You just spotted the writing job of your dreams, sent off your CV and you’re basking in the thought of the shiny, new job that seems made just for you. When the email reply from the company hits your inbox, the delight courses through your veins… until you realize they’re asking you to complete a job aptitude test.
Home assignments are a really big part of recruitment when it comes to skills like writing, design and coding. In our field especially, it’s vital that we send a writing test to get a better understanding of an applicant’s ability to do research, use that research when they write, apply our brand voice and more.
If you’re daunted by the test for that writing job of your dreams, here are some of the top tips our guild leaders have to offer when it comes to completing your writing test for a job:
Rebecca Pakin, Localization Team Lead
“Before doing anything else, read the instructions closely, several times and feel free to ask for more information. I believe that asking for more details (if relevant) shows that you really care about the position you are applying for.”
Daniel Zafer, Head of UX Text
“Make sure that you test all the features you’re writing about. If a writer hands in a test without taking the time to get to know the feature for themselves, it’s a big red flag for us. You wouldn’t write about a restaurant without first trying the food, so why write about a product without trying it for yourself?”
Anat Sivan, UX Team Lead
“In a good UX writing exam, I feel like the product is telling me a story that I can follow. From one screen to the next, there’s continuity and consistency. Put yourself in our users’ shoes and think about their state of mind. Always consider where they’re coming from, what they have to do at the moment and where they’re going next – with every word you write!”
Aviva Mandell, Marketing Writer
“Writing is subjective! There’s always more than one way to say something, so if you come up with a couple of options that you think work, include them. But don’t overdo it. 🙂 2 or 3 options in your writing test are great if the text is strong, but 5 options for every element of the test tells the reviewer that you’re unsure of yourself.”
Na’ama Oren, Wix Writers’ Guild Lieutenant
“Text is a conversation and when it comes to what you’ve written, it can be hard to look at it with an objective eye. That’s why I always recommend that writers do 2 things: read the text out loud to hear how it sounds (If it doesn’t sound natural, it won’t read that way either.); and edit with a very careful eye. (Typos are a big no-no.)”
Daniel Zafer, Head of UX Text
“Show don’t tell. When reviewing job aptitude tests, I much prefer to look at a candidate’s approach for myself, rather than read extensive notes about what their approach is and how it should be understood. As a writer, your text needs to be able to stand up for itself. If your words aren’t compelling without notes to support them, then keep working till they are.”
The next time you’re given a writing test for a job, think about these tips. They can guide you in completing your writing test and, hopefully, play a valuable part in landing you that writing job you really, really want.
By the way, did you catch our article on how to nail your writing interview?
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