Common Freelancer Job Application MistakesSeptember 7, 2013 2013-09-07 16:18
Common Freelancer Job Application Mistakes
Here are some common mistakes that freelance writers make when applying for freelance writer jobs:
# 1. Not Proofreading:
One of the most annoying mistakes that most freelance writers make is not proofreading their application. Whether it’s a query letter, a cover letter or a resume you have to read it to check for mistakes. You are presenting yourself as a professional. If there are small grammar or spelling mistakes you will not get the job. The people reading your application will laugh and then trash it. It happens all the time. Proofread and then get a reviewer to proofread for you, every time.
#2. Information under-load:
We are all very busy trying to make it in the writing industry, but that is no excuse for not preparing a proper cover letter. Just saying “See resume,” will not get you an interview. It will more than likely get you a one way ticket to the trash bin. Another really annoying note is “Google me.” Are you serious? I don’t think so. Once again, that will not get you a chance with this employer. You might get a few laughs, and that trip to the trash, but no interview. Include a brief description of your writing experience, the kind of writing you enjoy and why you are perfect for this position.
#3. Information over-load:
Keep it professional. Keep your personal life out of it. This is not a talk show you are applying for. This is a job. Your employer does not want to hear about your private life, I promise. You will not get hired if you lament about losing your job and the bank foreclosing on your house. If it sounds like you can’t keep your personal life under control, it will sound like you can’t keep your professional life under control.
#4. Not Including your best writing samples:
If your writing is fun and entertaining and easy to read, but is full of mistakes you will probably not get a call. If your writing is perfectly punctuated and proofread, but is dull and boring you probably won’t get a call. Include interesting pieces that are engaging and fun to read. And make sure you proofread. Did we mention proofreading?
#5. Can’t do the job. Not being honest about your ability:
Don’t apply for a job that you know nothing about. If you are a children’s book writer, don’t apply for a medical writer position. The pay may be great, and you may need to get the rent in, but if you take a job for which you are not qualified you will regret it. It will damage your reputation and you may not be able to get another writing job. If you are interested in getting medical writing jobs find out what the qualifications are and go get them.
#6. Not Reading the Ad Completely!
Just because an ad is posted does not mean that you should apply. Some people do blanket ads where they post the same bid on every ad. Answer each ad specifically and make sure to follow the instructions set out in the ad.
#7. Not Researching the client:
Search engines are a great place to find out about a potential employer. If they are posting for a blog writer then probably have a blog. If they want an article writer, they may have a website. Check out if other writers have written for them. Do they have a history with the freelance host site? If you find that they work in the diet industry you can submit article samples that are directly related to their needs. It doesn’t take much time to do a little research on the client before you place your bid.
#8. Using a generic cover letter:
This goes hand in hand with reading the ad and doing research. Make your cover letter personal to the employer. You don’t want to send 50 cover letters out to 50 employers. You want to talk to the client in your writing. Use their name, talk about their needs and your ability to meet them.
#9. Not following up:
There are so many people who say, “I sent in an application. Now it’s up to them.” Did you follow up? How do you know if they received your application? If you really want the job, drop them a note to say that you are still interested in their opportunity and would like to hear from them. You can also mention that if they have any other opportunities in the future to let you know. Sometimes it is the little things that put you in the front of the client’s eye and get you that interview.
#10. Not Being Confident:
Claim your ability to do the job. Be strong and confident. If you feel it the client will feel it. If you are wish-washy, the client will feel that too. Write in your application,“I am the right person for this position because…”. Do not brag!