By Tanvi Jaiswal, Misha Manani and Georgia Stack
In today’s modern age of digitalisation, virtual networking couldn’t get any easier, but it can be difficult to put into practice. We have gathered the top tips and tricks for virtual networking to help publishing hopefuls get that first interview or job. So, keep reading to learn how you can maximise your chances of getting your dream job!
How to Network Online
Select your platform: In publishing, Twitter and LinkedIn are key social platforms for networking. LinkedIn is useful for professional purposes and is likely to garner you a response compared to Twitter, where your message will end up in their requests if they don’t follow you back. If the person you want to talk to follows you, we recommend using Twitter first since activity may be higher and it has a vast book community.
Find common ground: When you try to connect with someone, find some commonalities between you both, such as the same university, which can be found on LinkedIn. Career-related interests are a brilliant talking point as well, whether it is the department they work in or the company they work for. This shows you have a dedicated interest in a topic they can talk about and also highlights your reason for messaging them.
Keep it short and simple: It is important to keep your message clear and concise. Be friendly and intentional by greeting them with their name and something along the variations of “I hope you are well.” Then briefly explain your reason for contacting them and that you look forward to their response before ending with your name. For instance, “I am interested in working in children’s marketing, so I would love to talk to you about your experience at (Name of Company) when you are able to.” If you are interested in a virtual call let them know.
Write your questions beforehand: If your networking efforts result in a virtual call, remember that the person you are talking to is taking the time to help you. We find that making a list of questions before ensures that you have talking prompts, that you don’t forget anything and highlights your curiosity to those who work in the industry which people in publishing like to see. This person may end up being your mentor in the future or interviewing you for a position, so make a good impression!
Show gratitude: Always be appreciative and thankful after your virtual conversation. Send an email or message.
Tips from the Upskilling Team
● Connect on LinkedIn and follow others who work in the industry: LinkedIn can go a long way if you use it to your advantage! Make sure you update your profile regularly and don’t just stop after getting connected with people working in your desired company. Expand your connections in the wider industry.
● Attend events: Attending events is a good way to connect with people in the industry and exchange contacts. Publishing events occur across the year such as The London Book Fair, The Society of Young Publishers (SYP) events and regional book fairs. These are great places to meet your potential colleagues, so check out the upcoming events around you!
● Be brave and patient: Don’t take it personally if you don’t receive an immediate response or if you see the dreaded read receipt and think you have been ignored. The person you have contacted might be busy or simply have forgotten to respond. At least you tried, so don’t give up!
● Join the Publishing Hopefuls Facebook Group: This group has a built-in community of publishing hopefuls and those who work in publishing. Post a question or respond to others. People also post their CVs, application questions and cover letters which helped them get a job, so message them individually.
- Use your online profiles to their greatest potential - get in touch: It's very unlikely that anybody in the publishing industry will be displeased to find that you have contacted them - everyone starts somewhere! Most people will be happy to offer advice, industry insights, tips and key skills you might need to develop.
- First impressions matter: Ensuring that you have a separate social media account when you’re networking from the one you use to connect with your friends and family is an efficient way to let valuable industry connections know all about your professional experiences. For example, you might want to make a separate Bookstagram that you can network with. It also adds a touch of professionalism and shows that you’re passionate about the industry.
Thanks for reading Issue Fifty-Three! Join us again for Issue Fifty-Four, where we will cover Upskilling Tips for Further Education in Publishing.