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Upskilling Tips for CVs

By Sukhpreet Chana, Grace Edwards and Misha Manani 


A CV is a summarised story of your relevant achievements, skills and experience to show why you are a good fit and a strong candidate. They play a significant role in the application process when applying for jobs in publishing, whether it's permanent positions, internships or traineeships. It’s a key document for many hiring managers to evaluate your suitability for the role. We highlight how you can make your CV stand out when applying for jobs in the publishing industry. 


Structure of the CV 


  • Personal profile: Your CV should show your background in terms of what you are currently doing and where you are interested in going. You should also include your top three skills that are relevant to the job description. This section allows your personality, skills and experience to shine through. 


  • Experience: Detail your most recent experience in chronological order. You should bullet point the actions you carried out, as it allows you to further demonstrate your skills. 


  • Education: This should be the most concise section of the CV. Add your studies with your academic grades to give the recruiters an idea of your qualifications. It can demonstrate the knowledge you've gained in your academics and how you are different from other applicants. Check the educational requirements when applying.


  • Skills: This section should include the skills that meet the criteria of a job application. Split your skills into technical and soft to make it clear to the hiring manager.


  • References: You don’t need to write them down unless the job listing says otherwise, but you can write “references are available upon request” if you wish.

Dos and Don’ts 


DO


  • Use active verbs: These words can help you be more specific about your actions and skills, especially in bullet points. Some examples to use on a publishing CV include “created”, “wrote”, “edited”, “communicated”, “organised”, “administrated”, “collaborated” and “scheduled”.


  • Tailor it to the job description: Highlight the keywords on the job advert which tend to be the skills, experience/tasks and personal qualities asked for. Use these in your CV to demonstrate that you are a good match for the role. Be honest and draw from your lived experience. The active verbs mentioned above can support this. 


  • Research the mission statement and values: This can often be found on the website’s “About us” page. You need to show that you are a good cultural fit.  


DON’T


  • Make errors: Always triple-check and read your CV out aloud. Get someone else to read it. Attention to detail is paramount in publishing, so a spelling, punctuation or grammar mistake won’t be viewed well. 


  • Disregard the types of books: Whether you are applying for editorial, rights, production, marketing, sales or a literary agency position, it’s important to know the genre and market they focus on, so you can show enthusiasm. 


  • Ignore the specifics: When writing your bullet points about each role, add quantitative detail. This puts your actions into context and provides evidence to support your point. For instance, the number of articles you have written, the number of people who attended an event you organised or the number of views/likes a social media post received. Briefly mention the results. This strengthens your application. 


Top Tips and Advice 


  • Make it easy to see who you are: Your name should be the biggest thing on your CV, with a header including your other important contact information. These should go at the top of your file to make it easy for hiring managers to get in touch with you. Also, instead of just naming your document as “CV”, make sure to include your name to make it easy for employers to find the relevant file for your application. 

 

  • Keep the layout simple: Employers will receive many applications for one job role, so it is important to make your document scannable. You have probably heard that hiring managers do not spend long reading each applicant’s CV, so you want to make information simple to process by making the document clear and easy to skim. Your CV should also be no more than two pages.


  • Demonstrate transferable skills: Don’t panic if you do not have any relevant professional experience specific to the job description you are applying for. Whether you are looking to change career paths or have had previous different work experiences before publishing, you will possess many soft skills that would be considered transferable and desirable such as communication, leadership and teamwork.


  • Stay up to date: Take time out of your schedule every couple of months or so to review your CV and make any necessary updates, such as new responsibilities or skills. Even if you are not currently job searching, there are many reasons why you should keep your CV fresh. 


Thank you for reading issue ninety! Join us again for Upskilling Tips for Cover Letters in issue ninety-one, which is the next one in our New Year career series. 


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