Even as a writer, it’s not uncommon to struggle with crafting a resume that gets a potential employer’s attention. There’s probably more pressure for you to have a perfectly written document which may cause you to feel stuck.
Whether you’re writing a freelance writer resume or crafting one to send to a publishing house, we’re here to help. This article will cover the following topics and much more to guide you and give you some easy tips to follow as you write your resume.
- How to add your published work to your resume.
- The most valued skills for professional writers
- The right format and layout for your writer resume.
- A writer resume example with easy to follow steps
Writer Resume Sample
Salary & Employment Rates for Writers
According to the U.S Bureau of Statistics, the employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030.
The industries with the highest levels of employment in Writers and Authors include:
- Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
- Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers
- Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
- Other Information Services
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
The average professional writer salary is $58,000, and the typical range is between $52,000 and $66,000, depending on the education level, skills, and professional experience.
How to Write a Job-winning Writer Resume
Your writing experience will come in handy when you’re creating your resume. However, there are some details you must consider.
Research the publication or company you want to work for and ensure that the tone and style of your resume match theirs. Working as a writer might also mean that you write for different industries. Therefore, you can’t use one resume for multiple applications. You need to tailor each resume to match the specifications of the job you’re applying for.
If you’re sending your job application online, you’ll need to optimize your resume for ATS systems by adding the relevant keywords and action verbs. Remember that this is your most crucial writing gig yet, so you want to impress your potential employer.
The format, layout, and structure also play a significant role in your resume. Here are some more details on them.
Best Format for Your Resume
The right format for your resume ensures that the recruiter sees your best qualifications first on your resume. There are three formats you can choose from, and they include:
- The reverse-chronological order – This format is suitable for candidates who’ve worked as freelance writers for many years because it focuses on experience.
- The functional resume format – This format is suitable for recently graduated candidates or career changers who don’t have much experience. It’s also called a skills-based resume because it focuses on skills.
- The combination/hybrid resume – This format is a mix of the two other formats. It’s perfect for candidates with the perfect blend of skills and experience.
The resume layout should make it easy for the hiring manager to read your resume. While using beautiful, creative designs to showcase your qualifications is okay, be careful not to overdo it. You can check out our professional resume templates with great designs to help structure your resume. Consider using fonts such as Arial, Cambria, Calibri, and Times New Roman. The font size should be 10-12pt.
The structure of your writer resume should have the following sections:
- The header section
- Professional summary/objective
- Work experience
- Education section
- Skills section
- An additional section (Computer skills and certifications, languages, awards/honors, and interests)
Begin with a Header & Contact Information
The header section has your contact details and personal information. These details must be accurate so that the recruiter reaches you when needed. Here are the details that should be in this section.
- Your full name
- Job title
- Phone number
- Professional email address
- A link to your LinkedIn profile/career blog.
A good header
A bad header
Photo or No Photo?
The rules are not so black and white when it comes to this, but it’s better not to include a photo to be on the safe side. Some hiring managers also believe that it increases the chances of discrimination, so it’s better to leave it out unless the recruiter has stated they need one.
How To Detail Your Experience
If you’ve worked as a content writer for some time, this section should be easy. However, you’ll need to arrange your experience properly, so the recruiter understands. It’s advisable to start with your most recent experience, as you’ll see in our resume examples going backward.Focus on the relevant content writing experience , especially if you’re targeting a specific niche. If you’re starting your career and don’t have much experience, highlight jobs or volunteer experiences that have taught you transferable skills that will be useful in the writing job. If you have a personal blog, you should mention it and highlight the skills you’ve learned that will help you in your new position.
Under each job entry, start with the name of the workplace, your job title, and the employment dates. Writing jobs are competitive, so don’t leave it there. Include three to five job responsibilities at each workplace and quantify your results with facts and figures where possible. This makes your resume stand out and gives the recruiter a better understanding of the results you can achieve for them if you get the job.
Example for an Entry-Level Writer Resume
Example for Experienced Writers
Describe Your Educational Qualifications
The education section should detail your academic background. If you have a Master’s or bachelor’s degree, you’ll add it here. Most writing jobs require a college degree in Marketing, Journalism, English, or Creative writing. However, content writers may have college degrees outside of these fields, which are relevant to the job they’re applying for.
If you have an IT degree, your background and knowledge in this field will be helpful when writing technical blogs, so you shouldn’t leave it out of your resume. A high school diploma doesn’t have to be on your resume, especially if you have a degree .
Under this section, start with the name of the degree/diploma, the name of the school, and the year of graduation. If you have an impressive academic background, this section will go first on your resume then your professional experience can follow.
The Best Writer Skills For Your Resume
The skills you add to your resume show the recruiter whether you have what it takes to do the job. If you’re writing an entry-level resume, you can start with this section and describe the skills that make you the best person for the job.
Usually, the best way to present your skills is by listing them using bullet points. The job description gives you an idea of the relevant skills the hiring manager is looking for, so check it out and incorporate them into your resume. This also helps with ensuring your resume gets past the applicant tracking systems.
A professional writer’s resume should have the right blend of hard and soft skills. Writing positions might require different skills, so ensure that you include the relevant ones to the position you want.
Let’s look at some of the skills you should have on your resume.
- SEO and keyword research skills
- Knowledge of content management systems
- Adobe Suite
- Google Analytics
- Knowledge of social media
- Ability to use SEMrush or Ahrefs
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Communication skills
- Excellent writing skills
- Time management
- Decision-making skills
- Research skills
- Attention to detail
- Proofreading skills
- Multi-tasking skills
A Writer Resume Summary
The second section of your resume is the professional summary highlighting your top achievements, skills, and experience. It also introduces your resume to the hiring manager and gives them an idea of what to expect in your resume. This section should be catchy to get the hiring manager’s attention and interest them in reading the rest of your resume.
A Professional Objective
A professional/resume objective works the same way as a professional summary but is suitable for candidates who don’t have experience. It highlights the candidate’s career goals and how they align with the company goals and expresses their interest in the job. A resume objective should also be short and catchy to get the recruiter’s attention.
An Additional Section for Your ResumeA great writer resume must have an additional section . You may have added your primary qualifications in the previous sections, but what else makes you unique?
In such a competitive field, you cannot leave anything to chance. Hiring managers quickly go through your resume and can miss some of your qualifications which is why this section is important. It allows you to highlight the qualifications you don’t want the hiring manager to miss.
Let’s look at some of these sections.
Computer Skills and Certifications
Working as a writer will require computer skills which are easy to miss when they’re in the general skills section. Add them to this section and list them using bullet points to make them more visible.
Certifications increase your knowledge in writing, and having them in your resume helps you stand out. It’s vital to have them in a separate section instead of the education section to ensure that your potential employer sees them. Certifications that will look good on your writer resume include:
- Skillshare Online Writing Classes
- Content Marketing courses on Coursera
- Certified Content Marketer – Copyblogger
Writers are in demand for multiple languages, so if you’re a bilingual candidate, you should add it to your resume. List your language skills under this section and use the official language reference as follows:
- Goethe Zertifikat, TestDaF, or DSH for German
- SIELE for Spanish
- TOEFL or IELTS for English
Writers have a lot of their work published, and even though you may not be able to add all of it to your resume, you can add one or two under this section. State the title of the publication, the name of the newspaper/magazine, and the year of publication. Remember to add a link to make it easy for the hiring manager to check it out.
Example of a publication
Tips and Tricks to Enhance Your Resume
- Keywords and action verbs optimize your resume so add them to your resume.
- Include the quantifiable achievements to show the recruiter the value you will bring to the new role.
- Focus on the relevant writing skills and experience.
- If you don’t have experience, use a resume objective to introduce your resume.
- Customize each resume to match the requirements of the writing job you want.
- Use the right format and layout for your resume.
- Proofread your resume to ensure there are no mistakes before sending it to the recruiter.
Summary: Making an Excellent Resume for Writing
- Start your resume with a header that contains your accurate contact information and personal details.
- Use a resume summary/objective to introduce your resume and ensure it’s catchy and engaging.
- Detail your work history in the work experience section, starting with your most recent job.
- If you have an impressive educational background and little experience, start with it on your resume.
- Add your hard and soft skills using bullet points to make them more visible.
- An additional section is crucial if you want your resume to stand out.
Complement Your Resume with a Cover Letter
A cover letter describes your qualifications in detail, allowing you to inject some personality as you showcase your writing skills. As a writer, this is your chance to get the recruiter’s attention with your exceptional writing skills and get them to check out the rest of your application. Always accompany your resume with a cover letter unless the recruiter asks you not to send one. Use our cover letter examples to guide you as you craft one.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Where can you get writing jobs?
Some of the best places to get writing jobs include:
Which type of writers are companies looking for?
- Technical writers
- Social media writers
- Email writers
- Long-form content writers
- Blog writer