How to Give Your CV Edge in the Competitive Editorial Market
The prospect of unemployment or not landing your dream job is every undergraduate’s worst nightmare. With an ever-growing emphasis on experience and internships to pin to your name in an already competitive market, giving your CV that distinguishing edge has never felt so important. So what will help you stand out from the crowd and bridge the gap between university and employment? If you’re going through the internship or job trawl, then you already understand the daunting requirements potential employers ask for. Experience, experience, experience… so just how can you get that when you’re already balancing studies?
Set up a blog
Okay, not necessarily the pressures to be another Zoella but a chance to get some real life experience and get your work out into the public domain defining both yourself and your writing from the masses. You don’t have to be a savvy techy to get involved, and if you do, why not take advantage of this opportunity to show those skills off? Here’s some of the best blogging platforms now:
Blogspot – A blog publishing service set up and powered by Google. BlogSpot is good for beginners looking to learn the basics of blogging while it’s also a good option for a student looking to share their work in the public domain minus the techy gadgets. You will be limited to basic blogging tools and a few basic designs, but this is a quick fix set-up backed by Google’s robust reliability.
Wordpress – A much more complex blogging platform, less help is given for set-up but you can find video tutorials on the site’s help menu as well as forums supplied by other users. Remember there are two versions of wordpress: the ‘.org’ version and the ‘.com’ version. ‘.org’ is an open source software program which allows you to build your own site with a self-hosted solution. The set up begins with a download which directs you to a complex document file. You then have to program and install a software script – perfect for a programmer or a super savvy individual who wants full reign over their domain, back-up and security. ‘.com’ is a blog hosting service opened on your standard tab browser. If you are willing to get stuck in, learn how to set up widgets and get interactive, this is a good choice – it also shows potential employers that you can use a more complex set-up (while it’s less complex than ‘.org’.) If you’re hoping to get paid for you work and have a more professional appearance, Wordpress is the option for you.
Both blog platforms offer a free set-up, feasible for students and those who don’t want to invest. Buying an official account name may seem professional but remember employers are looking for quality and quantity of work as opposed to how much you may have invested in a more complex set-up. If you’re looking to make the next move and become a pro-blogger, taking a more professional stance you can always pay to upgrade your account at a later date and invest in a more complex template that suits you.
Then get writing… Think about your blog name, something catchy and something that will embody your blog. What’s the direction you want to go with it? What are you talking about and what will make you stand out from the rest of the blogging crowd?
Write for short story magazines (print and digital platforms)
• Get to know your publication. Read about the genres they favour, past contributions and of course, the submission guidelines such as text print and format.
• Proof read and double check spacing. Number your pages and get your name in the header. Submissions volumes are so high for many platforms that they can turn down work due to low standard finishes.
Riptide journal: Publishes new short stories from established and emerging writers. Contributions are annual and are posted on the main site (the last submissions were made around September). Short stories should be no more than 5000 words in length while there is no minimum.
Cadaverine Magazine: Based in the UK, Cadaverine Magazine accepts submissions of literary fiction, poetry and reviews from young and emerging writers under 30. Send a sample of 300-500 words to them now – submissions always open!
The Upcoming: Always on the lookout for passionate and enthusiastic writers, The Upcoming is a digital site discussing fashion, lifestyle, art and culture.
Aesop Magazine: A Completely free short story magazine. 60,000 copies are distributed monthly to commuters. You can submit to them via their site, simply upload you piece of work alongside a title, email and your name. Submissions must be below 10mb and 500-5000 words.
Ambit Magazine: Published in London but read internationally, Ambit magazine is a 96-page quarterly published literary and art magazine. Submissions up to 5 poems submitted online or a 5000 max worded short story. Portals open twice a year on February 1st and September 1st.
Bunbury Magazine: An arts and literary magazine with a high-focus on providing a platform for creatives who otherwise wouldn’t get exposure. Bunbury is a relatively small publication hosted on Wordpress - but it offers exposure for new creatives who are able to submit anything from flash fiction to graphic stories and life writing.
Amper and Sand: Accept online submissions of 5,000 – 8,000 words and novellas (under 70,000 words). They also pay £15 for accepted submissions!
Fictive Dream: Accept stories from 500 – 2,500 words, Fictive Dream is particularly interested in submissions with a contemporary feel that give an insight into the human condition. It’s free to submit!
London Journal of Fiction: A relatively new publication platform set up in August 2015. They accept short stories, essays and poems with a max word count of 4,000 words.
Writers forum: An opportunity to earn £300 through a yearly competition 1st place win, £150 for 2nd and £100 for 3rd place. Entry fee is £6 and a word count from 1,000-4,000 words. You can also pay an additional £5 for some feedback!
The Bath Novel Award 2017: An international opportunity with a prize fund of £3000 for unsigned novels of any genre for adults and young adults. Entry fee is £25 and entries must be the first 5,000 words to your novel alongside a 250 word synopsis.
Contribute to journalism, fashion and art magazines
EILE Magazine: To not be confused with Elle, Eile magazine welcomes submissions of arts and culture, lifestyle and sports. Your article must be 500-800 words and supported with your social media accounts.
Slayed Magazine: Look for original and compelling essays on self-empowerment, pop-culture, arts, news, food, politics, beauty or personal experiences related to fashion. Open to a myriad of topical opportunities. Apply to Slayed Magazine via their online form.
Wanderlust: Consider interesting blogs, round-ups, guides and advice pieces. 10 copies are published a year and submissions are selective and limited. Look carefully at their in-depth guidelines before submitting to this trendy travel mag.
Full Grown People: Publish personal essays that explore what it means to be an adult. Particularly interested in work with a literary quality, submission should be between 800 – 4,000 words.
- By Lily Nicole