Any good resume is a sales pitch. It highlights your most relevant qualifications, helping a hiring manager to see your value immediately.
This is especially key when you’re applying for a writing or publishing job. A resume that meanders or misses the point won’t persuade an employer of your skills.
What to Include in Your Resume
Whether you’re a freelancer or a full-time staffer, your resume should showcase the projects that best display your experience and abilities. Remember, you didn’t just complete a series of writing jobs: you built a career path, and perhaps a business. Tell that story, and the prospective employer will hire you to tell theirs.
Start With Your Work Experience
When you sit down to write your resume, begin by making a list of your past projects, jobs, and gigs. Then, select the ones you wish to highlight by keeping the following in mind:
Share Your Most Impressive Work Experience
Don’t just deliver a laundry list of as many gigs as you can fit on the page. Employers and new clients would rather see a high-profile company you worked for, even if the project was less important, over a more intensive project for a small business.
Pick Writing Projects or Clients That Are Most Relevant to the Job
If you are not certain about the details of the role, you may want to include a diverse mix of clients and projects. That way, you can show your comfort with a variety of roles.
Choose the Resume Type That Highlights Your Experience
You may want to use a summary section to describe your career or day-to-day work. You can also use this section to display qualifications that make you a good for the role. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different resume formats, so that you can choose the one that makes the most sense for the situation:
- Combination Resume
- Chronological Resume
- Functional Resume
- Targeted Resume
- Resume With Skills Section
- Resume With Summary of Qualifications
Tips for Writing / Publishing Resumes
To make the best impression on the hiring team, remember the following:
Include Facts and Figures When You Can
If you wrote content for a website that gets a million hits per month, that grabs attention. Did your content increase page views by 50%, or did your blog for a client attract 4,000 new members to the site? If you wrote a book, you might want to share the rating from review sites like Goodreads. Express results when possible.
Choose Your Writing Samples With Care
Include a few links to your best writing samples. Alternately, you can include a list of publications where you provided editing or wrote content. Don't overload your writing examples with excessive detail, and avoid overused and cliched words like professional, creative, driven, and detail-oriented.
Present Your Whole Self, Not Just Your Writer Self
An employer is hiring a human with an array of interests, likes, and experiences, not a bot that churns out content. Include a section on other interests to connect with clients on a personal level.
Highlight Your Online Presence
Direct readers to your website or online portfolio, where they can find writing samples, a client list, testimonials, and awards. If you do not have testimonials, consider asking clients who have complimented your work to provide comments/reviews you can share on your website. Viewing feedback from other clients is very compelling to people considering hiring you. Consider including a text box with a testimonial from an appreciative client.
On your website, include links to LinkedIn and your social media accounts (only if you have a professional presence) where your personality and creativity shine through.
In some fields, a high follower count is a plus for editors seeking writers. If you have an impressive number of followers on social media, you can mention that on your resume (and in cover letters, too).
If you do not have a website, look for free services that allow you to easily establish an online portfolio of your work.
For people seeking jobs in the publishing industry or as writers, it's particularly important for materials to be free from any errors. Print out a copy of your resume and review it carefully for typos, grammatical errors, and formatting mistakes. As well, take a close look at your website and social media accounts to make sure they are not full of errors.
Writing / Publishing Resume Examples
Before you start working on your resume, review resume examples to get ideas for how to write and format your own. Here are writing and publishing related resume examples that you can use as a springboard to tailor your own experience, achievements, and writing and editing skills.