How To Write A Job Proposal

Don’t you wish there was something else you could send a potential employer other than the standard cover letter and resume that everybody else sends in? One idea is to write a job proposal. Don’t confuse this with the type of proposal that contractors send to potential clients to compete for a task. This is a one-page letter you send to a hiring manager explaining why they should hire you for a job—whether it’s a temporary one or a full time, permanent position.

A job proposal is slightly different from a cover letter.

A cover letter usually focuses on you, whereas a job proposal focuses on a problem and a solution. The problem needs to be some actual concrete challenge the company is facing, and you of course are the solution.

Anatomy of a Job Proposal

What should you include in the job proposal? Here is a basic outline which you can use to write yours:

  1. Start out with a title, and if relevant, a subtitle. The title should grab the hiring manager’s attention and also indicate the subject of the job proposal.
  2. Thesis. This should succinctly explain to the reader what the job proposal is about.
  3. Rationale. This is where you summarize the problem faced by the employer. You may need to do some research to identify one. Your understanding of the problem is in itself something which can help to qualify you for the job, since it demonstrates that you can see what’s going on and that you have the know-how to fix it. Explain how your abilities can directly answer the issue at hand.
  4. Financial rationale. Nothing speaks louder than money and numbers, so if you can possibly tie savings into the rationale, you should do so. If you can calculate roughly how much money you could save the company if you were hired, that can go a long ways toward convincing a hiring manager.
  5. Status. This iterates the problem’s current status—unresolved, and reminds the employer of the urgent need to do something about it.
  6. Call to action. This is the part of the proposal where you blatantly call upon the hiring manager to hire you for the job, since you have the skills, understanding, and gumption to tackle the problem and solve it.

You are going to want to keep this short. Just as your resume should only take up 1-3 pages, and your cover letter should likewise be fairly short (several paragraphs, optimally), your job proposal should be no longer than a single page.


  • It prevents you from wasting your time or the employer’s time.
  • It shows that you are able to express yourself efficiently. Perhaps most importantly, though, it keeps things simple for the hiring manager.

A convoluted solution to a problem is no solution at all. But a solution which is simple is ideal, because it is efficient and obvious.

You want it to be obvious that you are exactly the answer the hiring manager has been searching for.

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