When promoting yourself to a potential employer as a Writer you need to put your best foot forward in order to get noticed. The expression, “you only get one chance at making a first impression” holds true when selling your talents to someone for the opportunity to write. The best way this can be done is through presenting your best writing samples in a portfolio that a potential employer can review and use to determine if you are a suitable fit.
When creating a portfolio of writing samples, you want it to sell your abilities in addition to being the best representation of your talents. The portfolio should: show that you can write on many different topics; demonstrate your ability to write in different styles; and, vary in word count to show you can write both long and short pieces.
Show a Diversity of Topics
One of the most important aspects you need to focus on with your writing portfolio is your ability to write on a wide variety of topics. You may have a strength writing in a particular area, whether it is gardening, business, finance, etc., but you need to be able to demonstrate to a future employer your willingness to take on more difficult assignments. This can be demonstrated by adding writing samples that show diversity, are well researched and well written and effectively communicate their point.
Depending on your area of expertise, find topics that are as diametrically opposite as possible. If you have an in-depth understanding of politics affairs and current events, include a piece on popular culture. If you like sports, have an article or sample on preparing a holiday roast. This diversity can go a long way in showing your range and versatility.
Balance Portfolio between Writing Styles
In addition to demonstrating an ability to write on a great number of topics, the writing samples that you choose for your portfolio should also demonstrate different writing styles. Include writing samples that make a persuasive argument pro or con on some topical item being debated. Narrations are an effective way to tell a story in the first person and may be a style of writing you wish to consider including in your writing portfolio.
Regardless of the style you choose, choose several different ones to add to your writing portfolio (at least three). An ability to write in different styles will also enhance your value to a potential employer and show that you can rise to any writing challenge based on a customer’s desired style and tone for the content ordered.
Add Pieces of Varying Length
Show that you can create writings that are several paragraphs in length as well as those that are several pages long. Most of the content that you will create as a freelance Writer will be between 500-700 words or approximately 5 to 7 paragraphs. You may also find yourself in situations where you need to put together in-depth articles, informational brochures and technical manuals for clients. Show that you can rise to any challenge and create content of any size or word count, maintaining the same quality writing and informative style.
A review of your writing samples should help you determine what pieces you have that fit within the tips provided above for creating your portfolio. You can use this opportunity to update older samples as well as create new ones that meet the criteria for a well balanced portfolio and put your best foot forward to impress and sway a potential employer your way. Please remember when including writing samples in your portfolio to double (and triple) check you spelling, grammar and word usage in order to ensure that only your best writing is being displayed.