Many professional writers will find that a functional resume format or combination format is the ideal choice to show off their qualifications and experience. These formats highlight skills rather than chronological work history. Besides, when it comes to a creative job such as being a professional writer, what you can do is more important than when you did it.
When to Use a Functional or Combination Resume
The functional and combination formats are especially helpful if you have limited work experience in the industry or have gaps in your resume. A resume that highlights core competencies will focus a hiring manager's limited attention on the things that matter (what you can do for the employer), and draw it away from the things that don’t (a career path with a few twists and turns).
This is especially important because studies have shown that recruiters and hiring managers spend an average of just 7.4 seconds reviewing resumes before moving them to the “yes” or “no” pile. Putting your qualifications right up front increases the chances that you’ll catch their eye and make the cut.
Sometimes you have to make it through an applicant tracking system before a real person will even look at your resume. Focusing on your qualifications can help you showcase keywords related to your skills and qualifications, which could push your resume through the computerized screening process. Scan your job posting and others like it to find the most common buzz words you should feature when describing your skills.
Sample Resume for Professional Writers
The resume represented here is crafted for a professional writer. This job seeker has a wide variety of experience, much of it outside of her current industry. For those job experiences, she focuses on the skills she has developed that relate to the industry in which she is now interested. This resume also includes a summary of qualifications and core competencies list to more clearly explain why, despite limited experience in the industry, the job seeker is an ideal candidate.
Download the professional writer resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Professional Writer Resume Example (Text Version)
Katherine R. Applicant
123 Main Street
New York, NY 10036
A talented and versatile writer, proficient in all aspects of technical communications
Respected professional writer with 10+ years of experience who has generated hundreds of business materials, including reports, letters, proposals, presentations, press releases, reviews, and manuals.
Key skills include:
- Writing for Direct-Response Markets
- Creating Newsletters, Brochures, Fliers
- Writing Top-Notch Essays for Publication
- Adept at Sales and Marketing
- Developing Proposals & Presentations
- Strong Team Leadership Skills
SILVER RESUME CREATIONS, White Plains, NY
FREELANCE WRITER AND PRINCIPAL (February 2013 – Present)
Provide a wide range of writing services and expertise to various clients, businesses, publications, and websites, including resumes and cover letters, chapter summaries, articles, writing prompts, how-to articles, and press releases.
- Regularly work with top websites, including Village U, AcaDemon, and eCopywriters.
- Helped another website, Inland Press, create 15 new resume templates now used companywide.
LAKESIDE INDUSTRIES, Rye, New York
ADVERTISING DIRECTOR (June 2008 – February 2013)
Oversaw a staff of 25 copywriters and designers who produced numerous circulars and ad copy.
- Collaborated and communicated regularly with other managers throughout the company.
- Oversaw a new advertising campaign that increased company sales by 30%.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS
ELLIS COLLEGE, New York, NY
Bachelor of Science in Professional and Technical Writing (3.75 GPA, Honors Every Semester), 2008
Certifications and Memberships
Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) • Writers Guild of America (WGA)
Other Writing and Design Skills
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint • 35 Brain Bench Certifications • oDesk Proficient
More Tips for Writers
The explosion of online communications means that there’s an endless demand for well-written, engaging content online. The real challenge, though, is showcasing that your work is worth more than the pennies many companies are paying for it nowadays. Beyond using the right format, consider addinf testimonials, highlighting figures that show your impact, and including samples of your best work. Your main goal should be to showcase what you've done and illustrate how it has affected the audiences, clients, or businesses for which you have written.