Making the most of Private Messenger posts by being prepared.
Courtesy of Lynda Lee Schab – One of Many FaithWriters Success Stories.
If you’re a Gold or Platinum member, by now you’ve likely received several writing opportunities through the FaithWriters Private Messaging System. Maybe a couple sounded perfect for you, but you had no idea what steps to take next. And maybe that prevented you from pursuing the job, causing you to miss out on a great opportunity.
If that’s you, here are a few basic tips on how to go about “applying” for these jobs. There is no guarantee you’ll get the assignment, of course, but at least you’ll be able to say you tried. But if you do land the job, who knows where it could lead?
First things, first. If a website is included, visit the link. Learn all you can about the site/organization to decide if it’s a good fit for you.
Once you decide to go for it, review the details of the PM again. What is the deadline? How do I submit? Will I get paid? Who is the contact person? Etc.
Please note that some of these opportunities are ones posted via another job site, like Elance. You may need to go through that site and possibly be required to register for an account in order to apply.
There should be an email address for you to contact. If the posting is through another job site (like Elance) you’ll have to follow their specific instructions. Otherwise, if you’ll be contacting the person or organization via personal email, and there are no instructions listed, add the following basic information, as necessary (see sample letter at the end of this message).
1. Where you saw the “ad.” (“I am writing in response to your posting on FaithWriters.com.”
2. You should prepare a template letter now with the general information below this point. You can add the specifics for each opportunity.
3. Your qualifications. Include any articles or work you’ve had published, and why you are the one for the job. You may want to add links to online work after your signature, so they can check them out if they choose. Be sure to mention this in your letter.
4. A little personal information (emphasis on little). For example: “On a personal note, I have been married for ten years and am the mother of three children. We are members of Faith Christian Church, where I have volunteered in the nursery for the past five years.” You may want to specifically mention an area pertinent to the position you are applying for. The nursery (or youth department, etc.), for instance, might be beneficial if you are looking to write about parenting. For an outreach ministry, you may want to mention volunteering in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, or missionary trips you’ve taken. Keep your personal information relevant to the specific job.
5. Thank you. Be sure to thank them for their consideration and tell them you look forward to hearing from them soon.
6. Contact information. After your “signature,” include your email address and/or phone number for them to get in touch.
7. Samples of your work. Certainly not all, but some opportunities may request samples of your work. In this case, attach relevant articles, stories, essays, content pieces as Word documents. You can always mention that you would be happy to send samples of your work, upon request. Also include a writing resume’ if you have one.
Sample of a letter in response to a FaithWriters writing opportunity.
This is a letter I sent to SharedSorrows.com, an opportunity sent through the PM system, which resulted in getting the position.
Hi there, (there was no contact person listed, so I addressed it casually)
I am responding to your FaithWriters call for an obituary writer. I would love to be considered for this position. (simple opening, explaining where I saw the job and expressing my interest)
I have been freelancing for over fifteen years and my work has been published in greeting cards, magazines, anthologies, and many places online. I currently work behind the scenes for FaithWriters.com, writing the monthly newsletter, performing miscellaneous writing assignments, and doing daily marketing. I also am a paid monthly book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com. In addition, my novel, Mind over Madi, was published in November by Oak Tara Publishers, and I am contracted for two more in the series. Although I have never been contracted for obituary writing, incidentally, I recently wrote the obituary for my grandmother, who died two weeks ago. Here is a link if you'd like to check it out. http://obits.mlive.com/obituaries/grandrapids/obituary.aspx?n=eleanor-taylor-warners&pid=159154959#fbLoggedOut (my credentials, including an additional reference related to the specific job).
I have also attached my writing resume' for your review.
On a personal note, I have been married for 24 years and have two teenagers. We are members of Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, Michigan, where I am on the Creative Arts leadership team. (limited personal info)
Thanks so much for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. (thanks and quick wrap up)
Cell phone number(contact info)
You might also find Lynda’s New Book helpful.
Whatever you do keep Christ first and it will all work out for the best.
God Bless, Mike & Bea
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