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Winning Assignments Via Good Emails: 

If you are bidding for a freelance writing assignment, the quality of your emails to the work provider matters. After all, you are bidding for a writing assignment. This means that the client will first judge your capabilities by how you introduce and portray yourself. If clothes make the man, then his or her words make the writer.

In many cases today, emails have degenerated to offensively abbreviated messages. Assignment seekers seem to assume that the quality of their emails is not as important as their actual work. The point is that many prospective clients will ignore badly worded emails containing chat-like abbreviations, spelling errors and grammatical bloopers. They are looking for serious writers who take pride in their writing skills – not a chat conversation.

Here are some pointers on effective email writing to help you get that assignment:

  • State your business clearly in the subject line – For example: ‘Application for freelance assignment’, ‘Response to your advertisement for freelance writers’, etc. In direct email offers of work, the client will have used such a subject line. Simply hit ‘reply’ while answering – do not change the subject line.
  • Be brief and to the point – Do not bore the client with long introductions. Get to the point. State your name, experience as a writer and express interest in getting work. End with your complete contact details and your service charges, if required at this stage.
  • Include your CV and samples – Attach your CV, duly formatted for freelance writing purposes. In most cases, the client is not interested in your future career aspirations and detailed educational background. Only your experience and validity as a writer is of relevance. Ensure that the samples you attach are from your best work to date, even if they do not conform directly to the client’s subject requirements. If they do, that is even better.
  • Run a spell check and grammar check before sending – Most email platforms feature these today. If yours does not, write your email in Word first and run a spell and grammar check. Then copy it into your email window.
  • Maintain the right tone – Be businesslike and straightforward. Do not use superfluous words or language. Also, ensure that you use technical or business jargon sparingly. While you do need to impress your client at this stage, you do NOT want to intimidate him or her.

Good luck with your assignment hunt. Remember that every email you send is your visiting card to people whom you may never meet in person.

Arun Chitnis


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