Friday afternoon, I had a conversation with a production editor at Simon and Schuster. She was pleasant, helpful, and very sweet. I forget that people in publishing can be nice despite the competitive and cutthroat nature of the business.
I asked her about her journey to her current position which started after her college degree (don’t know what year and i didn’t ask because some people are touchy about age) in which she obtained her first job as a production assistant at John Wiley and Sons. From there, she excelled into different positions and landed employment at Simon and Schuster where she has been for a decade.
From this informational interview, I culled the necessary pieces missing from my applications. First, attitude. I know I can rock any job I get. I’m a damn good worker and why shouldn’t someone hire me? I’m quick on my feet, I love being utilized, and I love learning new skills all the time. I was a rock star on every film production set I worked on which is why I was always getting phone calls to work; I was great! As for office jobs, I was able to focus that same energy and make things happen by giving it my 150% all the time, even when my colleagues weren’t doing the same.
Second, skills on paper. Since I’ve worked in different industries, I’ve managed to acquire different skills including coordinating, scheduling, editing, quality control, and everything in between. I’m like the Jack of all trades here. And the best way to sell everything I’ve done is in my cover letter which, funny enough, is the hardest thing I ever have to write when applying to publishing vacancies. I don’t know how to frakking sell myself in the best way. I can’t write like this, because it’s too informal but when it’s too formal, I come across as having no personality (which is totally false). I wish I could write my cover letter here and have potential employers read this and go from there. Well, employers may end up reading this so I should keep it classy. 🙂
All in all, the interview went well and I will put her advice to good use. I am a writer and I need to work with what I got.