Q. How far back can I go when submitting writing samples to an agency requesting them? Some of my more creative writing was done in college at the student-run ad agency on campus, but the stuff I’m currently writing is pretty dry business-to-business focused. I’ve also written a couple of speeches and an op-ed piece for a former employer, but don’t know if I can lay claim to that writing. –PL
A. If you’re interviewing for a writing focused position, you should provide a wide array you prior work. Group your best work according to the type of writing performed (i.e. news releases, speeches, ads, best social media postings and even Tweets. Definitely include ghost-written articles and speeches.
Although it sounds like a lot of work, you might consider writing your own version of an ad for one of the agency clients. Don’t rewrite an existing ad, which might insult someone at the agency. Instead, pick a product from the company that isn’t being advertised and try your hand at a creative ad. That might help make up for some of the “dry” technical writing you’re currently producing. Don’t worry, agencies can get a good sense of your writing skills through your current work. Don’t go back too far in school unless you have one thing that you feel is especially representative of your writing and creative skills.