Thursday, January 8, 2009

Following Directions

There's a lot of advice out there for freelancers and one of the pieces I've encountered most often involves following directions. Clearly, being able to follow directions is important for many types of situations. However, apparently some people don't read the freelance writing ads very well or perhaps they read the ads but don't respond as requested.

For example, if an ad asks for a writing sample, a resume and a cover letter, you send them all three. It only makes sense, right? If you're responding to an ad that asks for your rates, you should include your rates in your correspondence.

As someone who has been involved in the hiring of employees, I can attest to the fact that not following the directions in the ad leaves a bad first impression. If someone can't follow the instructions for how to respond, why would a potential employer or client believe they will be able to follow directions for the assignment or in the workplace?

The other day, though, I encountered a situation in which it made very little sense to me to follow the directions included in an ad. The client asked interested parties to respond with a resume and stated that the resume should include the following:
  • Education and work history
  • Specific editing, proofreading and writing experience
  • Applicable areas of expertise
  • Availability
  • Word-processing programs on your system

To me, some of these items made sense, but others didn't belong anywhere on a resume. I was confused as to why they wouldn't just ask for a cover letter. I toyed with the idea of altering my resume to include them, but in the end I decided not to answer the ad.

1 comment:

Jennifer Larson said...

Why would anyone put their availability on their resume? I agree with you: why didn't they request a cover letter, along with a resume? Weird. You probably did the right thing by avoiding that outfit.