7 Career Lessons For Job Seekers After Hiring An Editor For My Second Book

7 Career Lessons For Job Seekers After Hiring An Editor For My Second Book

Writing books teaches you career and life lessons.

A while ago, I decided to write my second book, The Migrants Career Guide.

As a writer, I could not help but source for an editor.

I didn’t want to add the editing process to my busy schedule. It’s also too hard to see my mistakes, so hiring an editor was probably best for me.

When I wrote my first book, “Before Graduation Day”, I hired an editor on Upwork. It was one of the best decisions I made. The editor helped me refine my book and made it better. So, this time, I thought I would do likewise.

Hiring an editor can significantly improve your writing

I decided to go to Upwork to recruit again instead of using the same editor I used for my first book before graduation day.

I did this because I thought the target audience was slightly different, and I wanted someone with more experience in that field. I also thought getting a new perspective from another editor would be great.

Here are some career takeaways for job seekers I learnt while working with my new editor.

#1. Following Instructions Is Key

In my experience, following application instructions is key.

I have been burned by not following application instructions, so these days, I want to ensure I read the first instructions before taking action.

In my ad, I asked applicants to include the word “I love editing” in their application response. I added this measure to filter out applicants who didn’t read the job description.

Sadly, about 40% did not do that, and I did not progress these submissions.

Taking action is key, but only after you understand what you need to do and what is required.

By following application instructions, employers will know that:

  • You read the job ad
  • You know what they want
  • You are genuinely interested in the job
  • You can be trusted to pay attention to details 

#2. Think Ahead Of The Hiring Manager

Two candidates went ahead of me and submitted work samples before I asked them.

This process made it easy for me to quickly review their work and see if they would be a great fit.

In the end, I hired one of these two candidates.

Hiring managers often have to review your resume or work samples before determining whether they will move you on to the next steps.

Thinking ahead of the hiring manager shows:

  • You are proactive
  • You know what they want
  • You know what they are looking for

So next time, if applying for a role, stop and ask yourself what the next step in the process might be and try to supply anything ahead of time to get ahead of your competition.


#3. Make Your Credentials Visible

In this new world of work, seeing is believing.

Employers no longer buy hope. They want to see the real deal.

In my ad on Upwork, even though I haven’t specifically asked for a work portfolio, some sellers already went ahead of me by visiting my newsletter, picking one piece of content that resonated with them, and editing it to show what they could do.

Here are some benefits of adding a portfolio to your work:

  • You automatically reduce your perceived risk because employers can easily see you can do the job.
  • You talk less because you have showcased evidence of your skills
  • Improve your skills 

#4. Reach Out To Get Ahead And Boost Your Submission

In my job post on Upwork, some sellers contacted me privately to ask further questions.

These questions ranged from how soon I would like to finish the process to some related questions I was happy to answer.

When you reach out to a hiring manager this way, you immediately:

  • Put a spotlight on your application
  • Put yourself in the mind of the hiring manager
  • Skip the application queue — depending on the quality of your application

So, before you apply for any role, it might be worth contacting hiring managers to ask some good questions about the process. The benefits are numerous.

#5. Get In Early

In my ad, I started looking at the applicants to see who I would like to shortlist. I also started short-listing early in my subconscious mind.

When you have a job application, you want to apply early. Although applying early doesn’t mean you will get the job, but it has some benefits:

  • Put your front door early
  • You will make the cut if employers decide to close the application early
  • It helps you become more productive in your job search 

#6. Help Them Save Time

Like me, employers want to save time, and they like to keep it at all costs. And that may include finding processes to discard unwanted applications.

Sadly, this is how the world of work works.

Most hiring managers’ job is not to hire people.

The hiring process is just on the side, while the core job responsibilities are on the other side. Knowing this, you need to make their job easy by thinking like them, knowing how they feel, and making the process as simple for them as possible.

#7. Employers Are Looking For Like-For-Like

In my post, I was looking for editors who have edited non-fiction books.

I didn’t intend to hire a first-timer, nor did I plan to hire someone who hadn’t edited a book before.

Writing a book is a lot of work, so I needed to ensure I got the editing component right. I was no longer hoping. I wanted experience and expertise. I wanted an editor who knew what they needed to do and could get the ground running as soon as possible with minimal friction.

Hiring managers think like this as well.

  • They don’t want hopes — they want someone they can get the ground running ASAP.
  • Hiring costs time and money, so they try to get the perfect candidates who are fit for the role.
  • They don’t want disappointment or poor performance.

Thus, you should only apply to roles where you stand a chance of being shortlisted.

That is a role where you have relatable previous work experience or projects.

Don’t apply to roles because the job title fancies you and sells hopes to employers. You will most likely not make the shortlist.

Employers will make sure they hire the right person. They are putting money on the table and want to make sure they get quality services in return.

Closing Thoughts

Make it super easy for them to select you.

Applications are competitive, and employers only care about those who will be shortlisted for the next steps.

I know it’s unfair, but not everyone will make a final shortlist.

If you want to get on the shortlists, you have to make it easy for them to select you.

This starts with reading the instructions, applying early and thinking right ahead of the hiring manager.

Thank you for reading Career Digest from Banji Alo. This post is public so feel free to share it.

Interested in becoming a lifelong writer?

Steal the writing framework that helped me become a consistent writer and easily publish two books in 10 months.

Three Ways I Can Help You Advance Your Career

Whenever you are ready, here’s how I can help you advance your career goals.