Leah Zitter

Leah Zitter

Answer Ads Late

FundsforWriters.com | January 10th, 2016 | http://freelancersmarket.com/answer-ads-late/

I am contrarian to the bone. When everyone masses in one direction, I squat in the other. And so it goes with job-seeking in freelance writing.Job-seekers are advised to answer ads within twelve hours of their appearance. Wait too long, we are told, and competitors will bop you. After all, recruiters dislike clicking through reams of digital resumes and several hirers, according to Alison Green author of Ask a Manager.com, either call the first five incoming qualified applicants or respond to the top five resumes that dominate their stack.

Says she:

Apply as soon as you know you’re interested, because if you wait, you may miss the window of opportunity entirely. (For all you know, they’re near the end of their hiring process.)

And so it is with freelance writers. Maybe particularly so with writers. Supply is higher than demand. Competition is ferocious. Some of these competitors may sound tastier than you particularly if they whittle their price down to cents. Remember the proverb that “the early bird catches the worm.” Shouldn’t you be this bird lest worm be gulped by another?

Or maybe there’s another way to get the worm?

Reverse direction.

Differentiating myself has been my life’s achievement. I imagine that norms are images on Photoshop canvasses so I crop, flip or rotate them to assess results. Sometimes, manipulations yield wonders.

As in this case.

I answer freelancer-recruiting adverts several months late.

The idea first came to me on Carol Tice’s job-board. Carol advertises her Board as Junk-Free but she fails to mention that the first jobs are snatched up as soon they reach freelancers’ eyes. I salivated for that Board. But as soon as I looked at those first few listings, I despaired. Advertisements of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday had been chewed off. And then on a whim, I scrolled down to the bottom — two years ago — and recklessly dispatched queries:

_Hey Mr. X:

I noticed your ad on Make a Living Writing.com. I’m a writer who can professionally and punctually do your job. Are you still looking?_ (Note: this was not my literal query).

Four out of five recipients answered affirmatively.

I didn’t land the jobs. I wasn’t good enough. But I came away with a mesmerizing idea. How about if I answered ads late? Very late? I would have hirer’s unswerving attention and he’d see how good I am!

Scientific researcher that I am, I experimented with random adverts. I checked terms such as ‘writer wanted’, ‘blogger wanted’, and so forth and queried ads that were four months, eight months, one year old. I received responses and got at least one column from the results.

I could relax. I didn’t have to browse Monster et al. before breakfast nor did I have to have to click each and every Alert. I could focus on my work and have the pick of advertisements because the latest bird caught the worm.

And it made sense. Mr. or Mrs. Smith were disgruntled by previous freelancers. They may have not wanted to advertise again when along came brilliant I. And Mr. and Mrs. Smith had all the time in the world. I was one resume amongst none. And so Mr. or Mrs. Smith sampled my profile and gladly lifted the phone and hired me.

So, reader, if you want to get that job: Ignore the experts. Wait till the ad is stale. Maybe a month or two. And answer it then.

Makes sense?