Bid writers prepare documents to win contracts to provide services, or to apply for project funding.

What does a bid writer do?

You may write for your own company, or work for a specialist organisation writing bids for other people. You could work for a wide range of industries and services, from construction to healthcare. You may bid for funding for a charity project or to provide money for university or medical research.

You’ll prepare answers to pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) put out by organisations wanting to buy external services. These are the first stage of the ‘tendering’ process, and the quality of the answers on the PQQ will decide if a ‘bidder’ gets on the shortlist of suppliers. The contract will then be given to the bidder who’s sent in the best proposal – based not just on cost but on quality and ability to deliver. Typically you will:

  • find out about likely business opportunities
  • find out more about the industry or service you’ll be writing the bid for
  • talk and listen to clients to find out their needs and values
  • gather evidence to answer PQQ questions
  • collect data for bids, for example financial records or building inspection reports
  • check the rules to be followed in writing the bid
  • work closely with planning teams to share resources
  • put across technical information in easy-to-understand ways, including use of graphics
  • design, write, edit and check bid documents
  • keep accurate records and save material to a ‘bid library’ for future use
  • submit bids and support the process through to completion, keeping to strict deadlines

You may be an active member of a sales, marketing or business development team. You might also train your clients in presentation skills if they need to present their bids.

What do I need to do to become a bid writer?

You could enter this work by becoming a trainee or junior bid writer. For this you’ll need a minimum of five GCSEs (grades A*-C), including English and maths.

Many employers will prefer you to have at least A levels, especially English, and some will expect you to have a degree. Your degree may be in English but may also be a subject that you want to specialise in, for example, IT, civil engineering or housing.

You may be able to work your way up through administrative jobs, especially in bid writing companies.

A professional marketing qualification may also help you find work.

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Business management
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Organisation
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Academic route

  • Degree in English, IT, civil engineering or housing

Related subjects

  • Computer science
  • English
  • Maths

Essential qualifications

  • Minimum of five GCSEs (grades A* - C), including English and maths

Desirable qualifications

  • A levels or equivalent, especially English

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You’ll be based in an office, but you often need to travel to meetings, and may need a driving licence and use of a vehicle.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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