Copywriters – Proving your prose

I’d like to start off by saying I find it preposterous that copywriters are asked to complete a writing task – sometimes two – in a formal selection process when seeking a job.

Why do we have to jump through hoops? For nearly every other trade, a candidate’s curriculum vitae and a face-to-face interview – perhaps two – is ample. It is judged enough to gauge whether a candidate is the right fit for the team, the company culture and the job requirement.

But if you’re a copywriter – and this applies for any job seeking creatives at times – you need to take on these regulation obstacles like anyone else. But you’re then faced with something else.

Extra doubt.

Source: James Steidl / Shutterstock

You see, your portfolio isn’t enough. Packed to the gills with a wide range of content and different writing styles, this should suffice, right?

The hiring company want to see what you’re capable of – “Here’s my portfolio. You will find everything you need in there. Case studies, articles, social media examples, headlines, long-form, short-form – you name it, it’s in there.

“Er, that’s great, thanks. But we will need you to complete this writing task. Here’s a short brief (the enemy of any decent content is a small brief), can we ask for this to be completed in a day or two please?”

Well, technically, you shouldn’t be able to do so.

Not without paying me.

Because writing content is what we are paid for. And we aren’t being paid for this.

And if you want to see how I write – you have my portfolio in your inbox.

And this ludicrous double-testing and extra doubt of your abilities happens in the majority of selection processes.

Can you imagine if you pushed back and maintained that your portfolio and the interviews should be more than enough to deduce if I’m the right person for this vacancy?

At the time of writing this rant, I’ve been scouring the job market for around four weeks. And I’ve been asked to leap through these tests every time I pass the first interview.

It’s been great for confidence, if I’m being objective. Receiving excellent feedback always helps.

But it does feel as though copywriters have to go through an extra barrier.

Do you agree? Or do you think that companies are well within their rights to ask for this extra level of protection?

Answers below please.

And as ever, you can hire me for birthdays, the opening of a matchbox and maybe even some content creation, should you need it.

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