A question was asked:What can you do to improve your chances of getting a job in publishing? The writer has work experience and two bachelor’s degrees and wants to be an editorial assistant.
I’m going to start with the basics, which you may already know, but others may not.
Consider what an editorial assistant does, and what makes a good one different from the rest.
- They handle a lot of the administrative detail, so strong typing and organizational skills will be critical.
- Editorial assistants also need to have tact and good judgment when dealing with authors and agents.
- They need to be able to sort the marketable books from the trash when reading slush. And, last but not least,
- They need the motivation and ability to absorb large amounts of information, and to endure long stretches of routine tasks.
Your task is to show a potential boss that your past experience and education fit you with those skills and demonstrate those qualities. You should also show an awareness of the type of books that they produce and an interest in that kind of material.
Each element of your application and interview for the job should pass the “so what?” test. In other words, put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Ask yourself whether you would care about this piece of information. Does it demonstrate some ability or skill that will make you-the-candidate good at the job? Does it say something that they need to know?
And one more thing: be prepared for the dreadful pay and long hours. You’ll be expected to work like a slave in this industry, but you’ll never get rich, or even “comfortable.” Still, it’s a lot of fun, if you’re bent that way. (I am.)
Did that help? Does anyone out there have further or better suggestions?