The world of freelance writing is ever-changing, and so is the way we perceive writing as a career. While some professions like copywriting and content marketing are still relatively popular, the rise of the social media influencer and the content creator has shifted our perception of the role of a writer.
Nowadays, a successful career in writing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a professional writer. Instead, it means you have the ability to create compelling content—and to get others to share that content far and wide.
If you’re looking for a new challenge in your writing career, you might consider trying your hand at professional writing sample job applications. This article will help you navigate the complex world of writing sample job applications, and explain what you can expect from the role.
The Demand For Freelance Writing
According to the 2019 Global Workforce Prospects Report from the International Labour Organization (ILO), there will be 300 million digital natives working globally by next year. This is 7% of the global workforce.
With so many new job opportunities available online, many people are seeing careers in writing as a way to remain flexible whilst also having a stable income. Remote working is becoming a commonplace and even the most traditional industries like publishing are experiencing disruption. As a result, there has been a rise in the number of part-time and freelance jobs available in the industry.
While this may be great news for those looking for flexibility in their work life, it can also present some challenges for those just starting out. Especially if you’re looking to break into the industry, it’s important to find work. Lots of work. So you can put your writing skills to the test and prove yourself worthy of a permanent position.
The Difference Between Writing Samples And Freelance Writing
A big difference between a freelance writing role and a writing sample job application is that the former is usually commissioned, while the latter is usually non-commissioned—at least, in theory. However, this can vary from company to company, so it’s always best to be extra-careful about the terms and conditions of any written agreement you have with a potential employer.
In practice, the line between the two can become a little blurred. Often times, freelance writers are asked to provide written proof of their skills for prospective employers. So, even though you wouldn’t necessarily call what you’re doing in this case a “writing sample”, it still provides a good overview of your writing capabilities—and, in some cases, can even be considered a miniature version of the kind of content you’ll be producing for the company.
The Different Kinds Of Writing Samples
Whether you decide to approach this route for your writing career or not, there are various scenarios you might find yourself in. And, as with any other type of writing sample, you need to decide on the type of writing sample you want to produce.
For a marketing or sales related role, you may be asked to write a few blog posts or social media posts to promote a new product or service. For an HR role, you might be asked to write a few recruitment or employee engagement ads to boost employee productivity. Or for an instructional or academic role, you might be expected to write a couple of research papers or thesis chapters. This could also be used to scope your ability to communicate in both written and spoken form, should you be called upon to do so within a corporate setting.
Whatever the reason for the request, producing a few writing samples should not be considered a career-limiting move. In fact, with the right training and plenty of practice, it could prove to be an invaluable opportunity.
Why Should You Try Andot Freelance Writing?
So, you’re interested in trying your hand at freelancing. But where should you start? What skills should you develop? Which industry should you focus on?
If you’ve ever considered being a freelance writer, you might already have an idea of which area of writing to pursue. But if not, here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Get a degree in journalism, creative writing, or another relevant subject. This will give you the solid basis you need to succeed as a freelance writer.
- Find a mentor, whether it’s a successful freelance writer or an experienced industry professional. Someone who can help you get your feet wet and guide you along the way. They can also help you develop the right work ethic and approach to freelance writing.
- Join a writing group or online community. This will provide you with an opportunity to get feedback and advice from more experienced professionals. It will also give you a chance to build a profile as a reliable and consistent writer. Many online communities like Writers Hub and The Writing Cooperative are great places to find support and inspiration.
- Keep an eye out for freelance writing job opportunities. It might be a good idea to start setting up some side-hustles in order to generate some much-needed cash flow. For example, if you’re looking for freelance writing jobs in the technology space, you could set up a blog or website in order to generate interest and landing pages for potential clients. Just make sure you’re not breaking any laws in the process.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. When it comes to being a successful freelance writer, experience is key. Therefore, don’t be afraid to try new things. Take some risks. Sometimes, the best way to learn is by making mistakes. And, above all, have fun!
Working In A Law Firm As A Freelance Writer
If you’re looking to make the switch to freelance writing, one of the first places you might think of is a law firm. Why? Well, it’s a) a great place to develop your writing skills for legal professionals, b) you get to explore a variety of areas, and c) you can work remotely, if you’re willing to commit. (Of course, you’ll need to be good enough to start off.)
What you might not realize is that many law firms are completely open to the idea of freelancing. Some of the most established firms in the country, like Feldman Rogers Cohn Ltd and Wilson Elser Ltd, have entire divisions devoted to supporting and facilitating freelance efforts. (In fact, these two firms have special deals with one another whereby they can share staff and resources to create a team of professionals working together for clients. ) So, if you’re looking for a legal career, you might want to consider focusing on writing samples for the firms below!
Working In An Advertising Agency As A Freelance Writer
An advertising agency is another great place to consider if you’re looking for a freelance writing job. Why? Well, it’s a) a great place to gain experience, develop your skills, and b) offers great opportunities for travel. (If you do land a role, you might even get to cover some exciting adventure travel destinations like Tulum in Mexico or Santorini in Greece.)
But be careful what you wish for. While a handful of the biggest AGIs in the world, like Oberlo and J. Walter Thompson, have opened up their internships to the general public, the rest of the industry still values its own filters. (This is particularly the case for advertising agencies, where you might not even be considered for a job without first proving your worth as a writer.)
Working In An Investment Bank As A Freelance Writer
An investment bank can also be a viable option. Why? Well, it’s a) a great place to gain experience, develop your skills, and b) offers great opportunities for travel. (If you do land a role, you might even get to cover some exciting adventure travel destinations like Tulum in Mexico or Santorini in Greece.)