You’re looking for some copywriting work. You land on a website that advertises available positions which includes a particular job description – information about expectations, duties and skills.
You like the look of what’s on offer, but are not sure how to respond. Let’s review a typical copywriting job description and look at what you need to include in your cover letter so that you will impress and stand out from the crowd.
XYZ Copywriting Position
We are currently looking for a motivated and creative copywriter who is committed to writing flawless original content. If you have a real passion for writing, the ability to get a message across in a clear concise manner, the perceptiveness to quickly understand what a client wants, and the discipline to meet strict deadlines, then XYZ Agency wants to hire you.
- Generating creative ideas for large-scale promotions
- Writing different types of copy depending on strategic goals
- Articulating the message the client is seeking to convey in written form
- Working alongside our marketing team to write entertaining and effective emails
- The ability to work to strict deadlines without compromising on work quality
- Strong attention to detail is essential
- Excellent presentation skills
- Strong research skills
Most job postings start with an introduction, or preamble, that gives an overall view of what expectations the employer has.
In the first paragraph of your cover letter, it’s important to address what is outlined here – but try to use the same style of language and tone without using the same words. Copying or paraphrasing sentences won’t work because you are being judged on your ability to create original content.
Explain just how motivated you are. Briefly give some details about the process you take to reach achieving ‘flawless original content’. Show you understand the need to ‘meet strict deadlines.’
You need to ask yourself the following question for each of the duties listed: ‘What motivated the employer to include this point?’ Understanding why the employer thinks a duty is important is the key step in writing a response in your cover letter that will impress.
‘Generating creative ideas for large-scale promotions’
The employer needs to feel comfortable that you can deal with high-end clients successfully. Are you able to act with tact and sophistication, bringing enough gravitas to the situation?
‘Writing different types of copy depending on strategic goals’
As there are many different types of copywriting services, you need to show that you can write copy that will engage and convert the reader in whatever medium is required.
‘Articulating the message the client is seeking to convey in written form’
Every job listing will directly or indirectly refer to dealing with clients. Show the employer that you know the basic requirements: the importance of liaising with the client on a regular basis, being able to carry out amendments that the client requires, adhering to the writing tone requested by the client.
‘Working alongside our marketing team to write entertaining and effective emails’
In many copywriting jobs, you’ll be expected to collaborate with others in the organisation. It might be with a creative team, an art director, a digital marketing manager, or a graphic designer. In any of these cases, you need to demonstrate you can be a supportive and productive team player – who helps to create harmony and synergy.
It’s important not to make positive assertions about yourself in your cover letter that are unsupported. Always give evidence to justify a claim by giving reasons or examples.
‘The ability to work to strict deadlines without compromising on work quality’
You might not think so at first, but working punctuality into your answer is a good idea. If you show that you are time-aware – you don’t miss work time, you don’t waste your colleagues’ time and you don’t keep clients waiting – then saying that you can work to deadlines makes sense.
‘Strong attention to detail is essential’
For this skill, you need to show that you’re very strong in writing accuracy in the final draft that you submit to your manager – in punctuation, spelling, verb tense and vocabulary choice.
‘Excellent presentation skills’
Being a good presenter is not just about knowing how to write or speak well. You need to show evidence of how you’ve demonstrated that ability. Give examples of meetings, workshops and conferences where you’ve given a presentation.
‘Strong research skills’
In almost every case when you write copy, you’ll have no expertise in what you’re writing about. Being a good researcher is an essential skill – researching the client, the industry, the competition – to ensure the quality and factual accuracy of your copy.
If you’d like to read more about the art of copywriting, look out for more blogs in this series. Or if you’d like to share your thoughts, contact me at [email protected].