"Working in Publishing", Oxford Brookes

Inspired Selection were invited to speak once again at the annual, “Working in Publishing” event hosted for the MA Publishing students at Oxford Brookes University yesterday. Donald Smith and Rhiannon Griffiths represented Inspired Selection at the event. The day started with an Interview Workshop and Welcome from Mark Allin, former CEO of Wiley. Following this was, Top Tips for Getting into Publishing: where a panel of publishing recruitment specialists gave their expert advice and top tips to getting your first step in publishing. Donald Smith from Inspired was a speaker on this panel. Following a brief introduction to the services offered by Inspired Selection, the floor was opened up to the students to ask those questions which are important to them, in securing their first roles in publishing of which I’m sure you can imagine, there were many!

For anyone who did not attend, here are some of the top tips given during the session if you are looking for your first role in publishing;

- Research any roles you are applying for thoroughly, so you are able to justify why are you applying and why that company?

- Focus on your goals and aspirations; ask yourself why that sector and why that discipline of job?

- Ensure each application you do is tailored to the role and company so that you persuade the reader that you are right for the job. One cover letter does not fit all!

- If you’re lacking experience, put that extra effort into your cover letter. Why are you passionate about the role?

- Unless you are looking for roles in Design, keep your CV in a simple format, where the relevant experience is easily seen.

- If you’re interested in working for a particular company, send them a speculative application. Find out the director’s name and address it to him/her.

- if you have addressed the letter to Sir/Madam, sign it “Yours Faithfully”. If you have addressed it to a name, sign it “Yours Sincerely”.

- Check for any spelling/grammar errors, double check and then ask a friend to check it. Very important in the Publishing industry!

- If you are invited to interview, they are looking for a reason to hire you. Give it to them!

- Ensure you are dressed appropriately for any interviews - they are looking to see how you would represent the company!

- Ask the interviewer questions at the end, but not on what has been covered, what is easily researchable or what the benefits are. Focus on the role - how many people are in the team? How many projects do you typically work on at once? Or you could even turn it round on the interviewer, and ask what they enjoy about their role with the company.

- Remember interviews are still networking opportunities. If you haven’t been suitable for one role, you may be suitable for one in future so ensure you leave a good lasting impression.

After all that excellent advice, it was time for ‘speed dating’ - where we met some brilliant publishers of the future! It is always fascinating to meet the MA Publishing students, and we look forward to helping them along in their future career.