A good resume for any industry revolves around relevance. Being able to showcase your skill set is valuable, as long as it pertains to the job at hand. Today, we’ll go over ways to craft your writer resume that will help you land jobs and clients.
Although there are plenty of templates online at your disposal, you’ll still have to fill in the blanks with your own information.
But, what kinds of things are pertinent to a writing career?
Setting Up Your Writer Resume
Setting up a resume as a writer is really no different than any other. Unfortunately, I still get a few sent to me here and there that don’t really…well…cut the mustard, so to speak.
So, let’s go over some of the most pertinent aspects of a professional resume.
Keep it a Simple, 1-Pager
I learned this lesson some time ago…we’re talking decades at this point. Keep your resume to a single page. Employers do not want to read through a long manuscript detailing every point in your life.
Your writer resume should be simple, quick to reference, and only showing what is relevant. This means if you’re applying for a writing position, there’s really no need to highlight your work at Taco Bell as a window server.
Well, unless you don’t have any other work experience to fall back on.
Highlight Relevant Skills
Make sure you bring attention to any relevant skills you have for the industry. This doesn’t just mean adding that you can type 70 words per minute.
For instance, I include my extensive work with WordPress, because a vast portion of all websites on the Internet use the platform. I also highlight my extensive use of Photoshop to add images and screenshots.
Add any software, apps, or other platforms you’ve used as a freelance writer. I was once offered a job simply because I knew Illustrator and the other candidates didn’t.
Center on Relevant Experience
As I said before, your writer resume needs to be relevant to a “writing” career. If you’re applying to be a content writer, I don’t need to know that you worked as a receptionist for a medical office.
I want to know what you’ve done as a writer.
However, some elements are helpful for specific positions. For instance, my resume right now has the 4 years I owned my own computer repair business. I highlight managerial experience as well as creating the content for the company’s website.
This is because I am often looking for upper management positions, given my extensive experience and leadership skills. Thus, part of the reason why I am currently a “Team Leader.”
Add Any Prominent Publications
Writing employers and clients love to know that you’re capable of creating content. Having a list of any prominent publications is easily a feather in your cap.
And I’m talking about more than just being the editor of your high school newspaper. While this might be OK as a start, you should really focus on more pronounced things you’ve done.
Should You Add Your Own Blogs?
That depends on the blog. I add MichaelBrockbank.com or WriterSanctuary.com to all of my resumes simply because they are more professional. The other sites are mostly for fun.
Besides, MichaelBrockbank.com has everything that I’m involved with online.
If you have a writing portfolio website, which every freelance writer should, then definitely add it to your writer resume.
In other words, don’t share a blog that you’d be afraid to show your grandmother.
Have Any eBooks or Published Novels?
Having published works is a great addition to any writer resume. Even if they are fictional, it shows dedication to the craft and motivation to finish.
And if you’re published by a house instead of self-publishing on Amazon, all the better.
Unfortunately for me, I don’t get credit for any of the eBooks I’ve done in the past as they were all ghostwritten. Still, I hope to finish one of my own in the near future.
What About Published Sample Pages?
Having a list of URLs leading to published content you created online can be helpful. It’s a good way to showcase your talent and give the client or employer a taste of what you can offer.
But, you don’t want to add URLs to a resume you’re printing out. This is because people are less likely to type the entire URL into their web browsers. If it’s a digital resume, he or she can simply click the link.
Have Samples at the Ready
Always have a few sample pieces ready for clients or employers. Now, when to add these are up for debate. Some experts say to include them in the first email while others say to wait until the employer or client shows interest.
As the Content Marketing Team Lead for GreenGeeks, I find it rather presumptuous to send me your samples right off the bat. You can ask me if it’s OK to send them, but don’t assume I’ll want samples before I reply to your inquiry.
My point is to have a few on hand that have never been published anywhere else. Make sure they are unique and highlight your abilities.
And make sure they’re saved as DOCX files. These are universally accessible by almost every word processor. It’s also a good idea to convert them to PDF, if you’re able.
Write Down Your Awards and Accomplishments
Any awards or accomplishments you’ve received is a great boon to a writer resume. Even if the reward is based on fictional works, it displays your talent as a novel would.
Just make sure your list of awards and accomplishments are relevant to a writing gig. No one cares if you won a goldfish swallowing contest in high school.
Be Confident, But Not Conceited
And lastly, be confident when filling out the writer resume. You are a professional, and it vastly improves your chances if you realize that yourself. It’s all about having confidence in yourself and what you can offer.
However, you don’t want to come off as overly conceited or cocky. No one wants to hire a narcissist.
For instance, I can say that I’ve completed more than 8,000 pieces of content for thousands of clients spanning the globe. That’s because I have. This isn’t a conceited statement as it’s highlighting the sheer experience I have in freelance writing.
It’s too bad the majority of that work was all done as a ghostwriter for content mills.
Set Up Your Professional Writer Resume Today
Even if you’re not looking for a gig or traditional employment, it’s always a good idea to have a current resume on hand. Because you never really know where your professional network may take you.
You may find yourself with an offer with a massive company because they saw something on LinkedIn that they liked about you.
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