Let’s talk job boards. Most of the working writers I know get their projects through word-of-mouth referrals, but I get that job boards are a necessary evil for many writers. And heck, I often use them when I’m trying to create a new pool of writers to hire from for my company Content Conquered.
So in today’s “3 Tips” post, I want to share with you the most common mistakes I see writers making. Avoid them, and you’ll see your job board success rates soar!
Tip #1 – Follow the job board posting’s instructions
This should be so obvious, but I regularly decline 50% of my job board posting applicants because they don’t follow instructions.
Often, I’ll include something special in the posting like, “Use [this] as the subject line.” I get that it’s annoying for writers, but I also know that a major chunk of applicants (usually around 25%, but as high as 50%) won’t follow through.
But even if there isn’t something like this included in the listing, follow any instructions you’re given on how to apply, what materials to use, etc. If I ask you to apply via Google Form, for example, and you email me instead, you’re not standing out – you’re just throwing a wrench into my system.
Tip #2 – Make your application personal
Applying to job board listings is, to some degree, a numbers game. You have to put out a lot of applications if you’re going to get noticed.
That said, nothing irritates me more than getting email inquiries made out to “Dear Sir,” when all it takes is a quick look at my website to see I’m not a sir!
Do your homework. Don’t send template responses; personalize your application based on what the project requires and the company you’re applying to. Yes, it’s more time-consuming than just sending out hundreds of template applications, but I promise you, the people reviewing them know when they’ve received a stock response.
Tip #3 – Triple check for mistakes
Oh my goodness, use your spell check! Proofread for grammar issues (or have a trusted friend or paid editor do it for you). Triple check to be sure everything that was requested in the job posting was included.
It sounds absurd, right? That writers would actually send job board responses with spelling and grammar issues? It does – and yet, writers do it, reliably, every time I post a job. If you want to avoid being the one I forward to my team with a “WTF??” email, take the time to triple check for mistakes.
Got another question about common job board mistakes? Ask it in the comments below: