How do I organize my writing samples?
October 19, 2007 3:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm applying for a job that wants me to include writing clips/samples in an email. How do I arrange these? I have no idea what writing clips should look like and how I should format them.
posted by elr to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
More info please — what is the job description? What kind of writing might you be asked to do as part of this job? What is your previous writing experience? We need more to go on in order to help you.
posted by Brittanie at 3:38 AM on October 19, 2007

Unless they specifically requested you not to attach the examples as a word document or pdf. E-mail can play havoc with your formatting; which doesn't look professional.
posted by Rc at 4:31 AM on October 19, 2007

A scan/PDF works, but check first. And I'd give a mini-summary of each one (a sentence or two) in the covering email.
posted by mdiskin at 4:43 AM on October 19, 2007

If they're looking for published writing samples, it's generally assumed that they're looking for the sample as close as possible to the actual presentation of the published clip. (So no rewriting!)

Of course, since they are asking for it in email, they must assume some people will send them plaintext copy-and-paste version, html web layouts, pdf conversions, or many other variations. Bottom line: if they don't specify what they, give it to them in the most convenient possible format for them, that (as a second concern) maximizes the presentation of your work. Without knowing what the recipient's organization is, I can't speak to which is better, but if they're web-savvy and technology-oriented pdf is usually a safe bet (but make sure your conversion settings keep the filesize small). On the other hand, if they're a cash-strapped low-tech operation, plaintext posted in the body of the email may be all they can handle.
posted by Eldritch at 5:34 AM on October 19, 2007

If you are meant to send them in the body of the email, send the email as plain text.

If they are okay with attachments, send PDFs.
posted by loiseau at 8:09 AM on October 19, 2007

My vote goes for PDF. They look professional, print well, and anyone can open it.

I do not work for Adobe.
posted by spakto at 11:05 AM on October 19, 2007

Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript is a great resource for any writing-related formatting question.
posted by kristymcj at 1:12 PM on October 19, 2007

I would agree with PDF. But definitely do what mdiskin says and give a mini summary in the body. If the stuff's on the web, include a link, too.

I just yesterday had someone tell me that she was very interested but couldn't figure out how to read any of the PDF files I sent.
posted by veggieboy at 4:52 AM on October 20, 2007

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