Sunday, 25 December 2011

x Merry Christmas x

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas.

To those who are facing assessments and exams in January, I wish you good luck and make sure you give yourself a well-earned rest over Christmas. If you haven't already, and you want to utilise your time off effectively then see my previous blog post - 'Top 5 Tips for Occupying your Spare Time'.

Now, before I sign off, for those that may have missed it, I've recently published a small piece on the Guardian - Graduate View: all I want for Christmas. I do have a longer and funnier version too, if anyone is interested!

Anyway, enjoy the festivities of today and tomorrow, and don't forget, normal posts will resume on the 3rd of January.

Happy Christmas :-)

Love from,
The Publishing Intern

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Top 5 Tips for Networking

I have frequently talked about networking as a valuable tool when searching, applying and gaining work placements. It is obviously not only limited to placements, but it is a tool that will come in handy throughout your working life.
To get you started, as usual, I have listed 5 top tips. Nevertheless, make sure you do some of your own research, once you’ve read up on the basics below.

1) Social Media
As I said in my previous blog post, I cannot emphasise more the importance of utilising social media. Make sure you have set up an account with LinkedIn, and added any friends/co workers that you already know. Make sure you set up a Twitter account too, and at the very least, follow some of the Twitter accounts that I’ve mentioned on here. Additionally, follow people that you know like friends, co-workers, and any professionals in your field (don’t forget me!). As well, keep a lookout for new placement and career opportunities.

2) Email
Don’t forget about the little things like emails. Get use to sending out emails professionally and create your signature. Some placements may like you to use one of their signatures. For example, at CocoKouture I have my own standard signature. However, for other emails that I send (e.g. to lecturers), I’ll incorporate a standard end like ‘Kind Regards’, and just below I’ll include my blog URL and Twitter handle. This is because I’m not employed at a specific company, so I don’t have a compulsory signature.

3) Whilst you’re on placement
Don’t forget that whilst you are on a placement, use your time productively and speak to as many people as possible. Obviously, when you’re at a placement you’re gaining and developing skills and so on, but don’t forget about the other significant aspects - like building up a collection of contacts. You can meet people in the industry through other people, so build your relationships.

4) Keep in touch
Further to my point above, it is a good idea to build relationships with current contacts. This will include some form of communication, and at the very least so, following them on Twitter or having them on your LinkedIn account. In addition, you could send them an email at Christmas or other appropriate times of the year to keep in touch.

5) Optional Additions
Not everyone will have the chance to do this yet, but if you’re enrolled with a company on a placement year for example, then try and get hold of a few business cards. This way when you’re out and about at company events you can help spread the word and advertise yourself. I received some very small stylish business cards last week from CocoKouture. They were colourful and creative saying cute phrases like ‘Will work for shoes’. Of course, I am not suggesting handing cards like this out at corporate business events, but the idea is still there to advertise. Moreover, I don’t have any personal business cards as of yet, but if you have the opportunity within a company to receive personalised ones, then make sure you do. Business cards are important even if you’re self employed – probably more so.
Also, check out any other forms of advertising. This could be on a personal level or on a business level. For example, along with my business cards, I got a t-shirt with the CocoKouture logo, I uploaded this to Twitter (for anyone who’s interested!), and sent it over Twitter to the Editor-in-Chief, who did a ‘retweet’. It may not be much but it’s a little extra advertising! This will probably be more relevant once you’re on a placement, but when you’re not, you need to think outside the box a little e.g. creating an original blog.

Don’t forget to contact me with any blog post suggestions or queries, and I’ll try to answer as best I can. In addition, I’ve been getting a lot of hits recently and plenty of subscribers too, so make sure you subscribe and avoid missing any of my blogs.

As Christmas is approaching, I will not be posting up any of my usual blogs on Saturday (24th) or Tuesday (27th). This is because even the publishing intern needs a few of days off. However, I will be posting up festive replacement blogs on the 24th and the 31st. I’ll resume ‘normal’ posts by Tuesday 3rd.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Opportunities at Vauxhall Fashion Scout

Vauxhall Fashion Scout is looking for passionate fashion bloggers and social media experts to contribute to their blogs. This is a great opportunity if you are a writer and looking to build up your portfolio of writing, or if you want to explore the realms of digital marketing.

I found this opportunity via @fashionscout on Twitter and so, I cannot emphasise more the importance of social media when you’re seeking a work placement. Don't forget to check out @ukfashionintern who also advertise regular fashion opportunities.

To apply, send your CV to:

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Top 5 Tips for Occupying your Spare Time over Christmas

With Christmas approaching, and the holidays for students inevitable, it’s a great time to start thinking about, and applying for work placements next year. Now is a good chance to set aside a few days over your holiday to update your CV, and write your cover letters for your applications.

To make good use of your time over Christmas you could:

1)Research Placements

Some of you may not have done any research for placements in quite a while. It’s good to regularly check out what companies are offering, in terms of internships next year and graduate schemes, as you may want to apply for those. If like me, you’ll be graduating next year, then you may want to research the general job market too. Keep yourself in the loop and up to date with what’s going on in the specific publishing industry you’re hoping to get into.

Also, look out for my next Guardian Careers article, which will detail how to research for placements effectively. I’m hoping that this will be published in the next week or two.

2) Update your CV

During Semester, it can be really difficult to find time to update your CV. Therefore, holidays are the best time to do this. It shouldn’t take too long to do, so perfect if you have an hour or two free time.

3) Prepare Cover Letters

After researching placements, you may have found a few that you would like to apply for. These placements will probably be sometime after February 2012. If they’re close to this date then make sure you send your application as soon as possible (unless stated otherwise). However, if you’re not looking for a placement until summer 2012 then hold off till January/February time to apply. Even if this is the case, you can still write your cover letters in advance.

For more advice regarding cover letters see Don’t forget to do your own research too.

4) Work on application extras

Christmas will be the best time to get prepared, if like me, you know that you will need to submit a portfolio along with your CV and cover letter. You may also see where there are gaps in your portfolio, for example you may not have enough variation in cuttings etc. You can work on this and do things such as, working on the University newspaper as a Writer or Editor. For those that are in your final year, this may be your last chance to get involved, and it will definitely look good on your CV.

If you’re not going to be submitting a portfolio, then it’s a good idea to get to know the companies that you’re most interested in gaining a work placement with, or even a full time job with later on. This will be especially useful when you’re composing your cover letters, and even at a later point in time, when you will be going for interviews. The more preparation you do, the easier it will be to achieve all of this and be successful at it.

5) Social Networking

Make sure you try and get yourself out there (and stay out there) - in whatever way are possible. For example, if you’re writing a blog, keep advertising and use social media to get more people aware of it – even employers.

If you’re not writing a blog, then get a LinkedIn account and a Twitter account to boost your online presence. Follow around careers and recruitment profiles, as they’ll post up vacancies etc. For instance, some of these profiles that I follow have followed me back, and retweeted my blog advertising tweets. This is how my blog made it into Gradvine Daily. However, even if you don't have a blog, any kind of recognition that you could get is going to work in your favour.

Some of this blog post has been slightly more geared towards writers/bloggers, but I think you could all gain something out of this. Next Tuesday I’ll be expanding my social networking tip as it is very significant. I’ll especially try to aim this at the non writers. Don’t forget to get in contact and tweet me if you have any questions. Also, get in touch if you’d just like to make blog post suggestions.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Fashion Opportunities

Yesterday, I found a website called Fashion Workie through the UK Fashion Intern twitter profile (@ukfashionintern). Fashion Workie is a great website that is rich of content and is always advertising numerous work placements.

These placements vary from fashion journalism, to events, marketing, PR and many more. Some of them are paid, and they all vary in duration. It's definitely a website worth checking regularly.

Visit Fashion Workie at:

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Anticipation of Graduation

This is definitely a change from the usual Tuesday blog post.

I must admit, I have run out of snapshot diaries, which (joy to the world) shall be returning in 2012, and will be entitled the ‘Career Search Diary’. I hope you enjoy them.

Therefore, instead of the usual professional blog post about handy tips and hints that would be useful for a publishing intern, you are getting this instead.

If you’ve already read up to here then well done, I don’t expect to keep you for long mind.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about all these changes with my blog posts, and of course, my inevitable graduation from the University of Surrey July 2012 and so, I have decided to write this blog post, which to be honest will probably end up being a short monologue more than anything else.

Careers this week have definitely been on my mind, to say the least. I am not sure if it’s because last week was the first week of December, and finally the end of the year is approaching. Or that the ‘Official Santa’ on my Twitter page is getting me way too excited about Christmas, and the evitable New Year. For example, I found out today that its only 19 sleeps till Christmas – you learn something new every day. It could be because of a multitude of reasons but alas, I’m already thinking about that daunting prospect of becoming a graduate.

I have to be honest with you; I have no idea what I’m going to do next year. In fact, part of me was considering doing an MA, but that is just down to enjoying the student lifestyle a bit too much. Other parts of me were just hoping that I could stay writing my blog forever – fun for me but boring for you. Nevertheless, they are all a no.

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to take that dreaded plunge and become a full fledged graduate, and if you trust everything you hear in the media, then nearly all of us are UNEMPLOYED. I must confess, if I’m unemployed this time next year I shall probably go mad. Can’t stand not having things to do.

In the meantime, I’m trying to make myself feel better by looking at the graduate schemes. Most of them are still open but some have already closed. I’m really shocked that these schemes have closed so early – give us a chance please.

I don’t know about you, but I keep seeing all these sales schemes. Newsflash, I may be into publishing but I’m definitely not a salesman. However, saying that, I will be applying to the ‘non sale’ graduate schemes, because I like the idea of stability. Turns out, so do the other 300 plus graduates, that will be applying.

Looks like its stiff competition and tough times ahead for the publishing intern. It’s certainly no understatement that I need to WORK HARD.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Website Pick of the Week

This week I was introduced to an online blog called TheEmployable. I really like the idea of TheEmployable, as it’s meant to suggest that you are not unemployed but rather employable; I think this is a positive approach that we should all take when finding work placements, or careers. In addition, it is rich of content with handy tips and hints, aimed at helping recent graduates and of course, the employable. Furthermore, I’ve been told that they are always on the lookout for contributors to write for the blog. Those of you may have remembered my previous blog post about enhancing your online portfolio; this would be a great opportunity to do so.

Visit TheEmployable at:

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Snapshot Diary - Aesthetica Magazine October 09 - September 11

My longest relationship with a company so far has been the experience that I have had with Aesthetica Magazine. For almost 2 years I was a ‘campus ambassador’ for the magazine; promoting their activities around my campus at the University of Surrey and gaining experience on-going experience in marketing.

The main tasks that I was involved in were:

  • Handing out leaflets
  • Posting up flyers
  • Advertising via University clubs/societies
  • Advertising via email
  • Digital marketing
  • Updating my progress table
  • Composing a marketing strategy to improve the scheme

Overall, I had a good experience with Aesthetica magazine. I developed new skills in marketing, and experienced independent working from home. I was reporting to the marketing manager regularly, and I was kept up to date with all the things going on in the office.

I have only stopped being a Campus Ambassador due to the scheme being on suspension. However, once this scheme commences again, I would recommend it to anyone who would like to do some marketing for a magazine, and would like to work flexible hours during semester.

For more information visit:

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Top 5 Tips for Creating an Impressive Cover Letter

Cover letters are a major part of your work placement application. However, a lot of people I’ve spoken to, find the cover letter the most difficult - particularly in terms of content and style. Therefore, I have listed five top tips below that will begin to help you with writing your cover letter. However, I always suggest undertaking your own research too.

1) Talk about your achievements

Introduce yourself and talk about any achievements or skills that you think are the most relevant. You could have this at the start of your cover letter in a ‘short and sweet’ introductory paragraph.

2) Focus on the company

Make sure you show an interest in the company that you are applying for, and what they do. For example, if they are a book publisher, make sure it is clear that you have an interest in their books. Specifically, this is important if you are applying to a well-known company as they will receive plenty of work applications, and will then start to filter people off this way.

3) Be concise and to the point

The cover letters are not meant to be long. I would say between half to a page long. Therefore, it is important to be to the point and concise rather than having extensive sentences, which in effect do not say anything.

4)Proof read

It is very important to proof read your cover letter, and of course, your entire application. Employers will not be very forgiving if they see numerous spelling and grammar mistakes, and this is even greater if you are applying for an editorial based position.

5) Make sure you do the final checks

Once your cover letter has been completed and you are happy with the style and content, you can then make the final checks. Try to avoid fancy fonts, for instance, size 12 Times New Roman or Arial will be fine. Additionally, make sure word processor has completed a spell and grammar check.

For those unaware, you can also improve the spell and grammar check that word processor does within the settings. Therefore, to improve the checker you can set it to check both grammar and writing style, and as well, it can show you readability statistics.

So don’t hesitate and start applying.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Penguin Paid Internships Summer 2012

Penguin Children’s are seeking a marketing and publicity intern to start summer 2012. This will be a paid placement on a 10 week basis. Also, there are other internships available including digital production, which are all open to students and recent graduates.

The application process includes the CV and a cover letter. Additionally, it includes 250 words on what you feel has been most exciting about the children’s brand of 2011 (this will vary depending on the internship applied to).

DEADLINE: 13th January 2012

To apply visit:,2156615852&key=61340201&c=583487238787&pagestamp=seobsutgzpdlbxxyux

Or for more information:

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Contributing to a Blog to Enhance Your Portfolio

Are you a keen writer and would like to build yourself an online portfolio?

futurerising tweeted on the 17th of November, "Want to contribute a blog / experience / story to futurerising?".

Contributing to a blog is a great way to work whilst you're studying. This is because you can work from home, and not be restricted to any set hours. I've been doing this myself at Cocokouture and The Guardian; they both offer me good work experience that will look great on my CV. If you're doing regular work, and building up a portfolio on your CV, then this will look great to a future employer. So, don't hesitate and have a think about what futurerising could do for your CV/portfolio.

To find out more information visit:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Snapshot Diary - HarperCollins September 2011

My final book publishing placement of this year, took place at HarperCollins book publishers. In this company, I was part of the Avon team, a small team division, within the publicity department.

I was lucky enough to gain this placement during the time I was at London Confidential, because it was there that I did quite a lot of book reviews, and therefore I was in touch with book publicists frequently.

One day, I emailed a HarperCollins Publicist asking for some press pictures, and I also asked about any available work experience places. It was lucky I did ask because she was able to book me a placement there and then.

The tasks that I was involved in were:

  • Mail outs
  • Inputting data into spreadsheets
  • Buying materials for publicity campaigns
  • Creating showcards
  • Composing press releases

By now, if you have kept up with my snapshot diaries, you’d see that across the work placements I have undertaken the tasks have all been fairly similar. Evidently within all the publicity placements I have done. However, don’t forget you can go onto the prospects site and check out their ‘career profiles’ pages. You can do this for any role in the publishing industry or any other sector. It will give you a more in depth analysis of the different types of roles available.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Avon, and all the employees were very helpful. I would definitely say that this was one of the best book publishing placements I had been on, and I know my time there was completely appreciated.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Website Pick of the Week

Guardian Careers

For those who have been following my work experience over summer 2011, will know already that I write in the Guardian careers section, so it will come as no surprise to find that they are my website pick of the week.
The Guardian probably should have been listed much sooner than this as it is a great source for reading about careers. I'm a big fan to say the least. Anyway, the blog section covers anything from CV's to disfigurement in the workplace, it is certainly thought provoking and holds a wealth of insight.
Moreover, besides the blog, there are many podcasts, live Q&A's and a directory containing the best career blogs (where you'll find my blog listed) and much more.

Visit the Guardian Careers website at:

For links to my podcast, live Q&A and debut article, please go to the 'About Me' page.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Snapshot Diary - Hachette August 2011

For those getting slightly confused – yes I have already written a snapshot diary about Hachette. However, that was for my first placement there, I actually have been lucky enough to complete two placements there – one in April and one in August of this year. This time I was in the publicity department for two weeks.

After my numerous placements in publicity, I decided that it was one of my favourite departments to do work at, and after my initial good impression of Hachette, I definitely wanted to go back there. For those that have forgotten, when I was on my first placement with Hachette, I made sure that I spoke with the Editorial and Publicity team. It was particularly important for me to do this as I was then able to network and gain more contacts in different departments. I always encourage interns to network. Anyway, this opportunity of a second placement would probably have never happened had I of not networked previously.

Anyway, the tasks that I was involved in were:

· Researching

· Mail outs

· Inputting data into spreadsheets

· Composing press releases

· Creating showcards

Overall, this placement was one of the most enjoyable placements that I have been on. This is mainly because the group of employees as they were very friendly, helpful and always there to give advice. Above anything else, I felt comfortable and valued by the team. I highly rate this company and if you get the opportunity to do a placement there, grab it!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Event - Breaking into the Industry

Future Rising is hosting an event called 'Breaking into the Industry', on the 10th November at 3.30pm till 6.30pm. This event is specifically open to students and young professionals, and is designed to give industry insight and useful tools to breaking into the advertising and marketing industry.
I have been assured that this day will have a very good line up, and thus will be perfect for students that are currently seeking internships or a career. A huge bonus is that the event is completely free, so it's worth attending - what have you got to lose?

For more information visit:

Friday, 4 November 2011

Book publishing: Marketing and Publicity placement available for NEXT WEEK

I have decided to publish my intern opportunity post slightly earlier this week, due to the fact that I've come across an ASAP placement opportunity at Duckworth Publishers.
The placement is within the Marketing and Publicity department. Unfortunately, there are no other details advertised such as, duration etc. However, the placement has a start date of next week, so it's advisable to get your CV and Cover letter in for as soon as possible, and particularly before the end of the day.

Apply to this placement via:
This placement was advertised via Twitter (@DuckBooks)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Why am I not getting employer responses? And what should I do?

I’ve had quite a lot of people telling me that they aren’t getting the employer responses that they were initially hoping for. So, I’ve decided to make a blogpost dedicated to answering the all important questions ‘Why am I not getting employer responses? And what should I do?’

  • How did you initially contact the company?

Sometimes, if you’ve felt that you’ve waited a long time for a response, then it’s good to re-evaluate what method you used to try and contact the company. For example, did you apply via a generic email address, e.g. workexperience@{companyname} If this is the case, then worst case scenario may be that your application hasn’t even been looked at yet.

If you’re really keen on getting a work placement with that specific company, then it may be best to send in another application via letter. Check the website for a company address, and also check to see if there is the name of an employee that you can properly address the letter to. This way, you know your application has at least been read by someone. So, after waiting a considerable amount of time with your first application, send in a second application via email/letter (the different method of contact you used initially).

  • How long have you waited for a response?

It’s not unheard of to wait a considerable amount of time before receiving an application response. I’ve been in the situation before where I applied in January for a placement in June, and then I didn’t hear back from the company until May. So, I waited quite a few months before I got a response. Additionally, I have also received responses a week before the placement was meant to start, so don’t always think that because you haven’t had a quick response means that you’ve been rejected – it doesn’t.

  • Do you expect that the company receives a lot of applications?

Obviously, not all applications will be successful; I have had quite a few unsuccessful applications for one reason or another. Unfortunately, you never know whether you’ll get a response and it’s unlikely that you’ll get a response if your application has been unsuccessful. Do keep in mind how desirable the company is that you have applied for. Some companies simply can’t take on all of the ‘good’ interns who apply there. Don’t be offended, and instead get your application out to as many places as possible.

  • How in advance were you applying for a placement?

It’s really important to be realistic and to look at the bigger picture. You may not have received an employer response because you may have applied to late for the placement date you wanted. You’re decreasing your chances of getting a placement if you apply for work experience in summer, when you want that work experience that summer. Sometimes, you can get away with this, for instance, if you’re applying to Random House via there Facebook page as they usually post up opportunities a few weeks before the placement start date, but for most companies you would have ‘missed the boat’. Try to make sure your applications are 5-8 months in advance to when you actually want the placement, this way you’re more likely to be considered.

I know a lot of companies who are now booked up until 2012. From my knowledge a lot of companies start to look at applications again in November 2011 for the following year, so make sure you get yours in.

  • Wondering what to do next?

You need to keep trying and don’t give up. Persistency will definitely pay off. Make sure you’re researching at least 2 or 3 times a week, and trying to get as many applications in as possible - making sure you pay extra attention to the placements you really want. It may also help to create a log of placements applied to. I did this and found it useful for keeping a record, this way you’ll never lose contacts you’ve made during your search – you never know when you’ll need them again.

My second Guardian article will expand on this research a little more. Once live, I’ll make sure I add the link to this blog post. Stay strong fellow interns!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Twitter - a useful tool for your placement search?

Usually, every couple of Saturday’s of each month, I’ll post a new exciting intern opportunity for students and graduates. However, this week, I’ve come to a little bit of a blank. After numerous attempts at researching on websites for publishing opportunities, i.e. ‘Prospects’ and ‘Rate My Placement’ - I’ve received nothing and simply told that there are ‘No Results Found’. In my despair I even ‘Googled’ the phrase ‘publishing opportunities’, and once again I came to a blank.
Are you finding yourself in a similar situation, when it comes to searching for intern opportunities?
Researching for placements and internships can be very time consuming. However, after reading an article on the Guardian Careers website today, called ‘Job Hunting on Twitter’, it inspired me to write this blog post, along. So instead of the normal ‘intern opportunity’ post, this is what you’re getting instead. Information about how you can search for intern placements on the social networking site Twitter.
I’m still relatively new to Twitter (@steff_lever) so, everyday I’m finding out new things and in essence, I’m trying to become a ‘pro Tweeter’. During this time, I’ve come across quite a lot of profiles - mostly aimed at career s and recruitment. Of course, inevitably I follow these little profiles of ‘intern gold’, and thus I get regular intern opportunities displayed on my Twitter feed every day.
Don’t worry though; you don’t need to join Twitter if it’s not your ‘thing’. Instead, I’ll just paste below a few Twitter profiles, which are useful and worth checking out for opportunities. Remember, you can browse all of these without signing up.
Twitter profiles that are great for intern opportunities/careers help: @4Talent @voxpopPRcareers @Prospects. @GuardianCareers @bbc3tv @futurerising @SYP_UK @internaware @gradvine and so on.
Of course, there will be many more so get researching.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Snapshot Diary - London Confidential July-September 2011

London Confidential was my first work placement where I was able to try out a bit of journalism and writing. I’ve always had a passion for writing, which started during English Lit A-Level, where evitably I was writing a lot of essays.

I came across London Confidential, a relatively new online magazine company that is based in London, whilst searching for journalism based placements. Once I applied, I had to attend a short interview with the Listings Editor, at this point I was confirmed a placement shortly after. This placement was longer than others and instead of being full time; it was just 2 days a week. This suited me fine, as at the same time, I was working 3 days a week at OldCastle Books.

Anyway, I didn’t have any set tasks as such, except that that I had to be able to write articles – one article per day. Even though at first, it didn’t seem to be varied in terms of tasks, I found it varied in terms of the articles I wrote. I would do articles covering various sections of the magazine like, beauty, fashion, arts and entertainment. So, to say the least, I did enjoy my time at LC, going on this placement definitely reignited my passion for writing. Overall, during my time there, the office environment was comfortable and the Editors were quite helpful.

In addition, LC was very flexible about working from home, which would be great for students/graduates that can’t afford the expenses (such as travel). However, a major plus is, unlike some companies, LC do pay for all your expenses (lunch and travel) - as long as receipts are kept. I would recommend this placement for anyone who wants to do writing based work.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Website Pick of the Week

This week I have chosen a website that I came across via Twitter. The website is called, which is a blog offering great advice, and tips for people on how to kick start their career. The Career Cake blog was created by Aimee Bateman, and features professional videos covering a range of careers. However, if you don’t have a specific one in mind, why not have a look at the more generic ones such as, ‘CV Advice – the personal profile’ or ‘What to ask the interviewer?’. It’s a very useful blog and it is particularly interactive - I highly recommend it.

Visit Career Cake @

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Snapshot Diary - Orion Books July 2011

I undertook a placement at Orion in between my time working at OldCastle Books. This is because I was keen to get back into working life at a larger company. At Orion, I was working in the publicity department. When I think back to my Orion placement, I always think about how little I was actually doing. It makes me think of the whole intern and employer debate, about whether employers are taking on interns instead of full time employees (because obviously it’s cheaper), but this certainly wasn’t the case at Orion. I definitely wasn’t replacing anyone full time.

Although the employees were very nice and friendly, unfortunately the work flow didn’t match up to my own expectations. Perhaps, one could argue that by this time I’d already been on numerous placements, and maybe the more and more experienced I got, the less stimulating intern work was me – partly I think that’s probably true.

As always though, I will provide a small list below of what I was doing on my placement.

These are the tasks I was involved in:

  • General admin duties
  • Web-link checking
  • Editing Documents
  • Showcards
  • Mail outs

Overall, this wasn’t a placement I would rate highly in terms of productivity but in general it was a nice workplace. Though, I probably should have just stayed for the 1 week as opposed to two.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Keeping you updated...

I hope everyone has had a really good week, and taken advantage of all the opportunities that I have blogged so far.

Some of you may already know what I have been up to since my last ‘Keeping you updated...’, but for those unaware, I will paste some links below, which you can take a look at. Namely, this is my debut Guardian article and the debut of ‘Steff’s Love Column’, which went live on Cocokouture on the 11th October 2011.

I also want to take this opportunity to express my delight in the feedback I have received from people. It’s great to know that my blog has helped you, and I’m always happy to hear this. As usual, feel free to email me at if you’d like some personal advice.

Looking at the feedback I have received the past few weeks, I’ve gained more inspiration about future upcoming blogs. These include:

  • Top 5 Tips to creating an impressive cover letter
  • Why am I not getting employer responses and what should I do?

Of course, I will be continuing to provide my snapshot diaries; there are still about 4 more to be posted up. Additionally, I’m working hard on Twitter to try and get well-known Editors to provide us with their number 1 top tip for interns. I have a few so far, but ideally I would like a couple more before I publish the page.

Lastly, don’t forget that to avoid constantly checking my blog for new posts, you can easily subscribe to it via email. This way you’ll get new blog posts straight to your inbox, once you do, make sure you activate the subscription by following the link in the initial email.

It’s great to already see a steady increase in email subscriptions and followers. Thanks for all your support.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Snapshot Diary - OldCastle Books June 2011

I was really lucky to find this placement as OldCastle Books is probably one of the smallest book publishers in the UK, and it was great because it was walking distance from my parent’s house.

After being at 2 smaller book publishers (Little Tiger Press and John Blake), I wanted to once again sample working life in a smaller place. I spent a few months there, so it was also one of the longest placements I have been on. The greatest part of this placement was being able to do a lot of varied tasks. I was able to spend time with the MD, and mix with a team of people who are close and tight-knit.

At OldCastle Books, I spent time out of the office as well as in. For example, I was delighted to be able to work at the book launch for Lyndsay Russell and to publicise Clem Chamber’s books in London – this even got coverage in the local magazine Harpendia. (

These are the other tasks I was involved in:

  • General admin duties (of course)
  • Database work
  • Using spreadsheets for data input
  • Producing files as part of E-book production
  • Digital marketing
  • Mail outs
  • Checking Amazon Rankings and Author Pages

Overall, this is probably the number one book placement I’ve had in terms of the variation of tasks given. In my opinion it was definitely worth the experience and I developed my skills a great deal.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Penguin - Getting into Publishing

This is a great book publishing event, which I must admit, I've had my eye on since last year. Penguin's annual open day called 'Getting into Publishing' is both for students and recent graduates, who are keen to gain a bit more of an insight about the book publishing world. The event is via invitation only, and due to the volume of candidates will be decided upon an application, which will contain your CV and cover letter.
Anyone with an interest in book publishing should definitely apply.

To apply for an invite, email:
Don't forget to include, your CV and cover letter, name, University and graduation year.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Internship opportunity with Cocokouture

Cocokouture is an online New York based magazine company who are seeking new interns. The candidates can apply for any section of the magazine, which covers all sorts from beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. As the work is all online based, interns do not need to be from New York or America, they can be living anywhere. I'm proof of this, as I am a current intern at Cocokouture, and so far I've really enjoyed my time with them. I've even got my very own 'Steff's Love Column' going live on Monday the 10th of October - so don't miss it.
Anyway, don't delay in making your application as it's great experience to have on your CV.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

CV Workshop - 'Skills' heading

If this is the first time you are viewing this blog series, please refer back to the first summary post called 'CV Workshop - Top 5 Headings for your CV'.

I have left one of the most important CV headings till last; this is because this section should be a very clear and concise part of your CV. This is significant as employers will want to look here to determine your suitability for the job/placement.

I’ve placed key skills at the end of my CV, but really you can put it anywhere, the reason I placed it at the bottom is because it seemed like a nice section to round off my CV. Thus, effectively I’ve got a section summary containing the skills that I’ve learnt from the above (education, employment history and experience).

A really obvious skill to include in this section would be your computer skills. This skill is one of the most significant these days as everything is going electronic so, your employer will want to know whether you’re at least computer literate and to what standard. This is particularly true in the publishing industry - they do want people with computer skills. These skills are transferable in terms of Ebook production, websites and digital marketing. Luckily I have a double A-Level in ICT so I have quite a lot of computer skills that I can put in this section. However, if you’re struggling with this section you should at least put some of the basic skills down. This could include MS office package (a lot of people can use MS office), familiarity with a MAC or Windows operating system, typing speed etc. It’s definitely the little skills which will count – so don’t leave stuff out thinking that it will just be assumed.

As always, don’t forget to keep this section consistent with the other headings. So, I’ve spoken before about indentation and bolding/italicising fonts; make sure this heading is the same. Keep your font between 10 and 12, so that it’s readable and make sure you’re not too experimental with size or fonts – if in doubt, you can’t go wrong with size 12 times new roman.

I hope you’ve found the CV workshop series useful. At a later date, I will do a template for a CV, so that it can be more easily visualised.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Do you want a fashion internship at Debenhams?

Debenhams are a highly respectable and fashionable brand who are looking for a Fashion PR intern. This will be for a 3 week, full time duration. They are ideally looking for someone who has a keen interest in fashion, but also willing to work in a busy PR office. This would be a great placement to have on your CV.
Closing date: 14th of October 2011

Please apply via vox-popPRcareers.

vox-popPRcareers has an extensive database of PR jobs, search it today @

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

CV Workshop - 'Extracurricular Activities' heading

If this is the first time you are viewing this blog series, please refer back to the first summary post called ‘CV Workshop – Top 5 Headings for your CV’.

If you have done a lot of extracurricular activities at school or university, then this heading is definitely a good optional extra for you to have on your CV. For instance, I’ve worked on the University student newspaper, which is significant experience as it is part of my journalism experience. In particular, the student newspaper is well recognised in the publishing industry, so if that’s the direction you want to go in, then the student newspaper is a great starting point. Furthermore, it’s really important to detail all your activities, even if they don’t directly relate to the work you’re applying for. This is because these activities develop many skills e.g. team work, which all relate to the work place.

As I have emphasised before, make sure that all the extracurricular activities are detailed in chronological order starting from your most recent position at the top, and work your way down. Also, as an added thought, try to make sure that you’re consistent throughout your CV in terms of layout, font and sizes etc. If you’re following this blog series, an easy way to format the extracurricular section is to do so in the same way as the education section. So, you’ll be using a template that looks a little bit like this:

{Start date} – {End date/Present} NAME OF POSITION/ROLE, LOCATION, Brief DESCRIPTION

Please do remember that the above template is just a guideline of what you could do with your extracurricular activities section. I would strongly advise doing some of your own research and having a look at CV’s that are considered strong.

The next and final CV Workshop will be for the ‘Skills’ heading.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Website Pick of the Week

The Society of Young Publishers is a great starting place for young budding publishing professional. The main aim of SYP is to provide people with the industry services they need, to get their publishing careers off to a fantastic start. The society offers, regular monthly speaker meetings, a free subscription to the InPrint magazine, industry contacts, a comprehensive job database and more. The only snag is that you have to pay to be a member of SYP. Memberships for students are slightly cheaper though at £24 as opposed to £30 for adults. Nevertheless, this society is highly recommended and I’m definitely going to consider joining.

For more information visit:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

CV Workshop - 'Employment History' heading

If this is the first time you are viewing this blog series, please refer back to the first summary post called ‘CV Workshop - Top 5 Headings for your CV’.

I’m going to discuss another compulsory heading that should be in your CV, employment history. This section will range in length depending on how many different employers you’ve had. It was only yesterday, when I was having a little read about CV’s and finding out some more common errors that people seem to make with their CV’s. The main error that stood out was the chronology aspect of a CV. For instance, I’ve already spoken about the ‘education’ heading, and organising it with the most recent qualification first, so in my case that would be my degree. This organisation should work in the exact same way throughout your CV. Therefore, you should start the employment section making sure that the most recent employment is listed FIRST, and then you should work back chronologically. So below I have created an example line, which can be incorporated into your CV if you like.

{Start date} – {End date/Present} COMPANY NAME, company ADDRESS, company contact NUMBER

Above is a simple outline to how you may like to layout each employment. Of course, indentation, bullet points and bolding of the font can be used for added finesse.

Depending on how much employment history you have, you can also add a line or two below about what your role was and what you did. Though, I think this is more significant to do so, when it’s a full time job listed, rather than a student’s part time job. In addition, you can put a reference here, or you can separate and create a references section. However, you can leave references off your CV and ask employers to request references, if they’re desired.

If your anything like me, I lack room on my CV as I have been in and out of part time jobs since I was 16, and I also have done a lot of work placements over the past year and a bit. So, I haven’t included what my role was or references in my employment section, but I have created two versions of my CV (shorter and a longer one). I’ve also separated my employment history (part time jobs) with my work experience in publishing (I’ve created a separate heading called work experience). I did this to make sure all my information was organised and concise, so that reading my CV won’t be hard work for my potential employer.

Anyway, do pick and choose from the above if there is anything you’d like to implement to your own CV. Also, do some online research about CV’s, it won’t take you long and you’ll probably learn a lot in very little time!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Keeping you updated...

Due to just coming back from Spain, I thought I’d write a quick note about what I have been doing over the past few weeks.

Before I went away, I completed a week’s placement at HarperCollins, and I would highly recommend this company for work experience. The team and the staff were all very friendly and gave me plenty of work to do. I would say that it is definitely one of the best placements I’ve been on, in terms of productivity.

For those unaware, I’ve been doing little things for the Guardian online, including a podcast to share my experience of work placements, and a live Q&A on ‘blogging to boost your career’. Please find the links below if you haven’t already taken a look.

Blogging to boost your career

Career Talk Podcast: A guide to work experience

Lastly, I have been continuing my internship at CocoKouture magazine and this week I had my first article published. This article was actually my ‘sample’ article, which I sent in to the magazine when I first applied. Luckily they liked it so much that I’m going to have my own special column, which will be named something along the lines of, ‘Steff’s take on living and loving’. I really wanted to write about love and relationships, so I’ll be starting the new series ‘Guide for the relationship girl’ and ‘Guide for the single girl’ – see below for the link to the debut article in the series.

Guide for the Relationship Girl: How do I know when it’s really over?

At the moment, I don’t have any upcoming work experience plans but I’ll keep you updated as and when I do.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Snapshot Diary - Hachette April 2011

Unfortunately this post isn’t as long as my previous snapshot diaries, and this is namely because it’s been one of the shorter placements I’ve partaken.
After my previous placement at The LittleTiger Press, I had pretty much established that I preferred working at larger companies as opposed to smaller ones. This is one of the reasons that I chose to do a placement with Hachette (and not to mention how well known they are). This time, I had chosen to go on a placement which I had never done before, and this was in the Marketing department. I really enjoyed my time with Hachette and I think they would be a brilliant company to work for.

Anyway,these were the tasks that I was involved in:
  • Handlingdata using spreadsheet
  • Researching
  • Mail out
  • General admin duties
  • Marketing campaign for Laini Taylor

Overall, the majority of my time was spent helping out with the Laini Taylor marketing campaign. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my time Hachette and had a chance to circulate the different departments and talk to other employees. This is how I eventually got my second placement with Hachette, but I’ll talk more about that later. The next snapshot diary will be on John Blake publishers.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Website Pick of the Week

Yesterday at work, I came across a website by a writer and author called Katy Moran. Unlike some author websites, Katy Moran’s includes a number of pages about writing and being published.

These include:
  • Getting Published
  • Tips for writers
  • Working in publishing
  • Book cover design

She talks about a range of topics like the above, and gives us some really useful information. It’s definitely worth a look:

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

CV Workshop - 'Education' heading

If this is the first time you are viewing this blog series, please refer back to the first summary post called ‘CV Workshop – Top 5 Headings for your CV’.
A compulsory aspect of your CV is to include all your educational qualifications; these will be ranging from GCSE’s, A-Level’s and Degree(s) or equivalent. So, your education section will be one of the first things the employer will look at. Therefore, I’ve decided to place the Education section straight beneath the profile section (profile = few lines about yourself and your contact details could go into the header of the doc).  As this is a compulsory part of your CV I’m not going to go into the why, what and how, like I did for the ‘profile’ post as for this heading it’s pretty obvious. Instead, I’m going to give you a few ideas of how you can layout your qualifications in a neat and concise way.
You should always begin your education section with your most recent qualification (predicted or obtained) so, for me, I’d start with ‘University of Surrey: Degree in English Literature predicted 2.1’. On the next lines I would then include my A-level’s, ‘Sir John Lawes School (address): 4 A-Levels English (grade) ICT Double (grade) ICT Single (grade) and Media (grade)’, and so on. Also, I would continue in this format, with every new line signifying my different qualifications – like a list.
After looking at quite a few examples of CV’s, I think it’s a nice touch to include a few modules that you are studying/studied for your degree. For instance, you can extend your initial sentence ‘University of Surrey: Degree in English Literature predicted 2.1, modules include classic realism and its decay, constructing the self and contemporary literature.’
As well, for some added finesse you could indent your sentences on after each school/university name so that your qualifications are indented in the same layout. 
Finally, put your font in bold for all your obtained/predicted qualifications e.g. 2.1 (i've done this above), just so that it is very clear and easily distinguishable for your potential employer.
Once you have listed all your qualifications, the education section is now complete.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Would you like to write TV drama scripts for the BBC Writersroom?

The BBC have opened a competition for all the talented drama writers. 
The winning candidate will receive the 'Future Talent Award' for Writers, as well as given development opportunities and mentoring within the BBC. Additionally, the three runners up will receive one to one feedback on their scripts, and receive a detailed report from the BBC professionals.
The deadline is December 2011 so there's still plenty of time to get writing that award winning script!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Snapshot Diary: Little Tiger Press 2010

Straight after my 4 week placement at Random House, I went onto a children’s publisher called the ‘Little Tiger Press’. It was such a contrast from my previous placement, but on the plus side, it was my first placement within editorial book publishing.

My first impressions of the office were its sheer small size. However, it wasn’t off putting as all the employees were very friendly and helpful to me. Also, another plus was that I found the small meetings held a wealth of information about a lot of the different aspects of publishing such as, editorial, production and design. During my time at Little Tiger Press I was mainly handling submissions, which was a great new skill that I had learnt.

Anyway, these were the tasks I was involved in:
  • Submissions – reading, logging, replying and segregating those of interest for my editor.
  • General Admin duties
  • Reorganising book shelves
  • Sitting in on weekly meetings
  • Mail outs
Overall, I was kept very busy, with the majority of my time being spent handling unsolicited submissions, and there were a lot. The company would receive at least 7 submissions a day. Looking back, I did enjoy this placement but after the couple of weeks I spent there I definitely preferred a larger company. Also, I realised that I preferred adult fiction as opposed to working with children’s.

For anyone wanting to go into book publishing I would definitely recommend going on placements at a variety of publishers. This will then give you a feel about what your publishing preferences are, whenever you start searching for a career. 

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Keeping you updated...

I haven’t posted ‘Keeping you updated…’ in quite a while, and this is because I’ve literally been rushed off my feet.

I finished my last day at London Confidential (LC) last week, but thank god I am still able to write there as I enjoy it so much! Don’t forget that you can go my ‘About Me’ page to check out my current LC portfolio. I’ve been doing all sorts of writing from features to book reviews, exhibition reviews, and now I’m trying my hand out at food.

This week I had some really good news and managed to bag myself an internship at New York’s Cocokouture magazine. Here, I’m hoping to write under the lifestyle section and write about love and relationships. I literally can’t wait. My first article should be published in the next few weeks.
Speaking of published articles, I have my fingers cross that my first Guardian article will be published soon. Again, I’ll put a link in my ‘About Me’ page to my Guardian portfolio.

There aren’t any new plans for my Blog, but I’ll keep posting new blogs relating to the ‘CV Workshop’s’ and ‘Snapshot Diaries’. Also, I've had a few people speaking to me about where to begin with work experience so, I'm setting up a brand new page called 'Where Do I Start?' - stay tuned.

Lastly, I have received quite a lot of positive feedback from this Blog, so thank you all for your kind comments and I’m so appreciative. I didn’t realise when writing this Blog how many people would actually find it useful and I’m so pleased you are. Stay in touch. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

CV Workshop - 'Profile' heading

Last week in my blog post ‘CV Workshop – Top 5 Headings for your CV’ I discussed a possible layout template for your CV, which incorporated useful headings to try and get the most out of it. The first heading I spoke about was the ‘Profile’ heading, which I think is one of the most significant headings of all.
For some reason, I’ve found that a ‘Profile’ section doesn’t even exist on some people’s CV, but I would highly recommend it – here’s why.

The main aim of your CV is to sell yourself to the employer. Usually, they won’t waste time taking hours and hours analysing your CV - so make sure it is succinct. Be careful with the size of your ‘Profile’ section as you won’t want it to be more than 4/5 lines long. The point of the ‘Profile’ is not to waffle on, but instead to talk a little bit about your personality – after all a CV is personal. Without a ‘Profile’, imagine your CV, amongst 6 others including 5 which have profiles and yours that doesn’t. In a way, it is like reading a blank form - and probably easily eliminated by an employer if the other 5 CV’s are amazing. It’s a small touch but in my eyes very significant. So, what do you need to write?

Start off writing around 4 lines about how you would describe yourself to a potential employer. I would like you to include any of the keys word that would be essential to any company, for instance a skill like ‘team player’. So your very first line could be something along the lines of ‘I’m a recent Sports Graduate with a warm personality and above all else a team player’. On the surface, this looks like a pretty decent first line, you’ve introduced yourself as well as put in a key word/skill that you feel best describes you. However, lets play the imagination game again and imagine that you’re an employer with 6 CV’s that all have variations on this first line and so essentially are all the same. Now how can you distinguish yourself? 

So at the moment you have your first line, which now seems to be a bit empty and not very original. A great way to stop using generic and empty phrases such as, ‘I’m really hardworking’ is to think about the specifics and to always try to be as specific and succinct as possible. So now I can easily change the beginning of my first line. Instead of ‘I’m a recent Sports Graduate’, change it to ‘I’m a recent 2.1 Sports Graduate with professional contacts’, by adding only a couple more specific bits of information, you have already a better sentence that will distinguish you amongst other CV’s. Then you can add your key words with slightly more meaning, for example, ‘I’m a recent 2.1 Sports Graduate with professional contacts and have learnt, above all, the significant value of being a team player’.

I hope you found the above useful. Remember the above examples are simply a guide as to what you could do with your CV. Stay tuned for the next CV Workshop on the ‘Education’ section of your CV.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

What to crack into the fashion world?

It's always tough looking for a full time job or internship, especially if you desire to crack into the fashion world! However, I stumbled across the ‘not just a label’ website, which posts work opportunities in fashion. Search opportunities from editorial to marketing and PR. So, if you’re interested then check out the link below and keep checking it for new postings. I'll add this link to the magazine opportunities page.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

CV Workshop - Top 5 Headings for Your CV

For those that missed out, I have posted a blog talking about how to make your CV impressive.

CV’s are what can make or break an application whether it is for a full time internship or job. Below I am going to create an outline template of CV headings to make sure that you’re including relevant and good information.

At a later date, I’m going to follow up this blog post with 5 blog posts dedicated to these 5 different headings. See below for the useful headings that you can implement in your CV.

What is a profile? Well, a profile a small blurb about yourself (4-5 lines), typically at the beginning of your CV. I think that the ‘Profile’ is one of the most important headings, because here the employer can get a feel of what kind of person you are. The great thing about profiles is that they can separate you from other candidates. This is the part where you can specifically aim your CV towards the sector you’re applying for. For instance, if you are applying for marketing, then it’s best to talk about your passion for marketing here. Sometimes, it’s best to leave out all the company specifics and put that in your cover letter instead.

This is compulsory and for me, the heading sits under my profile, it details all educational qualifications that you have obtained, and also what qualifications you are predicted (if you haven’t completed them). Keep this as simplistic as possible to avoid any confusion.

Many employers will go to this heading first, along with education, as they’re both extremely important. Make sure you detail every job you’ve had because the more experience you have the better your employability will look.

Under this heading it’s good to put down any extracurricular activities, especially if this involves gaining good ‘work experience’. For example, if you were Editor of the student newspaper, you would have gained leadership skills etc.

List any skills that could increase your employability, e.g. computer skills. Also, make sure you list any skills that don’t seem obvious, for instance you could be an English Literature student with a lot of ICT skills – make sure you list all of them. Most of the time employers do ask for certain requirements that aren’t essential but are desired and they’ll look out for these when reading your CV.

This is a relatively brief outlook on what a CV could look like, obviously, this is only a guideline, so by all means include and exclude headings which suit you. Stay tuned for my next CV workshop where I will discuss further the ‘Profile’ heading.

For more help with CV writing check out the 'dates for your diary' page.

*UPDATE Each heading is now click-able and will elaborate on the brief explanation above.