The Publishing Post
Upskilling Tips For CVs
By Amelia Bashford, Annabella Costantino, Misha Manani and Rowan Groat
So, you want to work in publishing? Whether you are job seeking or looking for a career change, you’ve come to the right place. We have some advice on what to be aware of when drafting your CV. Each employer will have their individual preference, but if you organise your experience in a straightforward way, you will make a good impression. When applying through a recruiter, be sure to keep your eye out for certain requirements.
Tailor your CV: Your CV will vary depending on the company, role and sector. Make sure you include the key skills and attributes listed in the job specification.
Include your contact details: These are essential for the employer to contact you, including, but not limited to, phone number, email address and LinkedIn profile. References are not necessary—you can state that they are ‘available upon request’.
Present information clearly and logically: Start with your most recent experience and work backwards from there. Ensure you have separate sections for your education and relevant experience.
Focus on key information: Use your space wisely, but don’t discount the experiences that seem less applicable. Be smart, pull out transferable skills and highlight the most relevant to ensure that your strengths aren’t missed.
Use active words: These should go at the start of each bullet point when writing about your experience. “Managed”, “facilitated”, “analysed” and “increased” are some great examples. Here is a list for you to have at the ready.
Exceed two pages: If you do, you risk boring potential employers. On average, a hiring manager will spend less than 30 seconds reading a CV. Make every second count!
Format badly: This includes inconsistent spacing, paragraphs, different fonts or irrelevant changes in headings and subheadings. If you are uncertain, look up sample CVs online.
Talk about what you did without the focusing on the results: Employers need to know that you can make an impact. For example, “this increased audio sales by 26%”evidences that your efforts yield strong outcomes.
Submit a CV without proofreading: Always proofread your CV to ensure that you haven’t made any SPAG or structural errors. Get someone you trust to check it.
Make it hard to read: Don’t use language that is too complicated. We recommend structuring each experience with a clear focus on what you have done and the positive outcome of your actions.
Ain Chiara’s YouTube channel: We recommend Ain often because she’s great. She has a range of career-related videos, including one on How To Write a Great CV.
Leena Norms’ YouTube channel: Leena is a publishing professional who has a video on common mistakes people make on their CVs. Check out her Twitter. The Publishers Association: A series of YouTube videos accompany this blog on writing CVs and cover letters, including Top Tips For Your CV.
The Publishing Hopefuls Facebook page: A supportive community of publishing hopefuls and professionals in which successful CVs and formatting options are shared. Atwood Tate: With lots of career tips on their website, Atwood Tate can teach you how to write a CV with little or no experience. They also offer CV advice on their YouTube channel.
Suzanne Collier at bookcareers: Suzanne Collier’s bookcareers website has resources, including a podcast and online clubs for people in publishing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do employers care about my grades?
This depends on the position and company. For instance, some entry-level positions may require a degree or certain school grades. As soon as you have relevant work experience, this supersedes education (i.e., put education after employment).
Do I need to include links to my social media?
Always keep your CV relevant to the job. LinkedIn is the most essential as it is a professional network. Don’t include personal accounts, however, accounts that show your passion for the industry, like Bookstagram or BookTok, are a good thing!
How do you structure a CV?
Clarity is most important. Your relevant education and employment history are the top priority and should take up the most space. Include relevant skills, awards, hobbies and a summary profile introducing yourself. Do employers like CVs in colour or black and white?
A pop of colour can help you stand out. For instance, you can put your name and headings in a different colour, but it’s often personal preference. If you are going to do a creative CV, make sure it is formatted correctly. Saving it as a PDF ensures the recruiter will see the version you want them to see.
Thank you for reading our Upskilling Tips for CVs. In Issue 28, we will be covering Upskilling Tips for Interviews. Don’t miss it!