How to Become a Bid Writer (With Steps and Salary)
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A bid writer is a person within an organization responsible for completing pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) and tenders to secure new contracts. Bid writers prepare documents called bids to pitch for contracts to provide services or to apply for project funding. Understanding the steps to become a bid writer is important because a good bid writer can help an organization grow and gain new clients. In this article, we discuss how to become a bid writer, explore their job duties in an organization, state their average salary, describe the processes involved in writing a bid, and give a job description sample.
How to become a bid writer
Bid writers can work as freelancers or obtain employment at a professional bid writing firm specializing in a certain industry or writing for companies across various industries. Whether you decide to freelance or work at a firm, there are several routes that you can take in securing a successful bid writing career. To get into the bid writing industry, take the following steps:
1. Get an education
To get a job as a bid writer, you need a minimum of a high school degree. Some employers require you to have an undergraduate degree in courses relevant to the job position, such as English, business management, sales, and marketing. A degree in the specific industry you write for also increases your chances of being selected for the job. For instance, an additional degree in engineering puts you ahead of other candidates when applying as a bid writer to a construction company.
2. Embark on training opportunities
This involves apprenticeship, either as a trainee, intern, or junior bid writer. As a trainee or junior bid writer, you're responsible for minor tasks such as saving materials into the bid library for future use and going over clients' terms of service for senior bid writers. As a growing bid writer, it's important to dedicate your time to these tasks as they form the foundation of your career in the future. You can also take professional bid writing courses online and work your way up through administrative jobs, especially if you have a job at a bid writing company.
3. Apply to jobs
When searching for a job as a bid writer, it's important you look into suitable industries to ensure you get a fulfilling job. Industries that require bid writers include construction, defence and security, IT, legal sectors, energy and infrastructure, manufacturing industries, transport and logistics services, finance, and government. Also, while searching for job postings online or on social and professional networks, be sure to consider the location and specific demands of the organizations, such as whether you can work from home or a conventional office space.
4. Gain necessary skills
While trying to obtain a job as a bid writer, and even on the job, the following skills are worth developing as they improve your efficiency and competence as a bid writer:
excellent research, writing, and checking skills
ability to be thorough and pay keen attention to details
knowledge of the English language
knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware, and software
ability to use initiative and also work across different teams
excellent verbal communication skills
administration, leadership, and authoring skills
enthusiasm and confidence to win business from clients
knowledge of some specialist markets
ability to use IT packages efficiently
Job duties of a bid writer in an organization
Some typical job tasks of a bid writer include:
finding out about possible business opportunities
planning the bid timeline
undertaking research about the industry you're writing the bid for
gathering evidence to answer Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQs) questions
working closely with other sales, marketing, or business development personnel to scope the bid document
checking the rules bids must follow
using texts and graphics to express technical information in easy-to-understand ways
designing, writing, editing, and checking bid documents
keeping accurate records and save materials to a bid library for future use
submitting bids by the required deadline
Average salary and work terms
Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications and qualifications, additional skills, and the number of years you've spent in the profession. The national average salary of a bid writer is $54,748 per year. Work terms vary as well, but bid writers usually work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. Bid writers work for a wide range of industries and services, from construction to healthcare. That said, your job may require you to travel to site meetings with clients, leading to longer working hours.
Processes involved in writing a bid
The following are processes involved in writing an effective bid:
A clear analysis of whether your organization can carry out the client's request is essential and makes sure you can deliver the client's requirements in time. This also allows the organization to channel its resources towards clients that better complement its services. Ensuring compliance with the client's requirements is important to make sure both parties share the same vision.
Studying the project details
Read all the documents provided by the client before beginning. It's important not to miss any details, even the small ones, such as writing the bid in a specific font. It's also important to note any clarification questions raised during client meetings.
Researching the client
Finding out as much as you can about the client allows you to understand and see their needs from their point of view. This allows you to create a bid that is personal to them. It is also smart to research your competition, acknowledge their weaknesses, and work those into your strengths.
Winning themes and bid presentations
Winning themes tell the client why it's best to select you over competitors. It portrays to potential clients why you're more qualified than other bid writers. This is your chance to get the client's attention, so it's essential to get it right. Highlight the value your company brings, how that compliments their requests, and the challenges the client faces.
Identify where you may need other people in the organization to contribute to the bid. This includes sales management staff and other employees privy to any technical information you want to include in the bid. It is your duty to track actions and follow up with these other staff to prevent missing the bid deadline.
Technical writing, editing, and proofing
Complete the full draft, proofread and edit the bid. Be sure to write bids that are concise and tailored to the request and overall brand reputation of the client. Ensure you adhere to specifics like word count and other formatting requirements, then relay these requirements to the agreed review team with a deadline for actionable feedback.
Designing, creating, and marketing
Once the bid has been reviewed and approved, you may begin designing a front cover for the bid. Make the proposal inviting from the start, such that if the client receives ten proposals, yours is appealing enough to compel the client to read it first. While working on the front cover, ensure that the front cover design aligns with the client's industry, challenges, and branding. This can inspire you to produce what the client likes. Lastly, use images that the client can relate to envision working with you as a partnership rather than a mere business contract.
Are there any differences between bid writing and proposal writing?
Bid and proposal writing are interchangeable, but there are indeed nuances in their respective meanings. The term bid refers to an Invitation to Bid (IFB) response and is not subject to negotiation (timing, terms, and condition). A proposal is a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) and is negotiable.
Related: How to Write a Proposal Letter
Bid writing job description sample
Below is a bid writing job description sample:
Telephone: +555 555 555
Technical Bid writer
Excellent communication skills and the ability to influence others at all levels
Amending responses based on review feedback responsible for proofreading final material and providing technical, and commercial writing skills where required
Outstanding bid skills writing skills and ability to turn raw information into superb articulated proposal content
Exceptional writing, editing, and copy-writing skills
Ability to use initiative, think creatively and innovatively
The University of Guelph
Bachelor's degree in English
Master's degree in Journalism
Excellent PC skills, including detailed knowledge of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, and experience of other desktop publishing packages
Outstanding writing and presentation skills, able to write both creatively, and logically to produce quality and compelling bid documents
Strong budgeting skills and pricing knowledge
Strong communication skills with particular attention to presentation and accuracy of information
Good leadership, internal communication, and influencing skills
Dynamic and enthusiastic team player with good verbal and written English communication skills
Good attention to detail with strong editing and proofing abilities
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.
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