Job titles decoded

Posted 13.08.14 by prhcareers

If you are looking to break into publishing and/or haven’t worked for a publisher previously, we thought it might help to de-mystify the language we use internally to describe what some of our job titles actually mean. In this post, we explain some of our most popular job titles at Penguin Random House, and which roles are most accessible for candidates looking to start a career in publishing.


1. Editorial Assistant: This is an entry-level role. We look for solid administration skills and perfect spelling and grammatical accuracy in your CV and cover letter. You will need to demonstrate an awareness of the editorial list for your chosen target market as well as a genuine passion for the titles you’ll be working on. It’s great if you have managed to secure some relevant work experience, but this is by no means a pre-requisite.

2. Assistant Editor/Junior Editor: Usually, this role is a step up from an Editorial Assistant. You will need solid previous editorial experience and be able to demonstrate relevant subject matter knowledge. We would not normally consider applicants without strong previous editorial experience for this type of role.

Publicity and Marketing:

3. Publicity/Marketing Assistant: This is an entry-level role. Previous marketing or publicity experience isn’t required, but it would be attractive to hiring managers. We will want you to be organised with creative ideas and a real passion for your area of interest. It’s possible you will have to come up with campaign ideas at second stage interview – so it’s worth brushing up your presentation skills.

4. Publicity/Marketing Executive: This is a step up from Assistant. We’ll be looking for someone with previous working experience in marketing or PR, at a level where you have had experience of running your own campaigns and be able to manage them fairly independently. You will almost certainly be required to do a task at second stage interview.


5. Sales Assistant/Co-ordinator: This is usually entry level, although for some roles you will need sales work on your CV and some experience with systems and managing budgets. You will know from a quick glance at the job ad! Either way, your admin skills will need to be in tip-top shape to succeed at either of these roles.

6. Sales Executive: This is the next step up from Assistant level. By now, you will likely have plenty of sales experience and will probably have looked after some of your own accounts.

Art & Cover Design:

7. Junior Designer/Design Assistant: The level of this role varies – sometimes we look at entry level, but on other occasions this role is the next level up and we need someone with practical working experience. Either way, you will need to show us work that is relevant to the role you are applying for, so consider your portfolio choices carefully and try to limit your examples to three, unless otherwise stated in the job ad.

8. Designer: Again, this role can vary, but it’s almost guaranteed you will need to have a strong working background in Design and be adept managing your own projects.

Other publishing companies may use different terminology or structure in their companies, so these titles may not apply elsewhere. We also try to be as clear as possible in our adverts the level of experience and background we will be looking for in each hire, and of course, each role we advertise is unique, so these criteria are by no means accurate for each and every one of our roles, but we hope they will be a useful guide and help you target the right job for you.

If there’s any other job titles you would like decoded, please do get in touch on here, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages – we would be happy to help!