You’ve checked out the jobs boards, you’ve trolled the best sites and you’ve found a job that you are reasonably confident that you could do. Now what?
Now get up the confidence to apply for it! No job ever applies for itself and if you don’t try then you will never know if you could have got it. Here are a few pointers when applying for a writing job.
Send Your Best Writing
This sounds obvious, but its amazing how many writers don’t think of it: if you are applying for a writing job, then you need to write at your best. This is not a time for spelling mistakes or glaring grammar errors!
If you are applying to a job advert, then read it carefully. Some employers put instructions in the ad to ensure that applicants have read it thoroughly. Follow the instructions: if they ask for a CV then write a CV. If they ask you to call, then call; email then email. If they ask you to put “buckaroo” in bold in the middle of your CV, then do it! (They were probably testing you to see if you read the application thoroughly or not!)
Email as though You Were Writing a Letter
If you are applying through a jobs board, then the first contact is likely to be an email. Although these are usually informal, it will do you no harm to approach this as though it were a formal letter. Begin with ‘Dear’ and the client’s name and end with the appropriate ‘Yours Sincerely’ or ‘Yours Faithfully’. It sets you out as a business-like person. It creates a good impression and sets you out from the rest.
Explain why you are suited to the job and why you should be considered for the role. Keep it brief and relevant – no major life stories here. At the end of the letter, say that you look forward to hearing from them and sign off.
Include Contact Details
Make sure that you include full contact details so that any prospective employer can get in touch with you quickly.
Leave your email for a while before sending it (some people recommend 24 hours – but give it as long as you have got). Read it through again and correct any errors. Reading out loud will help.
Attach your CV if required. Send the email. Jobs boards usually have a closing date, so you could have a week or more to run before notifications are sent out. Keep an eye on the site to see if the job closes early.
If you have written on speck, then you may get a reply quite quickly. It may be “no thanks, I’ll keep you on record”, in which case keep applying to other people.
If you got the job, congratulations.
If there is no answer, don’t wait on it forever – get on with the next application. As previously stated: the more applications you send in, the more likely it is that you will get a ‘yes’.