No matter what type of job you are applying for, being able to communicate clearly and concisely is an asset. Some hiring managers will only look at your cover letter and resume. Others may ask you to complete a grammar quiz or write exercise if you are invited to an interview in person. Other hiring managers may also ask you for a writing sample.
What should your writing sample say about you as an applicant
How do you select the right sample to send? You’ll need to first consider your professional experience and skills that you want this sample to highlight. It doesn’t matter what type of job you are applying for, it is important to show the following:
- Follow directions. Make sure you give the hiring manager exactly what they need. You should not submit more than one writing sample if they ask.
- Be precise and careful. You should not submit more than one or two pages unless requested. Your sample should give your potential employer an idea of your work and not the entire archive.
- You can read the room. You can read the room. You shouldn’t send a post from your fashion blog or grad school paper about the gender pay gap to an organization that helps the homeless.
What makes a great writing sample?
- Relevant. Although the piece does not necessarily have to reflect the mission of the organization it should be clear that the lines can be drawn between your writing sample and the job description. If the job calls for creativity, you might consider a creative writing sample. You might submit a structured memo that includes a summary and bulletpoints if the job requires organization skills.
- Recent. Recent.
- Concise. Keep it brief, as we mentioned in the previous section. Keep your resume’s goal length at two pages. This is the same rule that applies to your resume.
- It is error-free. Even if you’ve used the same document multiple times for job applications, make sure to go over it again to ensure it is error-free.
Create a writing sample if you don’t already have one.
If you are still unable to find an example of your writing that is appropriate or relevant, it’s time for you to start drafting something else. These are some examples of the types of samples that you might be able to put together.
- Press release. A press release has the advantage of telling a story quickly. You can spend some time looking through the latest news about the organization you are applying for (many organisations have a news section, so this should not be difficult). You can identify one recent event, product announcement, initiative, or report. You can create a press release and then get to work!
- How-to. How-to. To showcase your writing skills and teaching training responsibilities, you can use your writing sample.
- Summary. Summary.