A job as a freelance writer sounds like the ultimate career. Freelancers, to some extent, are the boss and don’t have to listen to others. Plus, the role is flexible, which allows the average person a healthy work to life balance. Then, there is the fact that you get to work from home while in pajamas drinking a cup of coffee. Of course, there is no sick pay or job security, but that all seems insignificant in the moment. After all, you’re living the dream, right?
As a freelancer, you know that everything isn’t always as it seems to outsiders. Writing jobs don’t come at you thick and fast and fall in a person’s lap. Anyone that wants to be successful has to work just as hard at finding the jobs than they do at completing them.
And, that can get tiring.
However, what if you didn’t have to go in search of jobs any longer? What if the jobs would find you instead of the other way around? It’d be great, wouldn’t it? It is great, and it’s also a realistic possibility if you use the following tips. Go on, it could completely transform your career.
Sign Up To Job Sites
In the past, candidates used to find employment by searching the classifieds in their local newspapers. Or, they asked friends that had contacts to do them a favor. This is how the industry worked until the rise of the internet.
As you know, the World Wide Web transformed society as we knew it, and job searches weren’t immune to the revolution.
Instead of scrolling through papers, people scroll throughout online job boards like Monster or Indeed. However, that would be the same as searching for the jobs rather than letting them come to you. So, you have to be different.
Firstly, sign up on as many job sites as you can, so your resume is where potential clients can see it. Don't just post any resume, though. Tailor your resume to fit the right parameters. If you’re looking for a long-term contract, for example, don’t give off a temporary vibe. Employers judge resumes within seconds of finding them, so it’s vital you make the right impression.
Use Marketing Tricks
One of the biggest marketing techniques in the industry today is SEO. You might be thinking, "What has SEO got to do with my career? I’m a writer!" Well, the dynamics haven’t got much to do with your career other than increasing traffic to your resume.
A search engine uses search terms to direct users to job boards. Then, once they are on the site, the site itself uses keywords to filter out the cream of the crop. So, make sure you use keywords in your profile and resume to attract search engines. Links and backlinks also give your profile SEO juice.
Here are a few keywords to get you started:
- Freelance writer
- Contract writer
- (Your niche) writer
- Writer for hire
Any individual that doesn’t use these tricks is going to lose out massively. There is a reason the best SEO company and its rivals all dip their toes in the recruiter market. Candidates know it’s effective, and they will pay a lot of money for an expert as a result.
Provide Contact Details
When an employer moseys across a profile that they like, they will get in touch. What you can’t afford to happen is for them not to find a contact number. At the very least, your online resume should have an email address so that they can send you a quick email.
Make the details easy to spot, too. Employers are proactive, but only to a point. If they get frustrated, they won’t carry on looking until something turns up. Nope, they’ll move on in a huff to another CV. A few lines at the top with necessary information are all you need to tick the right boxes.
Social media sites play a massive role in enticing business to you, but there is one that is more effective than most. Of course, it’s LinkedIn, the platform specifically aimed at professionals, regardless of their career path.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that companies scour LinkedIn in the hopes of finding the next best thing. Often, they come up short, but that’s only because the candidates don’t know people are watching.
So, now you know, it’s time to show off in the shop window. How do you do it? You can start by tidying up your profile. Make sure there’s a nice image that clearly shows you in a professional setting, not at a bar with your bestie.
Next, check the bio for any spelling or grammar errors because there isn’t a bigger turn-off for employers. Also, rethink your bio approach. Using vague terms might seem modest, but you want to stand out from the crowd. Toot your own horn! The best option is the elevator pitch. Imagine someone just asked what you do while sharing an elevator. What would you say? Keep it decisive, short and succinct.
Finally, make sure that you highlight the skills that employers are looking for in your chosen field. Far too many candidates list features that have zero bearing on the contract job they're looking for.
Yep, this is, of course, a Twitter reference. Do you remember how I said that social media has a massive role to play? You should because it’s only a few sentences ago. Ha.
Well, it wasn’t a lie. There is no doubt that LinkedIn is at the top of the list in terms of career prospects. Still, that doesn’t mean that tweeting can’t also get you noticed.
Employers Google prospective candidates and check their social media posts. So, when they scroll through, they want to see tweets and retweets that link to the industry you claim to be an expert in. It’s a sign that you have a passion for your job and aren’t only influenced by money. Also, it’s a sign that you’re a person that keeps up with the ever-changing trends. In the writing business, these are big, fat ticks that only make an impressive candidate more remarkable. LinkedIn sets them up, and Twitter knocks them down.
Blogging also works in a similar vein because it lets you comment and connect with the online community. As potential clients sift through your blogs, they will see examples of your writing and what you're passionate about. If they like what they see, it will reflect well and keep you at the forefront of their mind.
Having a blog also gives you another chance to pop up in Google searches for freelance writers, along with your resumes on job sites, your Twitter and your LinkedIn.
Savvy job hunters use social media, job boards and a website. A website is the perfect place to flesh out your credentials. It’s a platform that allows you to boast and brag about your achievements without being judged. More than that, it’s a place where you can validate your accomplishments.
If you plan on talking the talk, you have to walk the walk because employers can spot fakers from a mile away. To legitimize your claims, all you need are endorsements. Over the course of your career, you will get positive feedback. By posting it on your site, browsers can see that you are the real deal and not an impostor. If they are still suspicious, give them permission to call your references and confirm your claims. Anyone with nothing to fear shouldn’t have a problem with this tactic.
Outside of the internet, there aren’t many ways for an employer to come across a potential candidate. However, there is one way that lasts the test of time: a recommendation. Friends in high places that have the ear of people with power can use their influence to put you in the picture. Former clients can also put in a good word. As the saying goes, it’s who you know not what you know.
Be sure that clients and friends have your business card to hand out when the opportunity arises. Also, be sure to ask the people around you to refer you. They may not even think to without a nudge.
Now, put your typing fingers down and take a break because they will come to you. The hunter is now the hunted.