I just applied for my first writing job recently and even though the application was short, it was relatively nerve-wracking.
- First writing job application, EVER
- My employer could be someone that I admire and have lots of respect for.
- There’s a potential interview, which my introverted self is already freaking out over.
- I had to list skills that complimented my writing.
At first, I was unsure of what other skills could compliment my writing. I always thought of writing as a storytelling means, but this was asking for more. Something told me that saying I was skilled at Microsoft Excel and Word was not going to fit the bill. I tried googling the question to see if help lay on a random website with tips for job applications or a writer’s blog. However, I only found results for compliments that writers like to receive, like ‘your writing is so thoughtful,’ which is definitely not what I googled. It took me a while to think of qualities that compliment my writing skills and I think that we all should have a go-to list of some examples. Skills will vary based on the writing position that you are going for, so I will try to cover a wide range.
- Knowing How to CodeEven though you are applying for a writing position, you are most likely going to be working with a website. That means that you may need to embed a video, add horizontal line split, among other things. You might not be typing up an article in HTML, but it’s helpful to know the skill when something is off with the article and it needs to be fixed on the backend. Some other coding languages that are helpful include CSS for styling and Jquery for some higher level interaction on websites. Who knows, you might find that you like coding, or that you absolutely hate it. You never know until you give it a try and besides you are applying to be a writer, not a programmer, so don’t put to much pressure on yourself thinking that you need to have the horsepower of Facebook’s coders. Start small. Try Codecademy and work on the free lessons. I personally use it to brush up on coding skills.
- Graphic Design CapabilitiesBy no means do you have to be the team of people that make the Nike ads, but teaching yourself some basic graphic design skills will help you to be more versatile. This also does not mean that you have to have Photoshop. There are plenty of employers that request Photoshop as a skill, but we all know that it is not the cheapest of services. Pretty great, but not cheap. Until you reach the point of being able to afford Photoshop, I would suggest that you download Gimp, a free image manipulation program. There are plenty of tutorials on the site and they feature work from actual GIMP users, if you have any suspicions about what can actually be done with GIMP. Another service to try is Canva, which is an online design program. I personally use the free version and the various templates offered are helpful for initiating a design. There are images that you can pay for, but there are still plenty of free images and design options that will allow you to produce great design.
- Knowledge of Messaging ApplicationsNowadays, there are applications, like Slack, that allow for work-focused discussions. There are plenty of alternatives to Slack, but it is one of the names that gets tossed around a lot. If you need to ask a quick question on formatting, send file resources to include with the article, and so on, Slack can be very convenient. Even if you currently do not have someone to use Slack with, you can still download the free version and look at all its features. That way, you can have a tool in your belt for the future.
These are all the tips that I could think of, but do you know of any tools or skills that can compliment your writing that are not listed above? Leave them in the comments below, so we can all learn!