Last week, Emily Barr, published writer, gave a talk at college which went extremely quickly because it was useful and enjoyable.

Watch this blog for a transcript of that talk which will be of particular interest to people who are interested in a career in fiction writing.

Barr was very clear about the changes which had taken place since she had her first booked published in the 1990s. One important point she made was about the need for self promotion, to drive sales for your own book release. Gone are the days of posters paid for by publishers on the London underground.

This is the day and age of Twitter, Facebook and the like. (ie websites) and how you use these can play an important part in landing paid work in the creative industries.  Look out for posts which explore the Tweets, posts and websites of various successful artistes and spokespeople.

Emily Barr also mentioned a week at her child’s school in which parents talk to the pupils about their careers. Even though I’ve seen episodes of the Simpsons in which Homer has gone to do this at Bart and Lisa’s school, I was gratified to hear this happens in the UK today.

At my girls’ school, we only got talks about become a secretary. 😦 Something I never achieved. (Except for the one time I got quickly sacked from Vogue House. See the category for ‘story’ posts for more about that if it interests you).

Last week I got interesting feedback from an interview I attended for a work placement which I did not get. I get interviews for a large percentage of jobs I apply for, through the way I do my CVs (I say CVs as I have different ones according to the type of job I’m applying for). However, I have only learned to succeed  in interviews for sales jobs, as it is the only type of work I’m familiar enough with. (My lesson for job interview preparation from the feedback was on finding out more about what a job entails and ask questions about it in the interview.

The principles of all job interviews are the same, however, and so I will post up on a few experiences that might be helpful. Or just amusing.

As mentioned, my CV writing is usually successful and, despite advances in technology such as the use of ‘keywords’ my CV even manages to get me head-hunted (no interviews!) so I will share some aspects of this that might be useful (from working on friends’ CVs too).

There’s good news and bad here.  Advertising a position is the last resort a company will take to find the right candidate. The surest and easiest way to find someone who can fulfil a role is through your own network of contacts.

Lastly, there are those all important networking tips that have been tried, tested and got results.

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