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How I Beat Out 200 Applicants on the ProBlogger Jobs Board in 45 Minutes

Posted By Guest Blogger 17th of November 2016 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

How I Beat Out 200 Applicants on the ProBlogger Jobs Board in 45 Minutes

This is a guest contribution from Susan Finch.

Landing lucrative contracts from job boards that goes beyond paying your bills and actually sustains your lifestyle – it’s what every aspiring and highly experienced writer dreams about.

You may even dabble in applying for positions on job boards and experience mixed results. Maybe you’ve landed a few random clients, but have no idea if you just got lucky or hit on a winning technique. And as you accumulate more rejection emails than positive responses, you start to think finding success on job boards is a unicorn in the world of freelancing.

But in reality, landing work on highly competitive job boards is well within your grasp. I would know. I’ve landed several high-paying clients on the ProBlogger Job Board and similar sites. In fact, my last application on ProBlogger beat out 200 other freelancers and I won the job 45 minutes after I applied.

I don’t win these jobs because I’m more talented or smarter than the rest of the crowd. It’s because I take the time to figure out how to stand-out from that crowd and position myself for success. Here’s how I do it.

1. Devour the Job Posting

Thoroughly digesting and understanding a job posting is one of the easiest ways to beat out your competition on any job board. I’ve also hired freelancers from ProBlogger for my clients, and there’s an overwhelming trend in the responses. Freelancers seem to gloss over the most important parts of the job posting.

If a post talks about trying to increase a company’s content marketing and lead generation, then you need to talk specifically about that topic at length. Running through a laundry list of your skills, who you’ve worked with, and where you’ve been published tells a client almost nothing about how you can actually help them with lead generation. Connect your experiences and skills directly to what a client wants.

2. Follow Every Direction

Don’t skim your job postings. Savvy clients often request that you reference a code word in the subject heading. They also bury very specific details about what to do when applying. I won a job as the Managing Editor of a popular podcast because the client asked applicants to record a short video of themselves discussing their skills and posting it to YouTube. Despite hundreds of applicants, I was among the handful that actually followed instructions.

Clients aren’t just doing this to see if you’re capable of recording a video or following directions. They know they’re going to get a huge influx of responses and are purposefully weeding out the majority of applications. It makes their lives easier when someone doesn’t follow directions. And I guarantee they will not read your application anyway based on how talented you seem.

3. Research the Client

It’s tempting to think you can digest everything the client needs just by reading their job posting. But in reality, you know almost nothing about them except they’re hiring a writer or content manager.

Spend five minutes looking at their website or LinkedIN presence. Browse through their blog to see what type of content they’re publishing, and figure out how you could make it better. See who else they’ve worked for to get an idea of what they focus on. For example, a client who has worked extensively in graphic design, but is now running a content marketing firm is probably going to fixate on visuals. Include lots of information about the infographics you researched and created, as well as the high-converting Pinterest pins you designed.

4. Match their Tone

It only takes a few minutes to figure out your client’s brand personality by looking at their website, blog or LinkedIN presence. What type of language are they using? Are they friendly and sassy? Is their content highly journalist and in-depth?

You can seize upon that tone and match the style in your own applications. This can give the impression you are the absolute right fit and voice for the job. However, this isn’t about faking your personality. It’s simply about bringing relevancy and personality to your applications.

5. Offer Immediate and Actionable Suggestions

It usually takes me minutes to figure out if I can actually help a client. The job I won in 45-minutes was an easy assessment. I could see exactly where the holes were in his Pinterest strategy, precisely how I could help with content tweaks to gather more subscribers, and other easy and actionable tips. So I told him what I thought. Nothing I suggested was proprietary information that he couldn’t figure out on his own. But freelancers are there to make clients’ lives easier. Period.

I ended my email by telling him to run with any of my suggestions, even if he felt I wasn’t the right fit for the position. Why? Offering up your ideas to anyone who wants them commands attention, is generous, and can tip the scales in your favour. And if you don’t get the job after all? That person will remember your unique approach and think of you for positions down the road.

6. Make it Super Easy to Say Yes

Potential clients need to know how to best use your talents. They’re not going to study your resume, clips and online portfolio and figure out how to piece it all together. So just tell them how you can help and why. Share the results you’ve seen with other clients or your own personal projects.

When the time comes, tell them your salary expectations and terms. And let them know this can be re-evaluated in 3-months or a time of their choosing. Tell potential clients you can get started right away, and which initiatives or responsibilities would be the easiest and fastest to tackle. Make them see the value in hiring you immediately. Don’t make them guess.

With a little practice and refinement, you can dramatically increase your hiring rate from job boards and win big. The trick is staying persistent enough to nail down a winning formula that works for you.

Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content strategist that teaches you how to rock the job boards and find invisible clients at FreelancersGuidebook.com.


About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. Claudia Previn says: 11/17/2016 at 12:26 pm

    Deeply appreciate the information in this post! Also amused that there are TWO number-3 entries in the list.

  2. Hi Susan,

    Standing out from the crowd is crucial to landing any job. When you’re applying, I think it helps to compare it with writing a post that has great content – you simply want it to stand out from the rest.

  3. Totally agree! I’m always surprised how many people seem to think their resume should stand for itself. It really doesn’t work that way. You have to stand-out and also show them exactly why you’re a good fit and make it incredibly easy for them to connect all the pieces – all while writing a compelling cover letter.

  4. Finding a writer and matching voice to the author can be the hardest thing to do.

    And applying for a job with a unique approach, the approach will definitely become more memorable.

  5. Thanks for this tips. They are very useful in get a job on a job board especially when the competition is high. But the 4th point, i don’t think it works all the time because sometimes i use it and still loose out sometime

  6. Totally agree! I’m always surprised how many people seem to think their resume should stand for itself

  7. That’s inspiring to know. At least the good part to know about the internet is there’s job security in blogging, whether it be blogging for yourself as an independent contractor or working for someone else on their blogging network.

  8. Thanks for the detailed tips, I will surely use them in my next job search.

  9. Very impressive and inspiring. I love to read these different experiences. Problogger blog site is giving real viewpoint on many different issues. Thank you for sharing your Job application tips.

  10. Hey Susan,
    Before reading this post may be i was in the crowed of those people. But things are pretty clear to me now and all the points are nicely described in your post.
    Studying about the client is one of the important step we need to take before applying for any company or client and following their given instructions are another point. Thanks for sharing and letting us know all the facts.

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