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  • Writer's pictureElisse Gabriel

This Time I Blew It

Most people associate auditions with acting or voice-overs or music. As a writer, I often have to audition, too.

My first writing test was for Hold Everything, a now-defunct company owned by Williams Sonoma. I was working as the editor of another Williams Sonoma brand, Gardeners Eden, but wanted to transition to writing so I could work from home and tend to my newborn son.

The test was "blind," so the writers remained a mystery to the readers (until afterwards). I was fortunately selected for the job.

A couple years back, I auditioned for a contract job with MasterClass. The test involved crafting social media and marketing content about Gordon Ramsay and Steve Martin (both MasterClass instructors). I had a blast researching and writing about them and was thankfully given the green light.

Just last week, the creative manager of a Japanese beauty company asked me to compose a test blog about the summer holiday, Marine Day. I received little feedback about tone or target customer, so I figured I’d just dig in and gather as much juicy content as I could.

After scouring the internet to discover the customs, history, and significance of this 23-year-new holiday (mud balls anyone?), I composed a blog that I thought was fluid, engaging, and informative. Well, maybe it was, but I didn't get the job.

Who did? The person who captured the brand's "girlfriend" voice.

While I didn't land the gig, the experience served as a valuable reminder: In the world of beauty, image is everything, and the content's voice must reflect that.

I've also learned that sometimes I'm just not the right fit. For starters, I've never actually used the word "girlfriend," unless I'm referring to my sons' significant others. (When referring to female pals, I've simply used the word "friend.")

I did learn a lot about Japan though, so that's a plus. And if I ever happen to be there the third Monday of July, I'll be completely in the know.

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