Proposal Writer Job Description

Proposal Writers essentially compose informative documents in order to help companies secure a client’s business or obtain a government grant. The proposal generally outlines the services a company offers or reasons why a grant is being requested. Proposal Writers write original content, edit documents and work with other writers as well as graphic artists, if needed, to design proposals. Some Proposal Writers act as consultants or freelancers.

Proposal Writers can work in all types of industries, such as entertainment, financial or health care. Entertainment Proposal Writers might present story ideas or outlines, while financial Proposal Writers could assemble proposals providing details covering specific financial plans for clients. Grant Proposal Writers typically gather information about grant opportunities and submit applications for grants to government and nonprofit agencies in order to fund projects.

 

Proposal Writer Duties and Responsibilities 

To ensure the successful completion of effective proposals, Proposal Writers must complete a few tasks. We have reviewed several job listings and other sources and found the following among the core Proposal Writer duties and responsibilities.

Write and Edit Proposals

The most important responsibility of a Proposal Writer is to effectively convey information about products, services or grant needs, in many cases to those who might be unfamiliar with these details. Proposal Writers must handle multiple revisions, edit and re-edit proposal sections as needed, and ensure that proposals maintain a consistent tone or voice.

Conduct Research

In many cases, Proposal Writers must research the information they are including in their documents. This might include conducting interviews, attending meetings and gathering source information. They might also study requests for proposal (RFPs) to determine the information needed for specific proposals.

Work With Writers, Artists and Others

Proposals are usually team efforts, much like project development. Proposal Writers typically work in teams of other writers, managers and graphic artists to complete a proposal. They will attend meetings, create project schedules and deadlines, coordinate responsibilities and prepare presentations.

 

Proposal Writer Skills

In addition to strong written and verbal communication skills, Proposal Writers should be detail-oriented team players that possess strong organizational and decision-making skills. They should be able to meet deadlines and work both independently and in groups. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to multi-task are essential for Proposal Writers. In addition to these general skills, a Proposal Writer could be expected by potential employers to possess the following skills.

Core skills: Based on job listings and other resources we looked at, employers want Proposal Writers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Proposal Writer, focus on the following.

  • Translating solutions into effective business proposals
  • Analyzing various business products and services
  • Coordinating proposal development
  • Applying layout and other desktop publishing skills
  • Editing content for clarification and consistency
  • Adhering to proposal schedule deadlines
  • Understanding proposal databases

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple sources included them as preferred. Add these to your Proposal Writer toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Advanced mastery of Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Strong presentation skills

 

Proposal Writer Resources

It is beneficial to research additional information if you are considering a career as a Proposal Writer that can give you insight into the challenges and responsibilities of this position. Below, we have provided links to online and print resources about this career.

On the Web

Freestyle – A site offering blogs and articles for Proposal Writers. Gives career tips and suggestions in areas of grammar, editing and business writing.

DH Leonard Grant Writer’s Blog – This blog provides personal insight into a career as a grant Proposal Writer. Contains professional tips and addresses the challenges and daily responsibilities for those working in this field.

Industry Groups

Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) – A worldwide organization offering certification, networking and professional advice for Proposal Writers and related professions. Provides online articles, live conferences and overviews of industry standards and best practices.

American Grant Writers’ Association Inc., (AGWA) – An organization offering professional support for grant Proposal Writers through webinars, workshops and online training courses.

Books

Writing Proposals 2nd Edition – A guide taking readers through the development of a proposal. Covers organizational activities, persuasive writing styles and research strategies.

Proposal Writing: The Art of Friendly and Winning Persuasion, 1st Edition – A comprehensive look at ways to write effective proposals, from summaries and sales letters to formal and informal documents.

 

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