How to Write a Writing Sample For a Job? 3 Places Where to Display Examples

Writing samples are your ultimate weapon if you are a content writer. While a robust resume, an inventory of glowing recommendations, and valuable niche writing experience certainly add an edge when it comes to landing the job—it all boils down to the writing sample.

Employers request a writing sample to gauge your creativity, writing, editing, proofreading skills, and topical expertise. This goes beyond your writing to your research, content presentability, and ability to follow guidelines to the T.

Your submission must reflect a good writer’s greatest qualities—thoroughness, creativity, and passion.

With the help of this article, you can learn how to write the perfect sample for your next job.

Things to Consider When Writing Content Sample For a Job

Let’s start with the basics.

1. The Brief is Your Bible

The Brief is your Bible

Most writing jobs will provide a detailed brief, including the topic and instructions you need to follow. This can be in terms of:

Word Count

Word counts are set as per the target audience and type of content. While some websites benefit from short write-ups, others require detailed descriptions.

For example, fewer words are the way to go if you write blogs or social media posts. This is because readers of such content prefer to spend less time reading and would instead skim through.

However, more words allow deeper insights when it comes to whitepapers or how-to guides. Subsequently, word counts are crucial in writing, and you must strictly stick to the given range.

Tone of Writing

Tone of voice (TOV) signifies the author’s attitude toward a topic and determines the reader’s perception. While a book review can employ a conversational writing tone, a press release demands a more formal and concise tone.

As a writer, you must be able to use various tones to deliver your message effectively.

Keyword Usage

Keyword Usage

Keyword usage is a vital component of SEO writing. If you’re asked to use keywords in your writing sample, incorporate them naturally into your sentences.

It’s ideal to space the keywords throughout the content body instead of cramming them into a particular portion. For example, aim for strategic keyword placement in subheadings, opening lines of sections, introductions, anchor text variations, etc.

Target Audience

Pieces of writing can vary significantly based on their target audience. While writing, it’s always necessary to strike a connection with your readers.

Get into your audience’s mind and understand their search intent and expectations.

Doing so allows you to create content that caters to a specific demographic.

The key to getting shortlisted is following each guideline without compromising content quality. If you are lax with this step, there is a high chance that your writing sample may get rejected.

Remember, your sample is not just an evaluation of your writing skills but reflects your value as an employee. Recruiters need to be assured that you are reliable and possess the ability to execute a task as required.

2. Get to Know The Brand

Get to Know the Brand

The best way to impress a company is knowing what floats their boat. Utilize the brand’s social media pages and websites to get to know them first. By deep diving into their background, you can learn their objectives, target audience, and communication style.

Use this knowledge to get a sense of what they expect of you. You can also go through content already published by the company and incorporate a similar format and tone into your writing sample.

3. Research The Topic

The first step of writing is research. The deeper your research, the better your write-up will be.

People tend to express themselves better when they write about something they know, so ensure you truly understand the topic and spend sufficient time researching.

Use multiple online resources—articles, research papers, interviews, news pieces, and video content, and combine them to draw the most relevant information with a logical flow.

4. Seek Inspiration

If you are at a loss for how to get started, browse similar topics on the internet. Visit websites with the same target audience as the company you are applying for and review their published content. This will give you a basic sense of what you need to write and how.

Remember, however, that there is a thin line between inspiration and plagiarism. Peruse relevant content to understand the style and tone, but never copy from a source.

Most brands run assignments through plagiarism checkers, and if caught, you will not only leave a wrong impression but be barred from the interview process.

5. Get Writing

Get Writing

Once you have a fundamental idea of what you will write, map out a content format and content skeleton.

Creating a basic frame for your write-up lets you plan your writing approach and maintain a flow while creating long-form content. Ideally, a good writing sample should contain the following elements:

An Engaging Title

Unless you have been provided with a title, you have to develop one of your own. The title is the first thing a reader would see on a homepage or search results. Thus, induce curiosity through your headings.

A vast majority of readers judge the quality of an article by its headline alone. Therefore, a lot depends on this short string of words. Keep your title short and catchy and lure your audience in with the promise of a good treat.

A Concise Introduction

Your introduction needs to grab the reader’s attention immediately.

Start with a creative line, an obscure fact, or a question. Follow an inverted triangle approach where you start with the broad topic and narrow it down to the specific niche you are writing for.

Make sure your introduction does not run longer than 100 words—a couple of short paragraphs familiarising your readers with the contents of your write-up is the way to go.

Break Up The Text

Break Up the Text

Enhancing readability is one of your key responsibilities as a writer. Long bodies of plain text are unattractive to scroll through and can cast readers off.

Instead, use subheadings to highlight the main components of your article and break up the text. This benefits readers skimming through and makes your writing sample easier to scan.

Bullet points also make an excellent tool. Use them graciously to emphasize critical facts, enlist items, or mention statistics.

The Body

Now comes the central part of your write-up. Instead of long chunks of sentences, write in short paragraphs. Experts recommend writing at most 40-60 words in a paragraph.

Fact: Short paragraphs are easier to read and keep the reader engaged.

Similarly, write short and simple sentences instead of long and complex ones. Each new paragraph should draw context from the previous one and maintain a smooth flow.

If you’ve been assigned a hefty word count, avoid the tendency to fill up the text with fluff words. It’s necessary to add value to the topic with every word you write; as such, fluff content or generic sentences are useless to the reader.

Anything that is not directly related to the topic, meaninglessly increases the word count, and wears out the reader is considered fluff.

Remember that writers are hired not just for their ability to compose beautiful prose but to drive business. Therefore, good writing is about more than fancy sentences but clear, valuable, and persuasive content that fulfills business goals.

The Conclusion

Many authors make the mistake of leaving their content without a conclusion or verdict section. This makes your content seem abrupt and incomplete. Always add a conclusion to your writing sample to summarize the discussion.

A reasonable conclusion should draw from the introduction, summarize the article’s contents, and provide readers with closure.

In commercial writing, a CTA is often necessary at the end. Sentences like “Share this post with your friends!” and “Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!” entice readers and drive them to act, boosting business.

6. Revise And Proofread

Revise and Proofread

Now that you have stepped over the biggest hurdle, the time to revise and refine comes. Go through what you have written multiple times and make tweaks where necessary. Remove unnecessary words, avoid repetition, and cut out extra adjectives and filler words.

Tip: Adverbs can be a writer’s biggest nemesis.

This is also the time to double-check your facts and ensure any statistics mentioned aren’t outdated. Writers often miss out on errors on the first read, so perform a thorough readthrough at least thrice.

Writers can ideally revise the day after finishing writing since it allows them to approach the topic with a fresh mind.

7. The Final Touch

The Final Touch

Your write-up is now almost ready for submission. Thanks to the golden age of the internet, we can lean on technology to correct our errors.

Take advantage of this and run your content through online writing tools to receive an error-free, polished, and easy-to-read final draft.

Some websites you can use are:


Duplichecker scans your article for plagiarism and similarities to any other online writeup. If your company mentions a plagiarism cap, adhere to it strictly, but it’s always good to aim for 0% plagiarism.


This website is commonly recommended by professional writers. Grammarly checks your article for grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and spelling. Use it to rid your writing sample of any remaining errors.

Hemingway Editor

This writing style editor helps authors improve their articles’ readability and clarity. The tool highlights complex and wordy sentences, passive voice, and extra adverbs. You can utilize this tool to make your write-up easily comprehensible.

If you have completed the above steps, pat yourself on the back because your writing sample is ready for submission!

8. Submitting Your Writing Sample

If you apply for a job online, you may be asked to upload your document on Google Drive, attach the link, or email the article.

Pay close attention to the guidelines for submission. Many brands mention whether they want your document in a Word or PDF format and what to name the file.

Lacking to meet these instructions can result in your sample getting rejected and all your tedious efforts going to waste. Since you have reached the final line, push through and strictly adhere to every mentioned instruction.

Where to Display Your Writing Samples?

If you’re a professional writer, it helps to have an organized directory of your writing samples. Not only does this save you time, but clearly displaying your writeups establishes your authenticity and experience as a writer.

If you are unsure how to go about this, here are a few places to display your writing samples:

1. Your Personal Website

Your Personal Website

Your website is an excellent place for your writing samples, and with the help of websites like Wix or WordPress, you can quickly kickstart your personal branding journey.

Make a ‘portfolio’ or a ‘samples’ page and neatly showcase your projects there. Now, when prospective clients or employers request a writing sample, simply forward your profile link.

2. Social Media Platforms

Social Media Platforms

Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can also be exciting places to showcase your writing and gain the attention of employers.

LinkedIn, being a platform for business networking, can be an excellent choice.

The platform has an in-built publishing option, which you can use to write articles on the app. Since your LinkedIn account also acts as your resume, it’s easy to impress employers with an attractive and well-kept LinkedIn profile reflecting a writer’s aesthetics.

3. Guest Posts

Guest Posts

Another way to build your credentials and publish your writing is through guest posts.

Watch for writing contests, online publications, and digital magazines. If selected, this can provide great exposure that boosts your profile and enhances your desirability as a candidate for future employers.

Best Types of Writing Samples

While building your portfolio, keeping a healthy mix of various content formats is advisable. This showcases your skills and versatility as a writer.

A good portfolio should include both long and short-format samples.

Short-form content

  • Blog Posts
  • SEO Articles
  • Social Media Captions
  • Ad Copies

Long-form content

  • Whitepapers
  • Ultimate Guides
  • In-depth Articles
  • Case Studies

Each type of content exhibits your varying skills as a writer. While short-form content highlights your creativity, clarity, and ability to communicate persuasively, long-form write-ups are a test of your expertise, aptness in performing in-depth research, and ability to engage readers from start to finish.

Once you’re done drafting your writing sample, keep a checklist of the points discussed in this article. If you have hit them all, congrats—you are one step closer to landing the writing job of your dreams.

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