According to Statista, before 2020, only 17% of the American workforce worked remotely for five or more days per week. As of 2020, that percentage rose to 44%.
Change in Remote Work Trends in the United States in 2020
Image credit: Statista
Fortunately, the shift didn’t affect the need for proposal writers. Startups and businesses worldwide need capable writers to help write proposals and score either business deals or grants.
Since proposal writers rely on more than writing to get their job done, remote work can significantly impact the proposal process. For some, it comes internally (blurring the line between work and private life), and for others, the change is due to the client’s or employer’s demands.
Here, we’ll explore what proposal writers do and how their work habits shift with remote work.
What is a Remote Proposal Writer?
A remote proposal writer works away from the office to create proposal content for companies and nonprofits. Most commonly, the proposal is either a business proposal or a grant proposal. A proposal aims to convince the client of taking immediate action by highlighting the benefits of such activities.
For instance, if a nonprofit is looking to get a government grant, a proposal writer will write proposals that cater to grant provider rules and point out why the nonprofit should get the grant. Generally speaking, proposals help various organizations with internal business development.
Remote proposal writers work outside the company’s location either part-time or full-time. Another example is freelance writers. Freelancers are typically remote workers, but a remote-working writer isn’t necessarily a freelancer.
Like for remote technical writers, remote work doesn’t inherently change the proposal writer’s duties, but challenges might come with the sudden change.
Creating Proposal Content Remotely
Similar to creating technical content, proposal writing is more than writing. We can split the proposal process into three steps:
- Research – Before writing proposals, the writer needs to research its client to determine requirements and strengths for creating a compelling proposal.
- Communications – Since writers can’t be subject matter experts in all fields, research depends on communication with the proposal team and the proposal manager.
- Writing – Only after the writer has all the information should they start writing. Proposals follow templates, but how they fill out the space relies on the previous two steps.
On top of that, proposal writing is usually a fast-paced job, and writers need to meet deadlines. An opening for a grant has its time limit, and missing that opportunity renders the proposal useless.
If you’re a proposal writer working full-time for a company, you can see how remote work might affect each of the three steps.
Gathering research content is more difficult when all you have is a computer instead of the usual company resources. While you still have access to technical solutions such as the content management system (CMS) and the proposal database (if the company runs one), you’ll have to contact fellow proposal writers or your manager.
An hour of waiting for a Zoom call or a message, and you end up struggling to meet the proposal schedule. Small bumps in the overall proposal management and scheduling can leave a proposal writer with far less time to create even the first draft.
Although proposal writer remote responsibilities don’t change, the way you approach the work does. You have to be more proactive and work closely with remote teams to meet the requirements.
But what if you’re just starting as a writer and you’re hunting for proposal writer remote jobs?
Job Alert – Finding Proposal Writer Remote Jobs
Some people enjoy remote work, while others have a hard time adjusting. But a high 97% of current remote workers highlight that they would like to maintain a certain degree of remote work in the future.
If you’re currently looking for a remote opportunity, no matter if it’s as a freelancer or in the private or public sector, you probably have a couple of job alerts lying dormant.
But, there are two main difficulties you should know.
First of all, the likelihood of landing a remote job depends on the job title or seniority. Since companies are still adjusting to remote work, most prefer to keep the senior leadership team close to home.
Furthermore, when sending remote job requests to employers, your competition isn’t local. For example, if you and the company are in North Carolina, that isn’t stopping candidates in San Francisco or New York from sending job requests.
Naturally, the more experience you have (both as a proposal writer and a remote worker), the easier it gets. But if you’re just starting, it can be pretty tricky.
Here are two tips that can help you find proposal writer remote jobs.
- Besides conventional job databases, use platforms such as Upwork. Although a freelance platform, many employers are offering long-term jobs.
- Instead of passively waiting for the latest job alert to buzz, use your free time to improve your writing chops by taking proposal writing courses.
You might be skeptical about working with online clients. Still, most companies emphasize being an equal opportunity employer when it comes to aspects such as salary, gender identity, national origin, and sexual orientation. In other words, you can find professional employers that can also help you master remote work.
Since remote work and proposal writing are two different bags, let’s explore general requirements and responsibilities a proposal writer has.
Proposal Writing Experience & Responsibilities
No matter if you’re seeking proposal writer remote jobs or in-office opportunities, there are general qualifications and responsibilities. First, let’s see what it take to be a proposal writer.
Here are the general requirements for a proposal writer.
- Education – Typically, employers prefer writers with a minimum bachelor’s degree in journalism, English language, or a related field. While a bachelor’s degree opens doors to more jobs, you can compensate with experience or certification.
- Experience – Candidates should have several years of proposal writing experience. The range depends on the job title and seniority.
- Technical Knowledge – Proposal writers need advanced knowledge in M.S. Office Suite or similar software.
- Business & Grant Knowledge – While nobody expects proposal writers to be subject matter experts (SMEs), you need to have an advanced understanding of the business and grant ecosystem.
If you’re interested in getting a proposal writing certification, then check out Technical Writer HQ’s proposal writing certification.
To develop content that ensures proposals and collects compelling responses from relevant stakeholders or grant providers, remote writers have several responsibilities.
We touched upon the general process of researching, communicating, and writing. But several duties come with each step.
- Information gathering and creating proposal content.
- Find and include visuals for more compelling responses.
- Create new content to support the current proposal version.
- Create solutions for clients’ requests.
- Find and interview expert candidates on unfamiliar topics.
- Develop and update strategies for compliant proposal responses.
- Work with other team members.
- Provide marketing support for finished proposals.
- Review existing content and create favorable response strategies.
There are additional responsibilities a proposal writer can have depending on their company, niche, and related field. As a senior, you’ll focus more on development and management, while interns concentrate on writing and similar technical jobs.
Remote & In-Office Salary Differences
While remote work can seem like a degradation, the reality is quite different. According to the 2022 Payscale research, employees with complete remote jobs have higher overall salaries than people who don’t.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s not as simple as comparing two numbers. As Payscale points out, people with 100% remote jobs earn 23.7% more when the data doesn’t account for job titles and impacting elements. If we consider all necessary factors such as the company, location, and bonus, remote workers earn 1.9% more.
The most surprising data is that people who report working remotely and in-office seem to earn the highest compensation. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that hybrid work is the driving factor for a higher salary. For example, people in higher management positions have to be present at the company more than other employees.
The average salary for a proposal writer in the U.S. is $64,472 per year. There doesn’t seem to be any compensation differences between proposal writer remote jobs and in-office jobs.
Since a remote position is a new norm, we rely on technology more than ever to get our jobs done. While remote work doesn’t necessarily impact what we do, it does affect how we do our job, including writing proposals.
If you’re applying for proposal writer remote jobs, it’s not about improving your writing skills. It’s gaining skills that make you efficient in remote surroundings.
Depending on how the trend develops, candidates with remote work experience might gain an additional edge over the competition. Regardless of whether you’re already working remotely or not, always look for opportunities to step up your game. Good luck.
Here you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about proposal writers.
How to become a proposal writer?
To start as a proposal writer, you need similar previous experience, a college degree, or a certification. Either way is a solid foundation to start your career, and although not impossible, getting your first job can be challenging without one. When checking C.V.s and resumes (modern companies use software), employers usually filter out the first batch of candidates based on education before digging deeper.
What does a proposal writer do?
A proposal writer’s job is to develop strategies and write proposals that support a company’s interest with a third-party entity. The entity can be another business with which the company is looking to build a partnership or a government agency offering a grant.
What makes a good proposal writer?
A good proposal writer is someone who locates the core advantages and disadvantages of a particular company and utilizes them for the company’s benefit in the form of written proposals. A good proposal writer focuses more on researching than creating a proposal.
If you are new to proposal writing and are looking to break-in, we recommend taking our Proposal Writing Certification Course, where you will learn the fundamentals of being a proposal writer and how to write winning proposals.