An American Editor

March 9, 2012

The Business of Editing: How NOT to Get Work

Filed under: Business of Editing — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
Tags: ,

About a month ago, I wrote The Business of Editing: Pricing Yourself Out of the Market When Applying for Work. I thought that pricing mistakes were the leading cause of why one doesn’t get work. Now I’m not so sure.

I recently received a job application in which the applicant wrote:

Minimum Acceptable Freelance Pay Price (Copyeditor): $ 25, per page

Minimum Acceptable Freelance Pay Price (Proofreader): $ 15, per page

Comments: I have no available work to show. Just give me any bullshit assignment, and let my work speak for itself. you will not be sorry. I am college student, looking to get into freelance writing/reporting. My only goal is to have articles published with my name on them and get payed (no matter how miniscule) for my words.

Aside from the obvious that the applicant never bothered to check out my website to see what we do, the comments provided would not induce me to consider this applicant at all. Nothing is right about the attempt other than it catches my attention in a negative manner. How many employers want to be told that their work is “bullshit”? And for those of us whose livelihood is word based, does “payed” inspire confidence?

Although noting one’s goal is laudatory, I would think that goal should be aligned with the prospective employer’s goals.

Accepting at face value that the applicant really is a college student, I wonder what the applicant is being taught and what the applicant has been taught about how the job world works. Needless to say, this applicant won’t be working for me.

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