I was talking to a UW student this last week who wanted to become an editor and who was asking for advice on finding a job. Among other things, that reminded me that I’ve never put in one place a link to all the different places you might find job listings in the publishing field. If you’re in publishing and have some advice for prospective editors, please feel free to add to the list.
Here’s my general list of where I tell people to start looking, other than networking (because that’s another whole ball of wax):
Publisher’s Lunch (both to subscribe to the daily industry news, which is invaluable, and to watch their job board listings)
Individual publishers’ websites (though different companies’ job boards can be hit or miss; one company I used to work for kept filled listings for a year or two after; while some positions never saw the light of day on the online listings because they were filled in house or through the in house temp pool)
MediaBistro.com job boards (as well as their industry articles, though I can’t vouch for whether it’s worth it to subscribe to the paid portion of the site, because I’ve never subscribed. Same goes for Publisher’s Marketplace paid content. Anyone here a subscriber? What would you say?)
Also, keep an eye on listings of staff changes within companies. These can be found at several of the above sources, particularly Publishers Weekly and Publishers Lunch, though Harold Underdown also posts a Who’s Moving Where? column, too. These not only give you insight into a company but also might tell you information about whether jobs might be opening up (if someone is starting a n
ew imprint or perhaps if an editorial assistant is being promoted to assistant editor, etc.). Of course, the listings might have taken some time to be posted, though, so they’re not the most reliable job hunting source. Still, it’s good to keep an eye on such things.
That’s the short list. I feel like I’m forgetting something, but what it comes down to is keeping your eyes open for listings, networking to find out if anything is opening up that might not be listed, and just making sure to also be as proactive as you can in the search. My first job came about because I’d decided to go through the yellow page listing for “Publishers” alphabetically, just cold calling to ask if there were any job openings. I got a job within a couple weeks–with a company whose name started with B.
Okay, so the day I called through the whole list, didn’t just stop with B when they said actually they were hiring. But hopefully you get the point: if you’re looking for a job in publishing, job listings are just one way of finding out about the right position for you. Hope this helps, and good luck with your hunt.
P.S. DON’T just post your resume on a job board and expect to be contacted by headhunters and publishers. Publishing doesn’t work like that–most companies get more than plenty applicants the traditional way without having to comb job boards for resumes with the right keywords. The thing to remember is that it’s your job to find yourself a job, and the only way that’s going to happen is if you reach out for it. However, that’s just my experience, and other editors might have had different experiences at different companies. Feel free to chime in if it’s different for you.