We’re currently recruiting for the following roles:
As an editor, you’ll work closely with our staff writers, helping them to polish their articles ready for publication, and helping them to develop as writers and communicators.
You’ll join a small team of editors reporting to the Managing Editor, who will work closely with you to develop your editing skills.
- Excellent standard of written English
- Good communicator
- Reply promptly to emails
- Attention to detail
- Able to comment clearly and constructively on articles
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Previous editing experience is preferred, but is not essential, provided you are able to comment effectively on the structure, argument, and content of articles
Key benefits of the role:
- Through commenting on others’ work, your own writing will improve, which can mean you’ll get better grades
- Editing, proofreading, and writing are great transferable skills, meaning you’ll be more attractive to employers
- Working for Shield looks good to employers, because it shows self-motivation and commitment (our alumni tell us a lot of employers ask about Shield at interview)
- Your editing commitments are flexible, to fit around your studies
- You can attend our exclusive Insight Days to learn more about your career options, gaining an advantage when applying to defence and security employers
- Even after you leave Shield, you can join our alumni community and continue to benefit from our community
On accepting the editor post, you will be accepted on a trial basis. The purpose of the trial is for us to see whether you are a good fit for the role, and to allow you to test out the role and learn about editing without making a firm commitment. If you accept the trial position, you’ll first read some training information to help you succeed.
After this, you’ll be offered your first article to edit. You’ll engage with the author to let them know when to expect the piece back. You’ll use your training to edit the piece, offering clear comments and feedback so the author knows how to improve (anything from correcting grammar to showing them how they can make their argument more clearly).
Because Shield aims to help students get published, you’ll often be working with authors who are new to writing. Your communication skills are crucial to helping them develop their skills. As a bonus, when you comment on other people’s writing, your own writing improves too – helping you write better essays faster.
Once you’ve finished the edits, you’ll submit the piece to the Managing Editor for review. The Managing Editor works closely with editors to develop their editing skills. This means they’ll read your edits, and then come back to you with revisions, additions, and comments on how to improve. They should explain clearly to you what needs to change, and why (just as you explain your changes to authors), enabling you to learn and improve.
Once you’ve made the changes the Managing Editor requested, you respond to the author. When the author replies, there will almost certainly be more edits to be done. The average Shield article goes through three to five editing rounds before it is ready for publication, so it can take four to six weeks from the time you start editing it, to seeing it published.
After the first article you edit is published, you’ll be offered the editor role on an ongoing basis, and join the Shield team.
After accepting the position, you can expect to edit one article a term (three articles a year). At busy times, you might be asked to edit up to two articles a term (six a year), but this is not mandatory. The exact number of articles offered varies depending on what time of year staff writers choose to write their articles, how many people are on the team, whether you’re keen to develop your editing skills faster (the more you edit, the better you get), whether we’re fully staffed, and everyone’s time commitments.
If you’re hoping to progress to Managing Editor one day, stepping up during busy times or volunteering to help with other tasks is a great way to get noticed and improve your skills in preparation for the role. The number of articles you edit with Shield can be placed on your CV, and will be reflected in your reference letter.
We respect your academic commitments, which must always come first, and will be flexible if you are particularly busy during certain parts of term. We allocate work out between editors in order to keep the workload fair.
To succeed in the role, you need to reply to emails promptly. If you’re busy and can’t edit a piece, just say so; there is never any pressure to edit a specific article, but you need to tell the Managing Editor right away, so we can find an alternative editor. This is because writers put a lot of time and effort into producing articles for Shield, and many topics are time-sensitive. As a team, we respect our writers’ hard work by ensuring they receive swift editorial feedback.
While there’s never any pressure to accept a specific editing assignment, you can only attend Insight Days when you have graduated from the trial editorship, and when you have completed the previous term’s editing requirements (e.g., you edited at least one article). That is, if you edit a piece during autumn term, you’ll be eligible to attend spring term Insight Days; if you edit in the summer term, you can come to the autumn events, and so on.
To apply, send us a message (sorry we can’t give an email address here; the online form stops us getting spam). We’ll reply to you from an email address explaining the next steps. After you submit your CV and a covering letter, we’ll review these to see whether you have the key skills for the role. Next, to assess your editing ability, you will be asked to complete a short editing test, where you will edit a short article. Don’t worry if you’ve never edited before; full guidance will be provided. If you are successful in the editing test round, you’ll be invited to interview.
If you want to be an editor but don’t feel ready to apply yet, or if you aren’t taken forward to interview but are keen to edit for Shield in the future, the best way to develop your editing skills is to write, and to get feedback on your writing. We suggest you write an article for Shield as a guest contributor. Going through the editing process as an author will give you an insight into the role. When you submit your article, if you’d like extra feedback to better understand how editing works, just let us know you’re hoping to progress to editing for Shield and we’ll be happy to set this up.
Working for Shield
As a blog providing free, high-quality articles, Shield has no income. We are a student-run organisation staffed by volunteers. Why should I give up my time to work for Shield, I hear you ask? Why not watch this video and find out:
The experience will look great on your CV. Working for Shield can help you stand out from the crowd and evidence the transferable skills you have developed at university. For example, working as a writer or editor can demonstrate skills including being articulate, organised and analytical.
Shield staff also benefit from attending Insight Days with key employers. Organisations are keen to meet students who have demonstrated their interest in the defence and security industry. These events are a unique opportunity to find out what it’s really like to work for these employers, as well as to network.