If you’re considering applying for premium entry level jobs or internships in a field that requires some level of writing expertise, you can expect that employers will request a few writing samples as part of your application. While you may have dozens of essays, papers, news articles and creative stories to choose from, narrowing them down to two or three samples that represent you as a writer can be difficult. Here are a few tips to get started.
One of the most important factors in determining your selections should be the pieces’ relevance to the company or organization. While you might be very proud of a story you wrote in a college English class, it may not be the most appropriate writing sample for a job writing about business and finance.
While you should make sure the samples to choose are relevant to the employer, consider selecting pieces that show different sides of you as a writer. For instance, you might want to submit a press release, hard news story and feature lifestyle piece if you’re considering applying to an advertising agency – as they each show a different aspect of your experience as a writer.
Unless the company or organization specifically requests longer pieces, you should typically keep your selections on the shorter side. Ideally, you don’t want your samples to be more than a few pages so that employers can read through as much of your writing as possible in a brief amount of time.