my options of what I want to do. When I started studying at Queen Mary, I knew I wanted to get a Front-Office role in an Investment Bank or a Hedge-Fund. That’s why I joined the Queen Mary Trading and Investment Society and started going to Insight Days from various Investment Banks straight at the start. They organised an office visit and insight into Morgan Stanley’s Global Markets division which inspired me to pursue this career path.

Tips & Tricks to get where you want…

Competition for roles is quite fierce, so it’s essential to apply as early as possible, i.e. have your application ready in September. It’s good to go for informational interviews before the application season starts – this way you can find out more about careers and network. There’s tons of advice on about that. I highly recommend checking out this page – it helped me a lot!

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Working in Policy

You have to admit that it’s nicely vague. So what exactly does it involve?

If one had to define “working in policy”, it would be as a fusion of research, consulting and advice, often morphing into something dangerously adjacent to PR. Policy advisers provide the foundations and structure for decisions that are high- level and far reaching.


No 1 employer of policy advisers is Her Majesty’s government in its central, devolved and local incarnations (and – until spring 2019 at least – at European level too.  Post Brexit?  Your guess is as good as mine). Your overarching role in this context would be to provide objective advice, based on fact. Key functions here would be to analyse data, brief and debrief ministers (they’re not the experts here – you are), and answer questions posed by other politicians, the press, the public.

As a British Prime Minister once (allegedly) said, “A week is a long time in politics”. Things change fast, very fast. So if a political crisis brews up (and don’t they always with alarming regularity?) you’d need to be as nimble and nifty as any gymnast in grasping the implications, handling the fallout and adapting your strategy.

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Guest blog: Seven Cracking Careers in Publishing

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.

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NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) – Is it for me?

You may have heard about the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP), seen as one of the main professional options for science graduates wanting to work in healthcare. Applications are now open (until 12th February 2018). So is it one of the options for you to consider after you graduate, and if so how best should you prepare for a successful application?

Read on for further information about the programme from Careers Consultant Maya, who works with SBCS students.

Is this scheme the default option if I am taking a science degree and am interested in healthcare?

The short answer is no as the scheme is so competitive. In 2016 there were 5,768 applicants for 258 places in the whole of the UK. Not all applicants are fresh out of an undergraduate degree either, which makes the competition even fiercer. However, if you think you would like to do lab and scientific analysis in a hospital or other clinical setting, working in a team with other scientists, doctors and nurses, and do not want a research career, then it might be very well worth finding out more and giving it a go!

In 2017, clinical immunology and microbiology had by far the highest competition ratios, with 93 and 113 applicants per post respectively. You can see the full application breakdown below.

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Guest blog: How to become a barrister

Lawyer holding document and speaking to jury in courtroom

The Bar is an infamously difficult and competitive career choice. The Bar Council, the industry’s regulatory body, even goes so far as to post a ‘Health Warning’ prominently on its website in an attempt to deter potential future barristers from wasting money on the BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course). This is no standard career path.

However, though difficult, this is a phenomenally rewarding career. If you have confidence in yourself, and are willing to put in the long hours work required, then there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t find yourself fighting for a client in front of a judge at some point in the near future.

The Lawyer Portal, in official partnership with the Bar Council and CILEx, has three things in particular that you, as a student, can start preparing now to give yourself the best possible shot at the Bar! 

  • Academic Credentials

A barrister’s life can be essentially distilled down to reading, writing, and arguing. Barristers therefore have to be intellectually robust, able to construct their own persuasive arguments and point out the flaws in that of their opponent.

The best way to demonstrate that you have this vital intellectual quality is to do as well as possible in your undergraduate (and postgraduate) degree, no matter what subject you may currently be studying. The Bar is a place where your degree classification counts. The better you do, the better your chance of success in pupillage application season. At the two biggest BPTC providers in the country, BPP London and City Law School London, typically 50% of graduates who commence pupillage have First Class undergraduate degrees.

Work hard, get a First or a high Upper Second, and you will set yourself up brilliantly.

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Getting into teaching – new routes in and subject options available


Applications are now open for teaching courses for next academic year. Find out more about the different training options and funding available, as well as that you might be able to teach more subjects that you had thought.

What are the different ways to become a teacher?

There are two different routes to qualifying to teach – university led training and school led training.

University led training has traditionally been the most common route. This is where graduates take a one-year postgraduate course (PGCE), which is a combination of university study and practical school based placements.

There are now a number of options for School led training, including a new Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship. These offer the opportunity to start your training ‘on the job’ in a school from day one, and some routes offer a salary. These are particularly ideal if you have some experience of teaching already or have some years of work experience.

The image below provides an overview into how the options differ. For find out more about each of them see:

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