Earlier we discusses finding writing jobs with the vast array of job hunting websites out there like Monster.com. Specifically, we discussed finding freelance writing gigs and writing job contracts on CareerBuilder.com. However, finding good writing jobs is not the only thing professional writers need to content with. Filtering out the wrong kinds of writing jobs, or more specifically writing jobs that you have already determined are not right for you, is just as important.
Filtering Writing Job Search Results
The first step in filtering out writing jobs that are a bad fit is determining what kind of writing job you are looking for. There are full-time, on-site, writing jobs. The benefit of these type writing gigs is that they come with benefits like paid sick time, paid vacation, health insurance, and 401(k) plans. The downside is that these are very much not freelance writing. These are straight up corporate jobs with a boss, and required work hours. There is nothing wrong with that, and for many writers the stability and steady paycheck of a "real" job is as liberating as the freedom of choosing your own work and making your own schedule is for other writers.
Contract writing jobs are difficult to generalize about. Some writing contracts are basically temporary full-time positions without benefits. The writer is expected to be in the office and work on-site during regular business hours for a period of weeks or months. Other writing contracts are essentially long-term freelance writing positions. In these cases, the writer may not even get a desk or office on-site other than some temporary work space. Instead, the writer works as a freelance writer from home, but either exclusively for one client, or part-time for one client. Either way, the work is ongoing and provides a steady paycheck, but does not provide benefits.
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Most job boards and career websites will also list temporary jobs. These are similar in nature to contract positions except that unlike contracts with a defined term and end date, temporary jobs continue until the writer is no longer needed. In other words, the end of the job is not defined up front.
Finding Freelance Writing Jobs
Unfortunately, the mainstream job listing websites are not really structured for freelancers. As a result, a freelance writer has to search through all the different job listings. Manually filtering out the writing gigs that don’t fit one’s writing business model can be time consuming and frustrating. Many writers give up altogether which provides opportunities for those freelance writers who know how to properly work the main job boards.
The key to being able to find good freelance writing jobs on websites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and so on is to become adept at using filters. Filters are criteria used for job searching. Again, since these boards are not geared toward freelance writers, one needs to be creative in getting good job searching results out of the available criteria.
Be sure to start by clicking "Advanced Search" or "More Criteria" whenever doing a writing job search. Beware of trying to use the standard filters for temporary, contract, full-time, and part-time positions. Just like job hunters will find these career finder websites difficult to use properly, so will those clients posting the jobs on the job boards. As such, the person looking to hire a freelance writer to work on a project over several months, but not in a full-time or even typical part-time basis, might classify the job listing as contract or temporary, since neither really fits. Or, if there is not an actual contract, and if the human resources person doing the hiring has had bad experiences with "temps" before, they might not choose either putting the project in part-time instead. Finally, a project that may take 40 hours per week or more on an ongoing, but not steady basis, might be listed as a full-time writing job.
Instead, focus on using the Exclusion Criteria fields provided. For example, if you want to search for writing jobs, but not technical writing jobs, then use the advanced search exclusion options to filter out those jobs. Be careful how you do so, however, as you don’t want to accidentally filter out a great copywriting job that requires the ability to understand "the technical details of soap."
Finally, use exclusions to filter out repetitive job posters. Lately, the website Examiner.com has been particularly prolific in not just posting, but in re-posting its writing "jobs". Once you have determined whether or not writing for Examiner.com is right for you, it is annoying to have to scroll through 18 "new" jobs from the company every two or three days. Just add "examiner.com" to one of the block keyword search fields.
Do you have other advanced job search tips for writers? If so, let us know and we’ll share them here or check them out.
Good luck finding your newest writing gig.