Some tips on applying for a blogging job

May 29, 2009 — 16 Comments

We’ve got an ad up this week (see here) and so far have received around 300 applications. This isn’t the first time we’ve advertised, but having learned from past positions, I was a little more specific in this ad.

This is the relevant part.

Your application should include links to your work online (in the email please) and why you think you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re up to the job. You should also include any relevant experience in the body of the email.

My mistake perhaps was that I didn’t write in caps “DO NOT SEND AN ATTACHMENT” because half of the applications have had attachments. The reason I don’t want attachments is simple: It’s not that I don’t want to read them, it’s simply that I don’t have the time to read them all when I’ve got to read 300 applications. The short list call is made on what’s in the body of the email, and where applicable, by clicking through to writing samples to check for style. Maybe on a short list I might then read an attachment, but likewise the info could still be contained in the body of the email.

Of those that have attachment, maybe half again don’t include links to work in the email (!!!), or include relevant experience in the body of the email (and by experience, I don’t mean a full resume, but any previous writing/ blogging gigs).

I also perhaps should have been more clear on “why you think you’re up to a job” and said “SELL YOURSELF TO ME” because a good number of the applications sound like applications for a job at the local bank.

But I did include this in the ad

You must have the ability to write tech (web) and general news posts, and some ability to contribute to our other streams (particularly odd+ funny news). You should also have a reasonable sense of humor, be occasionally snarky, and be fairly broad minded when it comes to content. The ability to write a straight news piece, and then throw in the occasional opinion piece is a big plus.

Maybe that part wasn’t clear enough as well.

I know I’m sounding a bit harsh, but when you’ve got to go through so many applications, and there’s only one position (given a few I’ve got on my shortlist, I wish I had more positions to offer), your application HAS to stand out at first glance. I also know this isn’t the highest paying job in the land either, but during a recession when so many people are looking for any work at all, you’d expect that people would know how to, or try to sell themselves better.


Here’s some general tips you should consider when applying for a blogging job.

1. Read the instructions carefully, follow them
2. A blogging job isn’t a bank job: personality helps. You need to sell yourself within the context of what the site you’re applying for does
3. You must consider that your application will be one of hundreds, sometimes thousands. How will your application stand out from the crowd?

Update: a small after thought: researching the site your applying for is a must, although that links in to how you sell yourself.

Also it’s not by any stretch an application breaker, but if you manage to address the person reviewing the application by name in your application (even though the name wasn’t in the ad), it shows you’re either a reader, or have done your homework. It also personalizes the message and helps break through the noise 🙂