Publishing

GUEST POST: 7 things people don’t tell you about job hunting

Hello and welcome to a new guest post from one of our lovely followers! We’re open to other guest posts like this, but obviously we want to keep our blog on brand and focus and we don’t want repeats! DM us if you’ve got an idea.

Without further ado…

7 Things People Don’t Tell You About Job Hunting

  1. If you go with an agency, make sure it’s for a job you definitely want.

Job agencies are good at their jobs. They put forward CVs, organise interviews, and do follow ups for you. In the end, they want you to get the job as much as you do – so make sure that you’re putting yourself forward for jobs you can really envisage doing.

2. Go into the interview with the mind-set that this is the only job you will ever want to do.

The job market in publishing is competitive, we all know that. You’ve probably applied for a handful of other jobs that week, maybe in different departments or companies. But going in to that interview, your task is to persuade the interviewer that their particular job is the only one you’d ever, ever want. They want someone who’s passionate about their specific role – not someone who’s willing to settle for anything. Which brings me to…

3. Know what you want (or at least pretend to).

Of course, if you’re looking for an entry-level role or your first job out of university, what you might just be looking for is your first job in publishing. But to really be in with a chance of getting the job, you need to have thought about what departments and types of companies you’d like to work for. Why [rights/editorial/ production/publicity] in particular? Why would you like to work at a big corporate company instead of an independent publisher? You might get quizzed on this – but also, you’re more likely to enjoy the role once you get it if you’ve had a real think.  

4. Say that thing.

You know when you’re practising for an interview, and you come up with what you think is quite a good thing to say, but if they don’t ask, you won’t say it? Well, take a deep breath, and say it. One of the most important things I learnt was to be proactive in the interview about putting your experiences and knowledge forward – if you don’t point it out, the interviewers might not notice specific experience hidden on your CV.

5. Bring your CV to interview – and your cover letter and the job description.

It’s always good to have your CV in front of you, so you can point to certain jobs and experiences with conviction. If you’re nervous, too, it’s a great reminder to have it all on the table in front of you (as long as you don’t go rustling through the papers halfway through!). Having the job description as well shows that you’re organised and prepared – sometimes the interviewers haven’t even printed it out.

6. Treat interviews as learning.

My first interview for a job in publishing was terrifying, and I was terribly unprepared. Go for as many jobs and interviews as you like, as it’s a great way to see what departments and companies you’d really like to work for. It’s your chance to have a sneak peek into the company, and to know how to prepare for the next interview.

7. Ask at least two good, specific questions about the role at the end of the interview.

Asking about the first priorities for the role emphasises that you’re imagining yourself in the role already –  as does asking what previous people in the role have done well. And of course ‘when will I hear back’?

 Most importantly, go in with enthusiasm for the role and the company (and BOOKS). The interviewers will see it and remember you all the more.

Hilary Bell works in publishing in London. Her book NO FILTER is now crowdfunding: https://unbound.com/books/no-filter and she tweets at @Hilary_Alison

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