So, you’re looking for an article writer, but aren’t sure how to select the best candidate. Maybe this is your first time hiring a writer, or perhaps you’ve been burned by a past writer you hired. No matter the reason for your hesitancy, check out these tried and true ways of finding quality writers and leave the missed deadlines, plagiarism and other problems at the door.

Don’t let a bad writer spoil your company’s image.

Professional Cover Letter and Resume

Are the cover letters you receive well-written and do they provide the information requested in your job posting? Is a writing candidate’s resume free of errors and easy to scan? If a potential writer can’t even draft a quality cover letter or a resume without typos, the candidate certainly won’t be able to handle your company’s writing assignments.

A Proper Education

People who are bored with their day jobs and who would like to ‘give writing a try’ are a dime a dozen. They’re also the ones to avoid. While you could select a writing newbie and pay the individual less than an experienced writer, don’t do it. Chances are slim that the newbie will stick it out and submit a polished piece when the writing times get tough.

Instead, go for a writer with a college degree in journalism or English. Contrary to the beliefs of some, writing isn’t easy, and you need an educated writer with a professional degree on your team.

Writing Samples

Yet, even some well-educated writers can’t write well. As such, request writing samples from all candidates. Immediately remove from the job pool those who can’t provide samples. Review all samples for fluff, flow, accuracy and tone. What is the topic of each sample? Reward extra points to writing samples that are on the same topic as your industry. Was each sample written for a professional client or as a college assignment? Well-polished and professional pieces will lead you to the best writers.

Website or LinkedIn Profile

Most professional writers have a website or a LinkedIn profile. Check a writer’s website for references, writing samples and other insight on the individual’s writing history. Review LinkedIn profiles for endorsements and recommendations.

Also, run a Google search on all candidates. This can lead you to additional writing samples, clues to each writer’s online presence and any dirty secrets a candidate may not want you to find.

Prompt Test Article Submission

Does the potential writer submit your test article assignment in advance of the deadline? And, yes, you should assign test articles to all potential writers. If a candidate can’t even submit the test article on time or submits the assignment at the last minute, these are sure signs that the same problems or worse will occur with the real project.

In addition to checking the quality of writing, thoroughly review any test articles you receive for inaccuracies, plagiarism and sloppy editing. These are red flags of an inexperienced, inattentive writer.

Weed out the wannabes and rely on professional writers instead.

Finding a qualified writer who can handle your writing assignments can be difficult and stressful. However, look for clues such as the quality of writing samples and the online presence of each writer to uncover the best candidate.