Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub
For communication positions, passing the writing test is a must. Prospective employers want to make sure that you can do the job no matter what level the position. Typically, applicants are asked to prepare a press release, a pitch, a bio or company boilerplate material. In some cases, you my be asked to edit a piece or take a grammar quiz. While what you are asked to do may depend on the level of the position, all writing tests will determine if you get the job. How do you prepare:
- Style – Spelling, punctuation and knowledge of AP style are important. Take the time to review your work. If you can, print out your work and read it out loud to catch errors. Digging out The Elements of Style is a good idea, too.
- Formats – Know the basic formats for press releases, pitch letters, bios etc. The best writing in the wrong format may not get you the job.
- Writing Styles – Be comfortable with writing all different types of communications – press release, pitch letter, tweet etc. Go online and check out press releases/social media from the agency/company. Practice their style.
- Editing – Be familiar with the common editing marks. You may be asked to edit as well as write.
- Write Quickly – Some tests are timed. Practicing writing quickly will give you time to double check for errors and still get it done on time.
- Graphics – If applying for a digital or social media position, be prepared to do an infographic or chart.
- Creativity – Showing creativity and passion about a subject can set you apart. Don’t be afraid to do something that shows your knowledge about a subject.
Creativity, along with knowledge of the basics, can land you the job you want.