Publishing Trainee - Graduate Document Formatter

£20,828 per annum; 18 month contract

'Document Formatter' required for educational publisher ZigZag Education in their busy office in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Training Provided. Very good IT skills required. Attention to detail essential. The core part of this job entails formatting documents to a high standard using MS Word and matching to house style. Additional tasks include checking publications which demands a logical and precise person, and occasionally speaking to authors about their documents. Start ASAP.

Job Description

This is a graduate role with progression and the possibility of additional training.

The 'Document Formatter' role involves a 3 month training period. The first month will be heavily devoted to training in the IT skills you will need and then the next two months will give you experience with a variety of documents and constant feedback to bring you up to a standard where you can reliably edit documents for publication.

18-month contract (40-hours per week) available for enthusiastic graduate. Strong possibility of further work and a permanent contract.

As an academic publisher we require a person with a very strong academic background. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated this through excellent GCSEs, A levels (or equivalent) and Degree. The bulk of your formal training will be carried out in the 6-month probationary period.

Further Details

Formatting/Editing Documents

Formatting documents to a high standard and matching house style, mostly using Microsoft Word. This involves a series of skills:

  • Using the features of Microsoft Word to format documents.
  • Using the advanced features of Microsoft Word to format document to a very high level, incorporating features such as auto contents and custom styles.
  • Ability to take the house style guidelines and apply them to a large range of different documents as appropriate.
  • The ability to work with the project leader in each case, listen to suggestions and apply them in a consistent manner to future documents.
  • The ability to consider structure and content of a document from end-user perspective.
  • The ability to work quickly and apply technical solutions and logical thought to achieve this aim.
  • The ability to adapt to different software packages that are used from time to time including PowerPoint, HTML editors, image editing software and Excel.

Finishing Publications

Applying suggested spelling and grammar corrections, setting up PDFs using Adobe Acrobat, setting up print master files, creating a basic webpage including advertising copy for publications, and setting up digital downloads.

Checking Publications

This role demands a logical and precise person as it involves final checking (i.e. the checks you carry out will not be checked by anyone else, so any errors missed will go to publication), for example checking final formatted documents against the author's unformatted original to check for errors that have been introduced, checking every page of a document to ensure it has no printing or other errors.

Other work as part of the team

We are a relatively small team and so from time to time you may be asked to do different tasks - for example collecting information for advertising, carrying out corrections to publications, speaking to authors about the publications you are working on.


There may be opportunities for progression within the formatting team. Training and mentoring new formatters. Supporting the marketing team with designing leaflets and brochures. Production manager reporting on and overseeing the formatting and proofreading of resources. Beyond this there may be opportunities to work directly with the Education Editors who project manage the new resources for example To become involved in writing advert copy (copywriting); this requires the ability to write concisely and positively to promote an educational publication. Carrying out an initial assessment of samples and drafts for publication. Supporting Editors with quality assurance procedures. Experience in this role, progression within it, and the comprehensive training will give you a lot of the skills that support subsequent applications to Education Editor / Project Management roles at ZigZag Education and elsewhere in publishing.

Skills & Qualifications required or desired

Essential Skills Required

Organised, accurate and reliable, good telephone manner, high computer literacy, knowing when to ask questions and also the ability to work independently. Methodical and meticulous. Personable but at the same time able to concentrate on tasks and achieve a lot in a short period of time. Capable of working on multiple projects.

Minimum Application Qualifications Required

  • GCSE Maths Grade A + GCSE English grade A (or equivalent)
  • and Strong A Level results including at least one A, i.e. minimum ACD (or equivalent)
  • and Degree or equivalent

Additional Desirable Requirements

  • A Level grade A (or equivalent) in a scientific and technical subject such as Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Computing, Economics, Music, Languages or Latin
  • Knowledge of the UK schooling system
  • Three or more years' full-time work experience in any field
  • Numerate, good communicator, administration experience
  • Strong ICT and Word Processing skills including:
    • Good level of knowledge of Microsoft Word - including page breaks, margins, footers and styles
    • Experience of Publisher and PowerPoint
    • Experience of InDesign
    • Experience of databases and HTML

Note that experience of editing documents is not a pre-requisite for applying for this job, but an affinity and enjoyment of this sort of work is required. The ability to spot minor inconsistencies, apply changes meticulously and the ability to organise the layout of information in a logical and structured fashion will ensure success and enjoyment in this role.

To Apply

Apply via email to Helen Mansley at with:

  • CV which must include your IT skills and all GCSE, A Level (or equivalent) etc. qualifications and grades
  • Letter of Application including:
    • which job you are applying for and where you first saw it advertised
    • a short paragraph about your current circumstances and why you are applying for this job
    • when you would be available to start and your medium term plans
    • what in the job description specifically appeals to you
    • how you feel your skills or aspirations are met within this job

Please let us know if there is anything you would like to know in advance of a possible interview.

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