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Home ยป How to Prepare a Writing Sample for a Job That Asks for One

How to Prepare a Writing Sample for a Job That Asks for One

Many employers now ask for sample writings as part of the application process. These samples can either be completed as part of the application form or they can be requested later in the process once the employer has had the chance to get to know you a little better. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to start thinking about what you will write and how you will write it.

The Difference in Purpose

One of the most important things to consider when writing a sample is the purpose of the writing. You may be asked to write about a particular event or topic, but within that constraint, you can choose which style to use and what to include. Be as creative as possible while still staying within the guidelines set by the employer.

The Purpose of the Sample

The purpose of your sample writing is not only to demonstrate your ability to write in the required style but also to give the employer a general sense of your personality and what they can expect from working with you.

Just as with any other part of your application, be sure to tailor your sample to fit the needs of the employer. In some cases, the employer may ask for a sample that is between two and four pages in length. In other cases, they may ask for a much more extensive writing sample. Just keep in mind that there are fixed rules and guidelines that you must follow, which can be found below.

The Difference in Format

Another thing to consider when preparing your sample is the format in which you will write it. Employers generally prefer to see samples written in the same format that they will be grading. The most common formats are the following:

  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Narrative essay
  • Case study
  • Product review
  • Analysis of an issue
  • How to write a letter
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Reflective essay
  • Creative Essay

Be sure to choose a format that is easy for the employer to understand and that you will be able to follow easily. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure that you have a clear idea of what the employer is looking for before you start writing. This will help you avoid wasted time while ensuring that your sample is concise and of high quality.

The Required Style

One of the most important things to consider when preparing your sample is the required style. You must choose a style that is acceptable to the employer, which means that it has to be concise, easy to understand, and have a formal tone. There are six types of samples that employers generally ask for, and each one requires a specific style. Be sure to pick a style that is appropriate for the type of work that you do.

Some examples of required styles are as follows:

  • Resume: This is your basic resume and should be no more than one page in length. Keep it short and make it easy to read. You can use the space below your resume to briefly describe your relevant work experience.
  • Personal Statement: This is your chance to really sell yourself. You can use this section to talk about any relevant extracurricular activities, educational background, or anything else that you think might be important to the employer.
  • Narrative Essay: Similar to a resume, a narrative essay should only be one page in length. It should be used to discuss your relevant work experience or any other significant events from your past. Make sure to include a tight narrative that is easy to follow.
  • Case Study: A case study is generally used to examine a particular object, process, or event and to provide a detailed analysis of the matter. You should avoid making judgments or coming to conclusions in your case study because it is meant to be objective and independent in nature.
  • Product Review: Reviews are an important part of any business, and they can be a great way to get prospective customers to try out a new product or service. When reviewing a product, it is important to remain impartial and objective.
  • Analysis of an Issue: This type of sample is used to discuss and analyze a particular contemporary issue that the employer is interested in. It is important to pick an issue that you are familiar with so that you can speak about it in a knowledgeable manner.
  • How to Write a Letter: Writing letters is an important part of daily life for many of us. This type of sample is used to provide tips on how to write letters effectively and with a formal tone. Remember to keep it short and sweet.
  • Letter of Recommendation: This is the chance to really impress the employer with your skills. You can use this section to write a short letter of recommendation for someone who is slightly higher up the corporate ladder than you. Keep it short and sweet.
  • Reflective Essay: This is your chance to discuss a particular theme or issue in greater depth. You can use this section to write about a piece of literature, an historical event, or anything else that you think might be relevant to the employer.
  • Creative Essay: Similar to the reflective essay, a creative essay is used to discuss a particular theme or issue. Unlike the reflective essay, you have plenty of space to write in this type of sample. Use it to your advantage by brainstorming ideas and concepts that you can use to write your personal statement. Once you have a list of topics, pick the one that you feel is the most interesting or relevant.

As you can see, each sample requires a specific style and format, so be sure to check with the employer before you start preparing. Knowing the required style will help you make sure that you are following the correct format and that your sample is complete and up to date with the required information. Once you have completed your sample, be sure to highlight the positive aspects of your work and eliminate any errors or inconsistencies. Finally, if you would like to improve your chances of getting the job, make sure to follow up with a short personalized email after you have submitted your application. This email should contain a copy of your resume and a short, concise, and accurate summary of your professional accomplishments.

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