200 applications were received in response to a recent ad I placed looking for freelance copywriters to work for my copywriting company. I’ve done a lot of recruiting in the past, so I was immediately clear about the kind of experience I was looking for. I also anticipated receiving a deluge of applications from people with a variety of backgrounds and levels of copywriting experience. I had processes in place to screen and categorize applicants, and I was quite explicit about the application requirements. I assumed I was fully prepared. I should have realized I couldn’t be that fortunate!

I was shocked when the applications began to pour in. Despite my best efforts and systems, the applicants were determined to eliminate themselves from consideration by submitting shoddy application emails. They were so terrible that I occasionally had the impression that I was shortlisting candidates based more on the calibre of their applications than their qualifications.

Any writer, whether experienced or not, who intends to apply for a copywriting job should read this essay. It offers 12 suggestions for how to apply so that you have a possibility of being selected for the shortlist, ranked in order of significance.

1) Comply with Directions

If there are any instructions in the job posting, heed them. You can presume that any instructions marked “IMPORTANT,” formatted in bold and red, and formatted with the word “IMPORTANT” are at least somewhat significant and have a purpose. Observe them! To ensure you have followed all the instructions, read the advertisement several times. If the job posting instructs you to apply via email, do so! Use “Copywriter Application” as the subject line if it specifically instructs you too! DO ALL OF THE ABOVE IF IT REQUIRES YOU TO VISIT A WEBSITE, PROVIDE A QUOTE, SUPPLY THREE SAMPLES OF COPY, AND INCLUDE YOUR RESUME! If you don’t adhere to the plain, obvious directions in a job posting, the employer won’t have confidence in your ability to complete the job.

2) Less is More

Save the employer’s time at all costs. Remember, they need someone to help with a portion of their burden, which is why they’re hiring a freelance copywriter. They have limited time. Keep your application brief and to the point. Don’t use huge words and complex sentences because this is your moment to demonstrate your abilities. Less can be more.

3) Explain how you will benefit their business

Consider the situation from the employer’s point of view. The majority of businesses wanting to hire freelance copywriters advertise for somebody who can assist them streamline their operations. Employers who desire freelance copywriters are attempting to “productize” copywriting, especially in copywriting studios, advertising agencies, and web design companies. They want to be able to “turn the handle,” which means they need a reasonably priced freelance copywriter they can count on to generate first drafts of copy that are client-ready with little oversight. They are attempting to create a production line for copywriters. Keep this in mind when you apply, and strive to demonstrate how you’ll support their objectives.

4) Create a scannable application

Remember once more that the employer doesn’t have much time. So make it simple to scan your copywriter application. Write more than one paragraph of text. Use concise paragraphs, headings, and bullets, and strike out the crucial information.

5. Address the Conditions

Make sure you address each need specifically if the copywriter job posting includes any. (But keep in mind, keep it brief and pleasant.)

6) Be Direct and Sincere

Don’t oversell yourself; if your samples and résumé don’t support your sales pitch, people will disregard you. Tell them if you don’t have the knowledge or experience to meet one or more of the requirements. Do not misrepresent your experience or additional work that you did not actually produce. You might land one job as a result of this, but you probably won’t get paid for it, and you’ll never land another. Also keep in mind that everyone knows everyone in the copywriting industry, making it quick for rumours about dishonest freelancers to spread.

7) Offer Useful Samples

If the job posting requests samples of your writing, do all in your ability to locate and provide pertinent examples. If the job description does not indicate the type of examples you must submit, check the company’s website and deliver samples that are pertinent to their primary line of business. Send samples of web copy if that is what they primarily write. Send samples of brief copies if they do it. If you don’t have any relevant samples, try to figure out what the employer values most and offer samples that demonstrate that you do. (For instance, if the employer mostly writes web content that resembles an online brochure, you’ll need to provide samples that demonstrate your capacity to both captivate a product and an audience, and perhaps even educate the audience.)

8) Don’t Look for Response Right Away

You shouldn’t anticipate receiving a response to your application right away because most job postings draw hundreds of applications and the employer is still working to run their business. After a day or two, don’t email a reminder. Send a reminder if necessary after a week or two, at the latest. Additionally, if it doesn’t state to call in the advertisement, don’t! The length of phone conversations can be highly annoying to a busy employer who, most likely, has no input to offer at this moment.

12 Tips for Copywriters on Job Applications
12 Tips for Copywriters on Job Applications

9) Avoid Using Poor English

You need to have a strong command of English if you’re looking for work as an English-language copywriter. You will not be hired if your application is written in poor English; you will only be wasting both your and the employer’s time.

10) Check Your Application for Errors

Errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax, he declares as he carefully checks his article, are the single biggest detriment to a copywriter. Pay attention to the little things. Even though you could be applying for a lot of jobs, take your time when writing your applications and carefully proofread and spell-check them. TIP: Attempt to spell the employer’s name accurately, even though it’s not essential!

11) Avoid requesting work experience

Do not request unpaid work experience unless it is specified in the job posting. Even if they aren’t paying the copywriter anything, most employers just don’t have the time to train a junior copywriter, despite the fact that it shows a lot of interest.

12) Never request a writing critique

If your application is rejected, feel free to inquire as to why, but avoid requesting an evaluation of your writing from the employer. It takes a lot of effort to explain why your writing is bad, and a potential employer is not responsible for doing it. This is the surest way to lose any chance of a call-back you might have had in the future.


You’d be astonished at how many applicants who claim to be freelancing copywriters NEGLECT the aforementioned rules. These candidates make the employer’s task very difficult and time-consuming, and they almost exclude themselves from consideration. When applying for your next work as a freelance copywriter, use all of the aforementioned advice to put yourself well ahead of the pack.

Happy application!