Proposal Writer Job Description Example
Proposal writers conduct research and write business proposals that help a specific company get the funding.
The company must have a stellar proposal as it can improve or break their business. Small businesses especially are on a constant lookout for government grants that help them kickstart their project.
As such, proposal writers are precious, but the job also requires more refined writing skills. Furthermore, it's not enough to create informative copies, but you need skills that go outside your comfort zone.
Our proposal writer job description will explain everything you need to know.
Proposal Writer Job Description Template
No matter if you're an employer or a job hunter, a great proposal writer job description should list more than skills and responsibilities. For employers, it ensures they get the right candidates. For proposal writers, it helps them get a better overview of the job.
Here’s a template for a proposal writer job brief that you can use:
“Our company is looking for a professional proposal writer with at least X years of experience to join our team full-time.
As a proposal writer, you’ll create all segments of a proposal, research and collect data, interview experts, and edit the existing proposal segments based on the feedback.
Your efforts will result in finished proposals that help clients win grants and business deals.”
While this is the skeleton, you still need to provide details such as requirements, responsibilities, and salary.
Proposal Writer Requirements (Education & Skills)
It's not impossible to jump straight into the lion's den and learn proposal writing while you work. But that approach is time-consuming and quite frustrating. It's much easier with proper education and skills.
Here are the general education and skills proposal writers need.
Although not every proposal writer job description will list educational requirements, according to Zippia, around 75.1% have a bachelor's degree or certification, and 15.5% have a master's degree.
In other words, although it's not 100% necessary, having at least a bachelor's degree or certification will make proposal writer job hunting easier.
Finally, the most common college degrees that proposal writers have are in English language, journalism, communications, or another related field.
Like in a grant writer job description, required proposal writer skills need to reflect the writer's ability to create simple yet convincing copies.
When looking for qualified applicants, most employers and contractors list the following capabilities in their job description:
- Write copies convincingly and straightforwardly with a consistent tone.
- Presentation skills.
- Advanced understanding of Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.
- Previous experience in conducting interviews and creating strategies.
- Organizational skills.
- Work with coworkers such as graphic designers.
- Create graphics and presentations.
- Meet deadlines.
Sometimes contractors think that since proposal writers work on grants and business inquiries, they mostly write, but it's quite the opposite. Surprisingly, writing doesn't make the most significant piece of the proposal writer’s job pie. As such, prioritizing responsibilities is essential.
Proposal Writer Responsibilities
Not surprisingly, proposal writer duties sync with the skills. The average proposal writer job description will have the following responsibilities:
- Research companies, non-profits, RFPs, and grants.
- Write documents that help with business development.
- Edit written documents in a professional and credible manner.
- Conduct interviews.
- Help with reviewing products, services, and project ideas.
- Help create strategies that help with the proposal development.
- Rewrite proposals according to feedback.
- Do presentations.
- Create project schedules.
Research and gathering information are key proposal writer responsibilities. Without proper research, not only will writers fail to meet demanding deadlines, but most of their proposals will fail.
Proposal projects need to be unique and effectively point out specific details. No matter if you're creating business or grant proposals, if your copies don't showcase pressure points and solutions that catch the reader's attention, it's back to the drawing board.
To achieve that goal, you need to research three things:
- The proposal provider (your clients) - Without understanding the client's strengths and weaknesses, you can't create ideas that genuinely represent the client.
- The proposal target (another company, organization, or grant provider) - Without understanding the target, you don't know the rules (grant providers have specific requirements) and how they can benefit from you.
- General industry - You create proposals for companies and organizations from different niches, including SaaS, health care, and non-profits. You need a solid working knowledge of the client's specific niche.
You gain valuable resources by conducting interviews, attending meetings, and making a proper business arrangement.
Only after you have the required data and understanding should you start writing. Otherwise, you'll spend most of your work hours rewriting easily avoidable errors.
Since proposal writers have more specific duties and required skills, their salary tends to be higher than that of an average writer.
Proposal Writer Salary
Although some job seekers look for job opportunities to help them grow as writers, most candidates want a job that pays well. Either way, when you check the following proposal writer job description, don't forget to skip the salary section.
To get a better overview, it's good to know the average proposal writer's salary in the US.
According to Comparably, the median proposal writer's salary is $67,020, and it ranges from $12,757 to $340,335. The wide range indicates the scope of different work and possibilities a proposal writer has.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average general writer's salary is similar, $67,120 per year. But as a general writer, there's usually less room to grow, so many specialize as proposal/technical writers.
How to Become a Proposal Writer?
The usual process of becoming a proposal writer is as follows.
- Get a degree.
- Build experience (start as an intern).
- Create a portfolio.
- Start your own business or work your way up in the company.
But some candidates might lack a degree or proposal writing experience yet still have the writing potential to make it as a proposal writer.
If you don't have a college degree, you can prove yourself to employers with certifications. There are several proposal writing courses that you can find online. Not only do you get the proper knowledge, but you also gain a certificate that acts as proof of your capabilities.
From the employer's perspective, they need something that makes their decision-making easier. If you have a degree or a certificate, you immediately stand out from candidates that lack one.
Again, it's possible to succeed without a degree or certificate, but you do limit your options.
After you land your first job, the next step is to gather experience and move up. It will be easier to make the right decisions as you gain knowledge. At that point, feel free to continue advancing or even start your own business.
Proposal writers spend most of their time researching candidates and creating persuasive papers based on the research. While this makes for dynamic work, almost every job description lists similar job responsibilities and duties.
The dynamic lies in your capability to approach a task from an unusual but better angle. Since businesses, organizations, and government agencies get countless proposals, it's vital to stand up, and that ability stems from being unique.
Organizations are constantly looking for writers who can help them stand out. If you have the knack for such services, you can build an impressive proposal writer career rather quickly.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the proposal writer job description.
What skills should a proposal writer have?
Proposal writers need a colorful skillset. Although they are writers, they spend most of their time researching and presenting the proposal. Meaning that proposal writers need stellar research capabilities, organizational skills (meet deadlines), and communication skills on top of persuasive writing.
What makes a good proposal writer?
A good proposal writer is someone who creates convincing yet straightforward documents. To develop such papers, proposal writers need to be aware of less obvious possibilities. Instead of sticking to a template, they must constantly "reinvent" the template. Proposals become stale quickly, and a good proposal writer will strive to keep them fresh and unique.
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.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He is considered one of the top product influencers in the world by Product School and one of the top technical writers. He has been writing software tutorials, manuals, handbooks, and white papers for over eight years. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.