Oh, no. Generally people “want” students because they want to beat them up and not pay them. If you are a student, run far and fast from these jobs. You can get a well-paid gig as a student no matter what someone tells you, which brings us to our next criteria.
You Suck, You Need to Build a Portfolio
This is a great job to build a portfolio – with a website or magazine that nobody knows about, mostly. If slate.com or wired.com tell you that they are a good site to build your portfolio with, believe them; Slate and Wired would never do that though, being respectable online publications. Again, probably trying to get you to work for free or very little by trying to make an impact on your self-esteem. Us writers aren’t exactly historically known for being self-confident types. Although I am fabulous.
Anybody Could Do This Job
If the job description has anything in it vaguely resembling “I could do this, I just don’t have the time” (unless it is coming from another writer, in which case it is valid) or “anyone could do this with a little research”, it doesn’t make the cut. Language like this is usually a veiled attempt to foist a much larger project on you than you would be willing to take on at that pay grade. If anyone could do it, they should be calling a temp agency, not looking for a writer.
I Hate Dealing With Writers
I have seen a few ads like this. On occasion they are from valid companies that have just been burned before by hiring writers over the internet. Personally, I don’t like dealing with people who are starting with me from a point of suspicion; it doesn’t make for a good foundation to a working relationship. I usually pass these over unless my gut is telling me that it may be valid.
If the ad is just unclear about the intentions of the author, I usually pass it over. Vague ads are usually recruitment links for essay agencies or services that ask you to pay for leads – NEVER PAY FOR LEADS. The only sites you should join if you want to pay for leads are Elance or Guru and I wouldn’t recommend that unless you are seriously hard up.
Work All Day on My Sample
If someone wants a short sample in their niche and it isn’t in my portfolio, I do it with a line that I retain copyright until it is purchased attached in the e-mail. If they don’t purchase it, it goes in my portfolio. This is the best way to build your portfolio if you don’t have one – targeted samples.
If, however, they want you to spend an afternoon on a “sample”, say no. I recently got suckered by one of these gigs because I didn’t properly gauge the amount of work that they wanted for the sample. If it takes you more than an hour to do, forgettaboutit.
If you have spent any time on my blog you will feel the special love that I have for students that pay for essays and the companies that write them. I hate them. In fact, every time I see an ad on Craigslist, I flag it and encourage my friends to do the same. Make the internet an inhospitable place for them to do business and they will be forced to turn to less easy measures that may get them caught and expelled (if they are students) or sued (if they are essay mills). Join together with me, fellow writers, and flag the bejeezus out of these guys.
That’s pretty much it for my criteria. I also won’t post repeat ads that were posted within a week of each other. I recommend going back at least two weeks and applying for jobs if you are brand new to this blog – they don’t all get snapped up the day that they come in.