Choosing the 'Write' One: Writing Samples 101

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Choosing the 'Write' One: Writing Samples 101

Whenever I go on an interview, I carry a folder full of writing samples and copies of my resume. You’ve probably heard that employers often ask for writing samples during an interview even if they hadn’t asked you to bring or send them beforehand. I’ve been in this very situation multiple times and thankfully had my supply of writing samples with me.

Since interviews are usually one of the first impressions employers have of you, it is important to look prepared. Bringing an array of writing samples (and extra copies of your resume) demonstrates your initiative and preparedness. You can decide which writing samples to use depending on what the employer seems to be looking for during the interview.

I recently interviewed with a PR firm for which I had expected to use my press releases and business letters as writing samples. Instead, I ended up using a press release and two different blog posts I had written because that is what the employer had shown the most interest in. They were looking for an intern who knew how to write for PR but, more importantly, would be able to write for their blog. This was not something I had expected because it wasn’t in the job description.

Being able to write for different mediums and audiences shows your versatility and experience. These are two traits that employers love. Using three of the same type of writing sample, such as three press releases, might show that you have more experience in writing for your field but it wont show your adaptability and versatility. So, when choosing writing samples to send out, I encourage trying so cover a spectrum. And if there are pieces that you love but are in the same category, choose one and bring the rest to the interview. That is sure to make a statement!

This blog was written by Kaitlyn Smith, our Campus Ambassador at Drexel University. She is a Communications major with an emphasis in Public Relations. You can follow her on twitter: @Kaitlyn_Perez.