Writing jobs that have been posted to Craigslist or any other public venue require a bit of finesse when you are applying to them. Here are some things that I have learned:
1. Take The Time
An editor or business owner can spot a form letter a mile away. Take time to research the publication before composing your application, unless of course they provide very little information. If they don’t provide much information, send in what they ask for and ask them if you can have more information on the project so that you can send more relevant examples of your work.
2. Rework Your Resume
Many writing positions that are freelance are starting to ask for resumes. I used to respond to these with a “see my portfolio”. Problem is, they don’t want to see your portfolio. They want to see a resume, structured like a resume. Do it and you’ll notice an uptick on your response rate. Structure it so that it lists any relevant work experience but focuses on your writing. Update the resume once every six months with your most recent works.
3. Be Up Front
If a job ad isn’t listing a critical piece of information, such as how much it is paying authors, ask. Reputable companies and publications will tell you, others won’t even get back to you since you are obviously a “troublemaker”. This is a huge time saver to sort out the wheat from the chaff.
4. Follow Your Instincts
While we can’t all be Jedi mind readers, we do all have instincts about people, publications, and potential clients. If you get a bad feeling about something, there is likely something fishy going on. Just make sure your bad feeling is based on something you can give a concrete example of, such as a potential client making odd statements or taking too long to get back to you.
5. Stand Out
You have to stand out from a sea of about one hundred to one thousand applicants to land any writing job that is listed online. If that intimidates you, you’re in the wrong business. Use humour, cleverness, and wit to get your application to the top of the pile. You’re a copywriter; figure out something “zingy” to write to get your prospect’s attention.