ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Applying for Freelance Writing Jobs: How to Make Your Applications Stand Out

Updated on September 26, 2010
Photo credit: The CV Inn
Photo credit: The CV Inn

When you're applying for freelance writing jobs, you're more than likely going to be up against a lot of other writers. You might be a fantastic writer but getting your freelance writing job application right is arguably just as important as the clips in your online writing portfolio. If your application doesn't hit the mark, chances are it'll be rejected very quickly. The trouble is, when you first start freelancing, it can be difficult to know what to include in your job applications to make them stand out for the right reasons. Here are some tips for putting together a good freelance writing job application.

Do some prior research. There are a lot of scams relating to freelance writing jobs and you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle if you give the company a quick Google search before you submit an application to check that they don't have a bad track record when it comes to paying their writers. 

Read the job description carefully. This one sounds like a no-brainer and you're probably wondering why I've even included it, but it's all too easy to only partially read or totally misread a job description, especially if you're desperate to land a gig. When my freelance writing is veering more towards famine than feast, I've been guilty of applying for jobs that I'm not really qualified for (I don't have relevant clips, for example) because I was so keen to land a gig of any description. Freelance writing can bring a lot of rejection and frustration at the best of times but you're even more likely to come against this if you're applying for freelance writing gigs that are way out of your comfort zone. Consciously weeding out the freelance writing jobs that aren't right for you has the added benefit of being productive, because you're only applying for the openings that you stand some chance of being hired for.

Explain your credentials. Once you've decided that a particular freelance writing job would be a good fit for you, you've got to show why this. A brief introduction detailing your relevant experience (for example, if it's a health writing job, tell them who you've previously written health-related articles for) is an easy way to do this. Keep it relevant though. If you've not got enough evidence to put forward regarding your credentials, it may be that you're not as suitable as you originally thought.

When you're deciding which clips to put forward to show off your writing ability, it's preferable to include only those that are relevant for the job that you're applying for. In the health writing job example, you'd want to include health clips as a bare minimum. If the job in question is specified as a women's health writing job (for example), narrow the clips down to those relating to women's health. Sure, other pieces may well demonstrate your writing skills in general but what the powers-that-be really want to know is whether you're going to be a good fit for their publication. Keep your clips as relevant as possible if you want to stand the best chance of getting the job.

What if you don't have any relevant clips though? It's not ideal but all isn't necessarily lost. I landed one blogging job but creating an article from scratch and submitting it as a writing sample. I didn't specify that it hadn't previously been published anywhere else and it must have been suitable enough for the editor to not even care.

Follow instructions. You'd be surprised how many editors say that candidates don't follow all or any of the instructions in the job description and not surprisingly, they bin anyone who is guilty of this. You might not think that it matters whether your attach your resume instead of pasting it into the email body as requested but in the eyes of an editor, you look like someone who can't follow basic instructions and by default, someone who could be a lot of hassle to work with.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • smcopywrite profile image


      9 years ago from all over the web

      great information and tips to follow. great hub

    • Gift Experts profile image

      Gift Experts 

      9 years ago

      Agree - -instructions are important. Focus on what the publisher / editor wants - -NOT what you want.

    • dippykitty profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from UK

      Thanks for commenting, writingmom. Hope it helps!

    • writingmom profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      i am looking into this now-very useful information--thanks


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)