Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Samples

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Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Samples November 16, 2020

The purpose of a writing sample is to present the employer with an example of how well do you assimilate and arrange your ideas on paper. It is written with the aim to influence the employer that you have the capability to write quality material. Universities and legal employers always ask for writing samples in order to judge your analytical skills and writing capabilities.

There are no specific rules or guides available on how to write a writing sample. It is written according to the demands of the employer etc.

Employers might ask for it with the resume, some ask for it at the interview. In case you are not asked to submit a writing sample at the interview, you should bring it along anyway. In case they might ask for it then.

Principles for Effective Writing

Following is a list of guiding principles that will allow you to write effectively and leave a good impression on the employer.

• Use Persuasive writing

By writing persuasively you give your employers an opportunity to determine your analytical and persuasive skills. With the help of your writing sample, you should be able to convince an employer to choose you. Refrain from topics that don’t require research work. Moreover, avoid very bookish and heavy words for writing.

• Easy and Comprehend Writing Samples

Writing samples should be easy to comprehend and without silly mistakes.
Your writing sample should be devoid of spelling errors. Make sure you thoroughly check grammar to avoid any grammatical errors. Also, check for typographical errors. Your writing should have the element of coherence and cohesion i.e. the ideas shouldn’t be haphazardly presented. Avoid elaborate details. Be precise and concise. Type it on neat, standard size papers.

• Not more than ten pages

Prospective employers can easily determine your writing prowess in the first few pages. The additional pages are there to further analyze your skills for finer discrimination. Make sure you don’t exceed the employer’s need. If it hasn’t been made clear then make sure you don’t exceed ten pages.
If you have written a sample that exceeds the employers need. Then cut down the writing sample to the required need. Keep in mind that you don’t delete any important points. Nonetheless, if you want to make sure that you follow the required guideless then simply ask them.

• Refrain from a lurid subject.

There are writers who think that writing samples on the lurid subject matter will enhance their impression on the prospective employer. In reality, this is not the case. Giving garish and shocking details deviates from the original purpose and that is to write. Therefore avoid lurid subject matter so that the impression you leave Is a positive one; not negative.

• Don’t put writing samples in binders.

Binders are an excellent way of organizing documents, but they aren’t the most suitable option for presenting your documents in front of a prospective employer. They are immediately taken off. Binders create a hassle for sifting through the papers. They are also taken off because they take too much space

• Don’t forget to write your name

Most of the time, this detail is forgotten by writers. Your name is the most important thing; therefore, don’t forget to put your name on the writing sample.