Career coaches often find that new job seekers will avoid job postings that require anything more than a resume and cover letter. Clearly, an employer is utilizing additional requirements to assist in choosing candidate with the requisite skill sets and to potentially weed out lazy applicants (i.e., they are looking for employees that will go the extra mile). As a job seeker, you do yourself an injustice not to apply for positions that are a fit because they require more of you.
One of the additional requirements often requested is a writing sample and this strikes fear in the hearts of many recent graduates. Here are some things to consider to prepare for such a moment:
- Write for one of the publications on campus. It will guarantee a review by an editor to make sure that the product is the best representation of your work.
- Get your papers reviewed by the writing center. It will allow you another set of eyes and also teach you the skills that you need to enhance.
- Write a blog. You can utilize Blogs at Baruch to get your own blog and practice your writing as that is the only way you will truly get to be a stronger writer — more and more practice.
- Take writing intensive courses. These will require you to write regularly and get used to feedback. It’s a great built in mechanism to improve your writing and have many options for writing samples.
- Take on opportunities to write on internship. If your internship supervisor asks you to take a shot at writing a press release or other communication, do it. However, you really want to use this more for practice as most times you will not be able to use this as a writing sample.
If you are concerned about your writing skills, then the best way to address it is to write, write and then do some more writing. Don’t avoid it as your writing skills will never improve and it will always make you uncomfortable, embarrassed and inclined to avoid job applications were one is required.