When making an online writing job application, these 7 things can make the difference between being considered for a position, and having your application sent to the trash bin.
I’ve been building writing teams for my clients since 2007. I’ve gone through thousands of applications, and I have noticed things applicants do that may cause issues with possible clients. I think new (and old) applicants should know these things, before they submit an application.
First things first.
REMEMBER THIS before you submit your application for an online writing job…
Not all applications are made equal.
Make sure your application will STAND OUT so the possible employer will WANT to hire you. There’s a difference between having a possible client PROCESS your application, and making a client WANT to hire you.
Let’s get to it.
Here are the 7 things you need to know when submitting an online writing job application:
- Cover Me!
Applications with cover letters convey more to a prospect client. Most applicants just attach a resume and hope for the best. This works when the applicant is very experienced, which is seen in their lengthy and impressive resume. But if your resume isn’t as impressive as you’d want (hello, first timer?), you NEED a cover letter. Why? Because the cover letter is your chance to tell the prospect client that you’re a good fit for the position. Tell the prospect what they want to hear. Tell them that you work hard and that your work ethics are professional. Tell them you know what a deadline means, and that you are dependable. If you say these things, the prospect will WANT to give you a chance.
- Can You Picture It?
Add a picture to your application. This is something clients won’t admit that they look for in an application. People may say that it’s not an important detail. “Employers want to see where I studied, and what my work experiences are.” This is true, but remember, APPLYING ONLINE IS DIFFERENT FROM APPLYING OFFLINE. We, as online employers, want to VERIFY the identity of the applicants as much as applicants want to verify the client. So, make sure you add a decent picture of yourself to your resume. DON’T use a stylized picture. Those cartoonized pictures are only good for your Facebook profiles, not for online writing job applications.
- Socially Yours.
When you apply to a job, the HR department may do an online background check on you. This means that they’ll try to find you on whatever social network you’re on, and try to gauge your character by what they see on your profile. So, before you apply, spend a little time cleaning up your social media profiles. Once you fix them up, add the links on your resume. It will make you appear forthcoming and if they do check your profiles out, it may help you in getting the online writing job.
- You’re Canned!
Don’t Don’t DON’T use copy pasted applications. Canned applications suck. Why? Because they are impersonal, and don’t connect very well. Plus, if the job posting has special instructions, like “Place ‘STAMINA RAMEN AND KESONG PUTI’ in the subject line of your application.”, your application won’t even be considered, since you don’t have an eye for detail, which is important in this line of work.
- The Customized is Always Right.
If you use a template for your applications, make sure you at least edit it to cater to the job posting. Customize the application to the job posting. Include your skills which are relevant to the position. If it’s a medical writing job, if you’re a nurse, make sure that it’s prominently displayed. Also, remove the information that isn’t needed. There’s really no need to say that you have experience working as a bartender if you’re applying for a writing job, right?
- You’re Innocent? Proof it.
Proof your application. It’s frustrating to see an application for a writing job when it’s full of typos and grammatical mistakes. You’d think that this was basic requirement, yet somehow, nearly 10% of all applications we’ve received are wanted by the grammar police. Make sure your application is grammatically correct, people.
- Sample me.
Your samples are the key to earning the respect of your prospect employer. While it’s nice to show different writing types (blurbs, blog posts, press releases, website content, product descriptions…), make sure you remove samples which don’t really help. I received a sample of an applicant, which made me junk his application immediately. His sample was a porn clip description. Ewww. But wait, it gets even worse…his grammar and sentence construction was off. So, after seeing his poorly written porn clip description, I laughed while moving his application to the recycle bin. Moral of the story? Your samples are a reflection your work, so be at your best.
Keep these 7 things in mind when submitting an online writing job application. Your online job is out there, and you’re sure to get it. If you want some help, message me, I’m always looking for talented people to join our team.