If you’re applying for a writing job, you’ll most likely be asked questions about yourself and how you’d approach the job. But the truth is they don’t want just any old writer. They want an exact replica of themselves. And if you can’t provide it, they’ll most likely pass on your application.
Luckily, there’s a way to indicate to an employer that you’re just what they’re looking for. By following these simple tips, you can give yourself a better shot at landing the job.
Be Selective Of The Questions Asked
When applying for a job, it’s generally a good idea to be completely honest about your skills and experience. But you have to be careful not to give away too much information. The employer will have a list of references they can call and people who are familiar with your work. If you give your full name, address, phone number, and email address, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will be able to connect you directly to the person you’re applying to. And it’s usually not a good idea to give out too much information about the company. It sets you up for a potential conflict of interest. Think of all the juicy tidbits you have about the company and begin writing them down on a piece of paper. Then, when you’re asked questions about the company, you can give a short, one-sentence answer. This will make you appear more creative and help you keep your independence. Most importantly, it shows that you’ve done your research and are aware of how specific the job requirements are.
A big red flag when applying for a job is an overreaction to a question. For example, if they ask you about a shortage of qualified applicants, you might respond that you’re not sure you’re qualified yourself. But that’s a lie. You’re fully capable of doing the job, you’re just trying to be more modest. The key is not to lie on your application and instead to provide the best answer you can. It’s also important not to be so humble that you end up seeming arrogant or desperate. Arrogance will get you nowhere, while desperation will make them question your credibility. In the end, they’ll decide you’re neither and let you go.
After you’ve handed in your application, you should follow up with a short email. This will ensure that the person who hired you has not forgotten about you. A simple, “Hi! I’m following up with regards to the job you advertised on [Insert Job Website Here].” Does that sound too humble? Believe it or not, a humble email can work here, too. Just make sure that you put the person’s name first, followed by a colon. That way, you’re reminding them who you are and that you’re still interested in the job. A few well-written sentences goes a long way here. You can also attach a resume if you have one. But keep it concise. They don’t have time to read through a lengthy resume; they have enough on their plate as it is.
Use Your Best Words
When writing your application, it’s important to use your best words. And what are your best words? Your strongest, most demonstrative words. If you’re asked to describe yourself in a few sentences, pick out the ones that best convey who you are and what you have to offer. For example, if you’re a fast-paced person who likes to get things done, you might say, “I’m a fast-paced person who likes to get things done.” Or, if you’re a hard worker who likes to see the results of your labor, you could write, “I’m a hard worker who likes to see the results of my labor.” Using your best words will give you the best shot at appearing creative and credible. Think of something that you feel confident will sell them on you. For example, if you’re a fantastic writer who consistently meets deadlines, you could write, “I’m a fantastic writer who meets deadlines.”
Remember: they don’t know you, so it’s important to be honest about your skills and experience, but not so transparent that it seems like you’re bragging. As long as you can appear to be a good fit for the job, you’ll have a much better chance of landing it.