How Building a Body of Work on Medium Can Help You Land Your Dream Job
Get the job you want while making an income on Medium!
Recently, I’ve been applying for writing jobs like a madwoman. I was reaching for the stars by applying for positions that I would’ve considered to be “out of my league” this time last year.
I will say, there are many writing jobs out there and the money is decent. The old adage of the “hungry writer” is no longer!
I am pleased to tell you that today I was offered a job with a huge technology publication as a “Social Media Technology Journalist”.
I got a writing job, guys!
So how did I build the confidence to get to this point? Medium. This platform gave me the opportunity to build my body of work quickly and find my writer’s voice in a short amount of time. I had to put in the “woman hours” but it was totally worth it!
I have written over 110 articles in many different niches on Medium. I even forced myself to write an article in the tech niche, and I am so glad I wrote that piece!
Writing in different niches gave me the confidence to branch out into different types of writing. It also ensures that I have a sample on a relevant topic to send potential clients and to use during any application process.
Some people would argue not to mention Medium in your cover letter, but this platform is becoming more recognizable in popular media in 2020.
It doesn't matter what the client thinks of Medium and other blogging platforms. If you’re a good writer, your body of work will speak for itself, no matter where it is showcased.
The best part? As you apply for jobs, your medium profile generate passive income, even if you’re not writing as much!
How Can Medium Help You While Applying for Writing Jobs?
You build an online portfolio
If a potential client wants to see your body of work, you can send them the link to your Medium profile.
It is convenient for both you and the client because your work is all in one place. As well, if the client is interested in someone with a large online presence and if you have a large following on Medium, this will impress them.
Many clients and employers are now taking your social media or online presence into account during the hiring process, especially if you’re applying for tech or social media-related jobs.
It helps you develop confidence in your writing and networking skills
You can write about many different topics to find out what you like and don’t like to write about.
I’d rather be a generalist than a specialist. I’ve found that learning and writing about different subjects is serving me better, both personally and professionally.
Writing about tech was my least favorite niche to dabble in, however, that article is the one I’ve used the most during my job hunt. Many remote writing jobs are for companies who are seeking writers in the field of technology. Consequently, a knowledge of social media and tech products is an invaluable asset.
It assists you in developing your writer's voice
Writing on Medium and blogging in general, will help you figure out what personality you want to convey as a writer. It took me a couple of months to find my voice as a writer and truthfully, I write as I speak and it’s worked well for me.
Be yourself, do not try and bite someone else's style. Start by writing as you speak, embracing who you are as a writer, and the rest will come.
You learn to write in an informal or conversational tone
Due to my Medical Administration degree, my background is in business and medical writing. I never used contractions until I started writing on Medium but I had to change my style to become more interesting to my audience.
Reading articles on Medium helped me change my tone. I didn’t copy off of other writers, I just observed what they did to sound more relaxed and adopted a casual tone that was all my own.
I can still “pull out” my business writing voice when it’s required but I generally write in an informal tone now. When my clients want a tone, I can give it to them since I’ve been practicing using a more conversational tone in my Medium articles.
You will become a better writer as you build up your content
My first articles were very dry. I was still stuck in what I had learned in college and writing as if I was stuck in a pantsuit in an office. Personally, I don't find this style fun to read.
I had the sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation part down pat, but I had to make it my own and improve my ability to connect with my audience. As I started to read other writers work, I changed my style to become more relaxed.
I wrote almost every day for four months and it really helped me improve. Medium is such a great platform for growth. I have seen so many other writers improve over a very short period of time from writing daily.
If you’re working on improving your use of the English language, or want to become a better writer: Just write more.
Your audience on LinkedIn and social media will grow quickly and you will get “fans” which may lead you to a client
I have a writer's account on Twitter and a LinkedIn account. People share my articles on Twitter and it always gives me a little rush of happiness and a few more followers.
Not only are the stories of the marginalized people I write about getting the attention they deserve, someone actually thinks my writing is good enough to share.
Again, it builds confidence and this confidence will give you the drive to apply for jobs you never thought you would get before.
There are thousands of writers on Medium that are also on LinkedIn. It’s a good way to connect to other writers and even clients.
You learn to take criticism and turn it into something of value
Writing changed me. Before I started writing professionally, I took professional constructive criticism as a personal attack, not good. I would let it ruin my day and I would harbor resentment towards whoever the bearer of bad news was.
I no longer think this way about criticism. Honestly, I think it’s because I finally found something I love to do for a job and I hunger to learn about it and become better at it. Also, I think receiving plenty of negative comments on Medium has also prepped me for the harshness of freelance writing.
Communicating with a client is a lot of editing and taking criticism. Now, I can do this without being offended at all.
Now, I consider criticism to be a gift.
How to Build Your Body of Work on Medium to Assist You in Your Job Hunt
This is advice that I was given by more senior writers on the platform several times and it is the best advice you will receive from this article.
It will be attractive to a prospective employer if you have written over one hundred articles on any platform. Not only does this show commitment but it also means you can love the craft of writing.
Also, the bigger and more diverse your body of work is, the easier it will be for you to pick a sample to send to a potential client or employer.
Start freelancing on Upwork or another site to build experience working for clients
I started using Fiverr a couple of months ago to get clients. I have one client who gives me pretty consistent work and five-star ratings. It is a good way to build your resume and get experience in the field.
It is also the best way to see if you actually like working as a freelance writer. You may get a client and decide it isn't for you. Please note: If you don't like editing or you don't take criticism well, don’t bother trying to freelance.
If any of your articles have gone viral, mention this in your profile!
Make yourself a writers’ C.V.
This is very simple. A C.V is a curriculum vitae, which is Latin for “course of life”. It is a more extensive version of a resume that lists your skills, core competencies, job experience, and certificates.
I made myself a writer C.V on my MacBook using a template on the pages application. It took me less than an hour and is one page. When I applied for the job, I sent this along with a well-written cover letter.
Employers enjoy receiving C.Vs because they are comprehensive and easy to read. I noticed that many writing jobs ask for a C.V, so I suggest making one before you start your job hunt.
Diversify your Medium portfolio
As much as I love writing in the self-help and writing niches, these are typically not the types of subjects a client will be interested in.
Be careful with controversial topics if you’re going to use your Medium profile to apply for jobs.
If you are going to use your Medium link to send to employers for a job application, I would make a second account if you want to write anything that could be deemed “inappropriate”.
At the beginning of this year, I branched out and wrote a tech product review article, which I sent with my application.
I simply downloaded my zip file in Medium’s site settings, opened the post in pages, and made sure the formatting translated (it didn’t and it needed to be fixed), and then I converted it to a Word file to attach to my application.
This tech article has served me well, as some clients want you to write reviews on products and the technology niche is huge in freelance writing right now.
Go outside of your comfort zone, it will reward you in the end!
Teach yourself to write in different styles
Business writing is a skill you should learn to master and practice if you plan to ghostwrite or freelance. Most of the work I’ve done for ghostwriting clients is in a formal tone.
Learn to write in different tones, being flexible in what you can deliver will help you become successful.
Keep using Medium as you apply for jobs
Don’t forget about the hand that fed you! Medium’s algorithm thrives on how often you post. Although I’m writing a book, ghostwriting, and have this new job, I will be continuing to post on Medium.
What can I say? I just love Medium!
Include your Twitter or LinkedIn handle at the end of your articles
One thing I have noticed about Medium is how well it ranks in Google. I wrote an article about a popular YouTube channel a couple of months ago and it ranked #3 in Google search.
How can this help you? Well, if you write about a trending topic and post your writers bio with your LinkedIn or Twitter handle, a potential client can contact you and offer you work.
The more eyes on your work, the more opportunities for employment!
Don’t be afraid to take risks and celebrate your achievements on Medium when applying for jobs.
If you don’t apply for that high-paying job, you have no chance of landing that high-paying job.
If you are an editor of a publication, that’s a lot of work. It also shows you that you have editorial work experience and leadership skills. If your article went viral, that is valuable to some employers who want visible writers. If you have written a large number of articles, that shows you have the commitment and drive to be a hard-working employee.
Medium is allowing you to develop skills that will be very valuable in your job hunt. It’s up to you to use your gift of the written word to convey the value of that experience to your prospective employers and clients.
Amy Sarah is a freelance writer who hails from a small city in Canada. She enjoys interacting with fellow writers, dreaming of ideas for her next article, and researching a myriad of topics.