If you’re applying for a writing-related position, you’ll most likely be expected to provide some form of sample writing to demonstrate your skills. The problem is, many of us are not great at writing samples. We’re all writing in our spare time, so it’s not as if we have tons of polished pieces to choose from. In fact, you might not even have the luxury of writing what you know. You might have to jump into the deep end and use your school English to create some content that will make the hiring manager say “I want this guy.” So how do you write a winning sample that will make them beg you to join their team? Let’s take a look.
The Dos And Don’ts Of A Winning Application
To get our message across, we’ll use an example of a job application for a senior copyeditor position. In today’s job market, most businesses prefer to look for candidates who are already working, so don’t expect a lot of patience. The employer isn’t going to waste their time training a new hire when they could be using an experienced editor.
Therefore, your application needs to stand out. You want to grab the attention of the hiring manager by showcasing not only your excellent skills as a copyeditor but also your enthusiasm for the position. It would be best if you could create a short story that was both entertaining and informative. If you can pull this off, you’ll get a great shot at securing the position.
Step 1: Find Your Audience
Before we begin our creative writing exercise, let’s pause for a moment and define our terms. Who is this piece of writing for? What are we trying to achieve?
When we write an academic essay, we’re usually trying to prove a point. For example, I may be arguing that graphic novels can be an effective teaching tool and I’d like to support my claim by comparing them to real literature. However, when an employer asks for a sample of my work, they are actually wanting something different. They’re wanting a story. A narrative prose doesn’t prove the same point as an academic essay; rather, it serves as a vehicle for the reader to experience the events that take place.
Step 2: Flesh Out The Storyline
A good narrative prose should have a strong beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning should grab the attention of the reader – in this case, the hiring manager – and the ending should provide a satisfactory resolution to the story. When writing a sample for an employer, you must keep the end in mind at all times. You never know what kind of editing they might require. Also, make sure that your story is complete. If you are writing for school, make sure that you’re following the guidelines of your English teacher. The English teacher is an expert in helping you find the right words for the right situations, so be sure to ask for help when you need it. Having a complete story means that you can begin writing right away without having to worry about whether or not you’ve forgotten a crucial piece of information. When you’re applying for a job, there’s always the chance that you won’t be given the full story from the beginning. You might not even have the opportunity to flesh out the whole thing. In these cases, you’d have to go back and add more detail or even create a new scene altogether. This is why it’s important to have a complete narrative written before you start worrying about whether or not you’ve said everything you need to say.
Step 3: Organize Your Material
A good narrative prose should be well-organized. One way of looking at it is that you are the director of your own movie. You’re not just inviting the audience to come watch a movie, you’re also giving them the necessary information to follow along. When you’re writing a sample, you don’t just want to throw a bunch of content at the reader. You want to give them the tools so that they can follow the story as it unfolds. To do this, you need to organize your material. Start by laying out your story in a linear fashion. This means creating a table of contents at the beginning of your piece and using it as a guide to follow. Each scene should have a heading – either in the form of a scene or a chapter – and subheadings should be used to group related material. For example, if you are writing about the history of South Africa, you might want to create a chapter entitled “A Brief History Of South Africa.” Within that chapter, you could have subheadings such as “The Evolution Of African Agriculture” or “Apartheid And The Struggle For Equal Human Rights.”
To help you flesh out your story, I’ve provided you with some narrative starter templates that you can download and use. They’re short story ideas that I’ve written to help you get started. However, you must admit that they aren’t perfect and that they could use some polishing. Feel free to use them as inspiration for your own stories but make sure that you add your own spin to them. You don’t need to be constrained by the words that are provided because, in essence, this is your story that you’re telling. So, feel free to add, subtract, or completely change the setting of the stories. As long as you keep the main idea intact, you’ll be able to appeal to your audience and you’ll impress the hiring manager when they read your work.
Step 4: Find Your Vocabulary
Another important aspect of a good narrative prose is using the right words. To make sure that your story is told correctly and that you’re not using any incorrect words, it’s essential to find the dictionary definition of each one. The English language can be tricky, and a lot of words have more than one meaning. For example, the word “counsel” can mean either “to advise or suggest” or “to argue or plead against.” If you’re not sure of the correct meaning of a word, you can look it up in a dictionary or on the internet. Learning new words isn’t difficult. You just have to be sure that you use them correctly in the right context. In general, the simpler the better; otherwise, it becomes very difficult to follow. For instance, it’s better to write “the white community” than to write “the Caucasian community” or even “the white people.” The latter two are often used incorrectly and can even be considered offensive. So make sure that you learn the right way to spell and use the words in your writing.
Step 5: Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Last but not least, we have a really important step that you must take care of, and that is proofreading and editing. When we write, we tend to become so immersed in our story that we sometimes forget to look for spelling errors and grammatical errors. You must be willing to proofread your work at least three times before you hand it in. During this stage, you will encounter spelling errors and grammatical errors that you will have to correct. To help you find these errors, you can use a spelling checker and a grammar checker. It’s also a good idea to go through your story again, this time paying closer attention to detail. This is especially important if you are submitting your work online because, in theory, anyone can edit the content at any time. If you find a typo or grammatical mistake, it could potentially ruin your entire work. So, it’s important to take your time with this stage to make sure that everything is perfect.
Hopefully, you now feel prepared to write a winning sample. Remember: the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. So, don’t be afraid to write something that isn’t perfect because, in theory, it’s never going to be perfect. Just make sure that you put in the effort and that you leave the last edit until the very last hour. This way, you’ll not only have time to fix any errors but you’ll also have more energy to focus on the good parts. In the end, it will all be worth it. You’ll feel confident that you’ve left nothing important out and that you’ve presented your best side. This is what separates successful writers from those who are just jotting down their thoughts. The successful ones dig deep and find the best within themselves while the latter only show what they know how to. So, it’s always a good idea to look for the best within you and then show it to the world. What are you waiting for? Get to writing.