This week, universities return to business as usual, we reach the beginning of an annual epidemic which strikes the very heart of the student community. Every bed in the Remedial Careers Ward is occupied as third years are confronted with a harsh reality: nine months to go.
As the graduate job market appears to be impenetrable, and the possibility of securing a job seems to dwindle, even cover letters to the Welfare State exhort in exultations the fervent desire of the candidate to receive Job-Seekers Allowance: ‘I am truly the perfect candidate for this role. Ever since I enrolled in a humanities-based degree, I knew this was my destination. My goal.’
The hopes of English students who ‘just want to do something creative’ are crushed by the realisation that the predicted salary of an artistic existence is slim to nil. And so the publishing industry (along with so many others) is inundated with CVs and cover letters, each one proudly proclaiming bookishness beyond compare – there will be no shortage of students who ‘have always had an unbridled passion to proofread – ever since I learned the correct usage of a semi-colon; it’s in my bones’.
Trying to find a job in publishing is competitive, and positions are much sought after. Here at whitefox we are hoping to bring more transparency to an industry which, at times, can appear daunting to the prospective graduate, with our new series of events, the first of which focuses on the editorial side of the industry. Aimed at students looking into publishing, this should be an enlightening Q&A with top professionals from Quercus, John Murray, Serpent’s Tail and Aurum (event sign up? Why, you can find that here). It should provide insight not only into editing, but also to explore how ending up as a member of staff at a publishing house is no longer the only way to support authors, and to show prospective cover-letter-writers that there really are other ways of displaying your enthusiasm for contemporary literature than throwing yourself off a passenger ferry with your pet cat to ‘understand more empathetically’ The Life of Pi.