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Writing Samples

boston college career center

Employers sometimes ask job candidates to include a writing sample with their cover letter and resume. This is most common for positions in research, the media, or advertising and public relations. Here are some guidelines for showcasing your best work.

Most writing samples should be two to five pages long

If you wish to use a longer piece of writing, extract a two- to- five page section of the larger work and introduce it with a paragraph that puts the selection in context.


Incorporate the elements of good business writing

Your piece should use concise language and concrete terminology, and it should not require readers to have any special knowledge of your topic.


Quality is the most important consideration

Choose a well-written piece over a piece that relates to the job but is not well crafted.


Some fields have special guidelines

Employers in journalism and advertising, for instance, often require a “portfolio,” while public relations firms may expect to see sample press releases. You can get more details by speaking with the employer.