For the past month or so I have gone through about 200 emails looking for suitable people to join the Task.fm blogging team. Plenty of freelancers have written articles on this topic - however I thought it would be more useful to hear what an employer has to say on the issue of applying for a position.
Heres what to do when applying for a position:
Listen to What the Employer is Asking
In the ad I posted when looking for a blogger, I asked to send me an email with links to previous blog posts you had written. I was able to halve my list of potential freelancers in half almost instantly as I only read the emails that had followed this simple instruction.
Lots of freelancers applying for the position took the libery of attaching a .doc with their articles. As an employer this told me a couple of things - first, the freelancer didn't follow instructions and secondly an article in a .doc is useless. Im looking for someone who nows how to blog (use the software) and understands social media. The freelancers who sent me a link to their blog understood this.
Don't Hide Behind a Pen Name
It might be alright to hide behind a pen name when applying for a ghostwriting position, however, I want to look at your Facebook, twitter, etc. The more info about yoy included in your email gave you a better shot at getting the position.
Don't Kid Yourself
I chuckled when someone requested $300-$500 per post. What was more funny was the fact they had no previous experience. Do your research and now appropriate rates. Also, don't be pushy and demanding - thats my job. Freelancers who wrote to me demanding a certain rate were ignored. Even if I was happy to pay them that rate, I would hire the freelancer who was open to negotiation.
Don't Use Comic Sans in Email
Sounds trivial but I didn't even bother reading any emails that were sent to me with fancy fonts or an annoying background. Keep your emails plain and simple.
Establish a Presence and a Brand
To get a job at any top blog you will need - a personal weblog or site, twitter account and a presence on other social sites. Blogspot blogs were a turn-off for me, if you had a hosted blog or site I was more impressed. I was also actively seeking out as much info about you. Those who had social media profiles were bookmarked instantly.