|Are you a writer and dream of working full-time as a professional writer? Before you live out your dream, you need to create a writer resume.|
Looking to make the leap from amateur or semi-pro writer into the ranks of professional writers? If so, you need a solid writer resume.
Of course, the very idea of assembling a writer resume likely leaves you in a cold sweat. You might wonder, what would that even look like?
Many writers cut their teeth with years of active freelancing for multiple clients while holding down a day job. You can’t realistically list dozens of past clients on your resume. So, how can you translate all of that experience into something that shows you as a qualified candidate for a full-time writer or editor job?
You need a functional resume. Keep reading and we’ll cover the things you must know to craft your new resume.
Skills and Qualifications First
Traditional resumes focus heavily on past employment, but writers come out of all kinds of professions. While you might possess 15 years of experience as a lawyer, it doesn’t qualify you for writing jobs.
You must focus on your writing experience and chunk it out into digestible pieces. It’s even better if you can craft the text so that it fits next to bullet points. Here are a few examples:
- 10 years experience as a business writer with a focus on B2B white papers
- Blog post ghostwriter for the pharmaceutical, medical, and biotech sectors
- Co-Editor of XYZ website 2014-2019
These kinds of bullet points help codify your experiences into something a hiring manager can understand. You can also break it down into areas of experience, such as writing and editing.
Regular Work Experience
Applying for a job as a full-time writer at an organization isn’t just about your writing skills. Many freelancers can offer excellent content, but they must also demonstrate the discipline for a regular 40-hour workweek. This is where employment history comes into the mix.
Fortunately, most writers work regular day jobs for years before they transition to full-time writing. Including your work history shows potential employers that you know how to show up day after day and do your job.
Unless you picked up a writing credential that has a specific value for the job you want, education borders on irrelevant. You should still include, though. Here’s why.
Any degree shows that you can commit long-term and see things through. The specific degree you got generally matters less than the fact that you have one.
The one big exception to this is writing about highly technical fields, such as science or engineering. A degree in those areas gives you a leg up in jobs writing about them.
Worried about formatting the resume? Consider using professional resume templates as a shortcut.
Parting Thoughts on Crafting a Writer Resume
Writing experience often comes through working for many individual clients. That makes a traditional resume impractical. You should develop a functional writer resume.
These resumes focus on your overall skills and experience, rather than your experience with specific employers. You demonstrate why you’d make a great candidate by highlighting these skills.
Looking for more writer resources? Here we offer lots of great posts and articles on developing your writing skills and career.