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: http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/ambassadors.htm

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: http://gs12.globalsuccessor.com/fe/tpl_penguin01.asp?s=dmOlRWtGeVHmJjVeb&jobid=61529,2156615852&key=61340201&c=583487238787&pagestamp=seobsutgzpdlbxxyux

Or for more information: http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/job/4379910/marketing-and-publicity-intern-penguin/

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? getintouch@futurerising.com".

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: http://www.futurerising.com/contribute/

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: http://careers.guardian.co.uk/careers-blog

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: info@duckworth-publishers.co.uk
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}.co.uk. 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!