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Job Proposals

How to Write a Job Proposal

Poor economic conditions have created a distressed job market that has left weary job seekers scrambling to land desirable positions. Such desperate times call for creative job seeking methods.

If you are conducting a job search, one method that might put you above the competition is to submit job proposals to prospective employers.

What is a job proposal?

A job proposal explains how a candidate will help a company solve a problem, meet a goal, or effectively fill a gap in its workforce. It is similar to a resume in that it lists an individual’s skills, experience, and achievements, but it also discusses specifically how a candidate will help the company meet its needs.

A job proposal should include an analysis of the company’s problems and offer a plan to successfully address the problem. Its goal is to persuade the company that you – among all the potential candidates – are the best person to fill a gap its workforce. It should be based on your knowledge of the company and its industry, and it should thoroughly explain why you will be a valuable asset to the company.

What information should it contain?

The job proposal is based on facts and should include the following information:

What format should be used for writing a job proposal?

Like resumes, job proposals do not have to be written in one particular format. For instance, a job proposal can be written in letter form or as a separate document attached to a brief cover letter. The most important things are to focus on the prospective employer’s needs and present the information in a logical order and an easy-to-read format.


The proposal should not be too long. One to five pages is appropriate in most cases. Presenting only the facts that pertain to the company’s problem and your ability to solve it should help keep the page count down.

To make the proposal easy to read and understand, use bulleted and numbered lists, headings, white space, and charts and graphs.

When should a job proposal be used?

There are several situations in which submitting a job proposal might be effective. You will have to use your knowledge about the employer and your intuition to make that decision. You might, however, consider submitting proposals under the following circumstances:

Applying for an advertised position

A resume may still be the most effective way to answer a job posting or advertisement, particularly if you are submitting it online. But a job proposal might stick out from the hundreds of resumes that a company may receive. One idea is to submit a resume and follow-up with a job proposal. It really depends on the situation and your thoughts about it.

Changing careers

Making a career change from one industry to another can be a daunting experience. It often requires creativity and persistence. A job proposal can help you show a prospective employer why it should hire you over candidates who have more experience in the industry.

Obtaining a full-time position after completing an internship

An internship provides an excellent opportunity to learn about a company and observe its strengths and weaknesses. Your interest in working for the company, belief that you can help it solve problems, and skills and experience acquired during your internship will help you develop a persuasive proposal for full-time employment.

Attaining a promotion

There are several obstacles that might prevent an employee from securing a promotion. For instance, an employee’s performance in a particular position might be so outstanding that the employer may not want to replace them.  An employee may also get passed over for promotions because management does not have a complete picture of their talent and abilities.

If you are having difficulty attaining a promotion, submitting a job proposal to management will showcase your knowledge, experience, and skills. It will also demonstrate problem solving skills and show that you are proactive and forward thinking.

Following-up on an interview

After an interview, it is customary to send thank you notes to the interviewers. These notes can also be used to clarify comments made in the interview, express enthusiasm for the position, or make important points that were not discussed during the interview. By submitting a job proposal in addition to a thank you note, you might improve your chances of getting a second interview and eventually a job. The first interview gives you the opportunity to gather inside information about the company, which can be used to persuade the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job.

Some do’s and don’ts when writing job proposals.

The goal of the job proposal is to prove  that you will be a valuable asset to the company. Listed below are suggestions that will help accomplish this goal.


  1. Conduct thorough research on the company and industry.
  2. Introduce new ideas for solving the company’s problem or adding value to the company.
  3. Present your knowledge, skills, and experience with confidence.
  4. Show enthusiasm for the position and the company.
  5. Discuss the company’s strengths as a way to present a balanced analysis.
  6. Identify an advocate within the company who will champion your cause.


  1. Don’t skim over the company analysis. (It is the basis for selling yourself to the company.)
  1. Don’t come off as a know-it-all and risk insulting the company.
  2. Don’t overload the proposal with jargon.
  3. Don’t include too much information (prioritize your points and present the most important).
  4. Don’t rush through the research and writing process. (It will take time to write a well-crafted proposal.)

A job proposal can put you on the road to career success.

Given the current state of the job market, job seekers must use various methods to secure positions that fit their career goals and employment needs. This includes sending resumes, networking, and placing cold calls to employers. The job proposal is one more tool that can help job seekers rise above the competition.

Although writing a job proposal can be time consuming, it is worth the effort for several reasons. First, it is a marketing tool that can help you get your foot in the door. Second, it will help you deepen your knowledge about an industry. Third, it can help you build your professional network. Fourth, you will improve your analytical, research, and writing skills.

It may be a little scary to break away from the traditional resume. But creativity and courage are important for obtaining a position in this volatile job market.


Chabon-Berger, Toby. Write a job proposal that's more than modest: Tell employers what you can do for them. Palm Beach Post http://www.palmbeachpost.com/jobs/content/jobs/resources/stories/jobs_proposal_main.html (accessed June 8, 2009)

Hanson, Katharine. Writing a proposal to create new position for yourself. Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog http://www.resumesandcoverletters.com/tips_blog/2009/01/writing-a-proposal-to-create-n.html (accessed June 8, 2009)

Laurent and Benon Management Consultants Ltd. Use a job proposal, not a resume! http://www.blogcatalog.com/blog/laurent-and-benon-management-consultants-ltd-1/45da73932d80d3d134487057ac7ba79d (accessed June 8, 2009)

Copyright 2009 Katherine Williams. All rights reserved.

© 2014 Katherine Williams. All rights reserved.

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