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Asked by Rianne on May 22, 2017

I am a Paralegal by trade, and want to apply for a job opening. This employer has asked to include a creative writing sample with my resume. What is this employer looking for? I've never had anyone ask for this, so I'm not sure what they want.

Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on May 23, 2017

That is a great question! There are many different jobs that ask for a writing sample, even if writing may not be a key component of the job.  What does the employer want to know about you?  They want to know if you can organize your thoughts into a cohesive narrative, do you use appropriate vocabulary and grammar in your written communications, are you able to draft a structured message for a reader. 

Prior to providing this sample, the employer won't have had much opportunity to check out your skills in this area.  Resumes tend to be fairly short form, applications don't leave a lot of room for going into rich detail, so consider this an opportunity to express yourself professionally and thoroughly. 

Get in there and show them what you've got! Best of luck!

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Answered by Sara, Hiring Expert at Grace, on June 12, 2017

Grace also asks for writing samples when hiring in our legal department. Send a sample that you feel is the best representation of your work. It can be anything. I would look for the best sample you have, consider reactions and privilege issues, and review to ensure there are no mistakes. I have seen letters, statements to case, and summations to give you an idea of what type of samples will work. During the interview process, writing is usually not the focus; therefore, you can look at this as a non-verbal extension of your interview. Good luck.

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Answered by Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on July 5, 2017

Writing skills are needed across the organization, and strong communication skills are one of the things employers often prioritize.

Regarding the creative aspect -- I suggest taking a route within a subject that you are an highly proficient in. Maybe a certain type of law or courtroom situation? This is an excellent opportunity to show your expertise through more than just your (often) limited resume. 

Remember to have a peer or two (or three!) review your work. The more eyes on it before submitted, the better. 

Best of luck!

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