Sunday, 25 December 2011
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. http://careers.guardian.co.uk/careers-blog/christmas-careers-wishes 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 :-)
The Publishing Intern
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
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.
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.
Saturday, 17 December 2011
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: vauxhallfashionscout.com
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
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:
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 http://diaryofapublishingintern.blogspot.com/2011/11/top-5-tips-for-creating-impressive.html. 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
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: http://www.fashionworkie.com
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
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
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: http://theemployable.com/