3 Reasons You’re Not Getting Hired (And What To Do Instead)

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Wondering why you aren’t getting hired?

Well. I went straight to the source…

And asked business owners in the Posse community exactly what red flags turn them off from moving forward when hiring or interviewing someone… 

And they did not disappoint with their feedback!

So in this blog, we’re going to talk about some of the most common mistakes & errors that copywriters make when applying for jobs or sending cold outreach emails…

That could be totally sabotaging your chances. PLUS at the end, I’ll tell you exactly what to do instead – to help you stand out, land more interviews & get hired

Hey, Posse! What’s up? It’s Alex. 

I am so excited for this blog because it’s a JUICY one. 

But before I spill the tea…

Make sure to comment below if you want to see more blogs like this. And don’t forget to join my Copy Posse newsletter for when my next tutorial goes LIVE. 

Now… a few week’s ago I posted this across all my social channels, Asking business owners to share the “deal breakers” and red flags that automatically would disqualify a copywriter from getting an interview or moving forward in the hiring process…

And my biz owners over on LinkedIn did NOT disappoint. 

With 50 comments and counting, this post is full of great insight ALL freelancers to consider. 

Now I’m not going to cover every single comment in this blog, but I will be talking about the common themes I saw come up over and over again. 

Now the first red flag we need to talk about… 

Red Flag #1 – Poor Attention To Detail

This business owner shared,“One major red flag is a lack of attention to detail in their initial pitch or application. If I see errors or slopping writing, I immediately move on to the next candidate. Another deal breaker for me is a copywriter who doesn’t take the time to understand my brand and target audience.

OMG – you guys, this is literally golden feedback

And as a business owner myself who hires freelancers all of the time – AND gets tons of cold outreach emails & DMs… I could not agree more with this! 

I can spot a templated, mass-sent, or generic pitch from a mile away – and so can other business owners. 

And what they say about taking the time to understand the brand & target audience is so important. 

Business owners don’t want trigger applicants!!! 

We want people who take the TIME to:

  • Actually get to know the brand
  • What we’re about…
  • Who we serve
  • And what we do…

And we want to see that you KNOW all of that, are excited by it, and know exactly what we need to make an even bigger impact. 

I know it’s tempting to go out there and send out 100 cold outreach emails – because the more you send, the higher likelihood you’ll hear back… right?!


Unless those cold outreach emails are personalized and detailed… you’re basically just wasting your time

Alright, let’s move on to the next one… 

Red Flag #2 – Doesn’t Understand Big Picture

This business owner shared “Another red flag to add to the list is when they don’t understand click paths. How an ad link to a landing page, to an email, to a sales page. Because they don’t understand those connections they don’t think through words on buttons, subject lines on emails, how to chunk the copy. All of that connecting context is worth paying for in someone who understands that I’m not paying for copy, I’m paying for an outcome.

WOW. That last sentence says it all – I’m not paying for copy, I’m paying for an outcome. 

This is what I’ve been teaching for years inside my programs…

Copywriters need to be more than “word-pumper-outters”. Copywriters are WRITERS who specialize in MARKETING

This means you have to know and understand marketing in order to be successful. 

If you don’t actually understand how a marketing funnel works… 

How the pieces fit together to seamlessly move a lead through the stages of awareness and to eventually (hopefully) becoming a customer….

Then you’re not thinking of the big picture and the words you write will NOT be very impactful. 

This is exactly what I teach my students inside my 8-week copywriting course, the Launch FilesI don’t just teach them how to write some nice-sounding words…

I teach them what a marketing funnel is, how it works, and YES how to write each asset effectively and powerfully to move customers through the funnel. 

This stuff is so important to understand as a copywriter –  and if you don’t understand it, you honestly should not be applying for COPYWRITING jobs yet. 

You can learn all about the marketing funnel here on my blog or enroll my 8-week course for a more direct and fast-tracked approach

But you NEED to learn what you’re doing and understand the big picture – otherwise, you’re doing yourself a disserve and again… probably wasting your time. 

Alright and moving on the red flag #3…

Red Flag #3 – Lack of Portfolio

Here’s another one… “The biggest red flag I’ve come across so far is a lack of portfolio pieces that show the kind of writing I’m looking for. ‘I’ve never done that befor ebut me and I’ll do my best’ is like playing Russian Rouletter with my time and money…. I’m going to always go with the writer who has a portfolio demonstrating success

PHEW. So much to say about this. 

First, she nailed it – having a portfolio is crucial – absolutely crucial if you want to get hired.

You need to be able to demonstrate the type of copywriting and work you can provide. PERIOD. This is SO much more important than a CV or resume.

Even if you haven’t technically been hired before, you can still put together a copywriting portfolio filled with samples that you’ve created… 

And again, this is EXACTLY what I help you do inside my 8-week copywriting program. 

Now the only part of this I want to clarify is where she says she wants to see a portfolio demonstrating success.

I think if you’re looking for a premium copywriter with loads of experience, this is totally fine to expect.

But, even for more experienced writers,  “success” is a tough to quantify…

There are SOOO many factors that go into a successful campaign – copy is just one of them…

And unless a writer gets conversion metrics directly from their clients (and many don’t share that info) what does success actually look like?

So when I hire a writer, what I want to see first and foremost is their skills.

I want to see that they can write juicy, benefit-rich, personality-filled copy that sounds like ME

And most importantly, I want to see that they are EXCITED to work with my brand, eager and willing to learn and accept feedback, and that they can easily mold their writing to match my brand voice


So that’s how you DON’T get hired. 

Now let’s talk about how you CAN get hired. 

I get questions from new and aspiring copywriters all the time asking me how to get clients…

And the first question I always ask is…

Well, how many jobs have you applied for?

To which they inevitably say “zero” or “a few.”

Look – no one said finding your first few clients is gonna be a piece of cake. 

Whether you like it or not, it WILL take work. 

You will likely hear a lot more NOs than YESes, especially in the beginning. 

But there are some things you CAN do to stand out and get hired… 

Check out this #win one of my Launch Pad students posted in our private Facebook group – just 3 weeks after the program ended….

“I landed 3 clients, one of whom was from the job board. He said that finding the Copy Posse has been a God send because every applicant he’s spoken to has provided high-value advice/strategies and each portfolio was professionally put together…. His main problem was just picking ONE of the many pros to work with.”

Everything you need to know about standing out and getting hired lies in a little paragraph. 


This client was SO IMPRESSED by the Copy Posse grad applicants that he had a hard time selecting just one of them… 

What did they do that made them stand out so much?

Well first they put in the work to actually APPLY: by

  • Following instructions
  • Paying attention to detail
  • And personalizing their pitch

Then they put together a professional portfolio with a variety of copy assets demonstrating they understand how every asset in the marketing funnel works and flows together…

And finally, they showcased their expertise by adding massive value during the discovery calls…

That’s all you really need to know!

And if you want help with all that, then make sure to check out my 8-week copywriting program – the Copy Posse Launch Files.

I hope this was helpful for all of you copywriters out there trying to find and land new clients. 

Remember – if you put in the effort, stay consistent, and build your experience

It will pay off!

Keep going! I’m rooting for you. 

Until next time, I’m Alex – Ciao for now! 

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