I know it’s easy to throw something together in response to a freelance writing job ad.
Don’t! Not if you really want the freelance gig.
There are eight things you need to get in order before you can be sure you’re looking good to prospective employers.
When you’ve got your ducks in order, as it were, you’re much more likely to land a freelance writing job that works for you.
Know what kind of writing job you want
Do you want to write articles? Copy write? Copy edit? Blog? Ghostwrite a book? You may be willing and able to work at more than one kind of freelance writing job, but thinking about what you really want will keep you from applying to all sorts of gigs that are not appropriate for you.
Full time? Part time? Work at home?
What kind of time are you willing to spend on the job you’re applying for. Will you be happiest with one full time freelance writing job you can do from home? Do you already have a small gig or two you want to keep that will prevent you from full time work? Or do you simply only want to work X number of hours a day or week? Get clear so you know which jobs to respond to.
Know your pay requirements
You need to know how much you need per hour, per week, and per month. Sure, many jobs post a pay rate or range, but lots don’t. If you know what your writing fees are you’ll be better able to pick out the posts that fit you, and know how to respond when someone asks you what you charge.
Update your writing credit list or resume
Make sure your resume or credit list is current. Double check phone numbers and email addresses. How does it look? What happens if you cut and paste it into an email – test it by sending it to yourself. Create a .pdf version in advance so you can send that when it’s requested.
Createa resume for each kind of writing you want to do
If you’re like me you’ve got more than one writing skill. For example, I ghostwrite, blog and coach writers. Consider creating a resume for each skill. I recently re-wrote a resume for a blog gig I’m interested in.
Often it’s more a matter of rearranging the information than actual rewriting. For example, I put the blog writing I’ve already done at the top of the credit list I sent looking for blog work.
Touch base with your references. I don’t put my references on my credit list. Instead I state at the bottom that I have excellent references. I check in with those folks from time-to-time and occasionally add someone new.
Update your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is where many prospective employers look to do a partial check on you. Make sure your profile is current. And pay attention to the suggestions LinkedIn makes to improve your profile. I just looked at mine and it suggested I need more people to endorse me – so if you want to fine. But I’ve got some homework to do.
Get a website up
You’re a writer – you need a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive or even hard to do, and it’s more than worth the effort. In fact, if you don’t have a website you don’t look like a true professional.
Now when you actually apply for a freelance writing gig, which we’ll talk about next, you’ll be prepared.
What would you add to this list?
You might also enjoy 8 Top Freelance Writer Business Problems.
Write well and often,