Freelance writing jobs are competitive, but following a few basic steps will help you to keep your jobs coming, keep your writing financially viable and meet your freelance goals. Included here are a few insider tips and tricks that I use everyday. Be sure to read this article before you apply for freelance writing jobs.
Time Required: Approximately 20 minutes per job
- Keep a regular freelance writing job-seeking schedule. Doing so ensures that you devote enough time to this activity, helps you keep on top of industry news and openings, and helps with the next step . . .
- Apply early. There has been many times that I've spent 20-40 minutes putting together an application, only to get a message back stating that the job has already been filled! It has been my experience that individuals who are hiring tend to choose early (especially those that post via Craigslist), whereas companies may take a little longer in carefully choosing the right applicant. In addition, many freelance writing jobs get dozens, if not hundreds of applications- there may be a point when it's just impossible to keep considering every application fairly. You need to be considered before that point.
- Prepare each application individually. This should not be news to you. Every freelance writing job needs its own cover letter, targeted clips and maybe even an individually arranged (for example, for an editing job, put your editorial work at the top, for a fiction job, put your published stories at the top, and for a corporate job, put your past corporate experiences at the top.
- Match yourself up well. Do NOT bother with jobs that are a reach, no matter how much you want them. There's simply too much competition, and too little time. Instead, write down what you are missing from the qualifications list of your "dream job" and figure out a plan to get those qualifications. This is a much better way to spend your time.
- Check back once. Generally, I won't bother to check back, but I've got enough bites in the past couple tries that I've made it a habit. Feedback from employer has indicated that they were simply overwhelmed with sorting through applications, and were in a place to be convinced by a second letter after their mailbox had cleared.
- Proofread! Proofread! Proofread! In sorting through hundreds of applications, those hiring generally want to get through their inbox and eliminate many of the applicants. Don't give them an excuse to delete you.
- Generally, I get about 10%-20% of the jobs I apply for, and I've seen other freelance writers cite about this same stat. Keep this in mind as you plan your applications.
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