Ever heard of a writer’s resume? Ever wonder what a writer’s resume looks like? If you are a writer, a freelance writer to be exact, you may have once faced or you may be facing right this very moment a dilemma in creating your resume. You have been invited to a writing job that requires a resume, what do you write?
Will it be a good idea to include only your writing credits and education? Or should you include your whole employment history even though most of it has got nothing to do with writing? If you are a freelance writer, most probably that you are working from home and your job history may have little relationship to your writing skills. Despite the skills you possess to handle a regular writing or editorial position, you still need to convince your prospective employer. But how do you do it?
There is this one type of resume called “skills” resume which you can opt to develop instead of having a traditional work history resume. This type of resume, often called a targeted resume , would be a good choice for freelance writers because it emphasizes your abilities and achievements which are directly relevant to a specific job target. However, a skill-based resume has likewise its own share of pros and cons.
- If you want to emphasize abilities and achievements that have not been used in your most recent jobs.
- If you are changing career directions.
- If you have had a variety of jobs prior to your prospective job and you would prefer to describe the experience you have gained in total.
- If you want to include voluntary and/or unpaid jobs.
- If your work history has been patchy in recent years.
- If you have a variety of job targets and you need a resume for each.
- If you want to highlight promotions/career growth, you could include this sort of information on the second page of your resume but it would not be as prominent as on a performance resume.
- If a most recent employer is highly prestigious because their name will not be prominently displayed on the first page. You can get round this by putting their name in both the profile and cover letter.
- Unusual resume format – may not be liked by everyone.
In developing a skill-based resume, you will need to make your mind up which of your attributes and achievements will be appropriate for the writing job. As well as including past experiences, you may also include future related skills that you may not have had actual work experience in.
For instance, if you have recently undertaken a course, you can include any activities you performed while on the course. Your work history and education history may be included after you have described your capabilities and achievements. Try and keep a skill-based resume on one page. You may have to prepare a skill-based resume for each individual job you are targeting.
On the writing of the resume, you should include your work history even if your work history has got nothing to do with your writing skills. A history of employment indicates to a potential employer that you are, in fact, employable. If your history indicates several periods, of steady employment with a single company, this indicates that you are considered a reliable worker rather than someone who flits from job to job or gets fired frequently.
If you’ve been promoted within your company, list this as well, as this is another good indication of your ability to function well as an employee. However, unlike in a chronological resume, you will want to keep your job-history listings sections short. If you have been self-employed as a freelance writer for a period of time, list this as your most recent job. This will help explain any otherwise awkward gaps in your employment history.
Every resume should include an educational history, starting with the most recent degrees and working backwards. If you have a college education, omit information about high school. You may also include in the education section any other relevant education you may have such as vocational training, on-the-job-training, or even online courses that are relevant to the job you are seeking.
Do not be worried about most writing and editorial jobs requiring a degree in writing because most companies are more than happy to accept experience in lieu of formal education.
Awards and Membership
List any awards you have received particularly relating to writing and editing. If you are a member of any writing or editorial societies or organizations, list those as well.
Listing personal interests and hobbies on a resume is a big no-no. In addition to your resume, you will want to provide a publications list kept to a single page. Give it the same header as your resume and use it to list your most significant publications or those that are most relevant to the position. The list should include the title of each article or story, the publication in which it appeared, and the date of the publication. If it appeared online and is still online, you may likewise include the URL.
Clips of your previously written work may also be asked from you so be sure to always have a copy of it. If you haven’t assembled a portfolio of your best work, this is a good time to do so. A nice leather binder at an office supply store should work best as a portfolio. If you write in several different fields, consider dividing your portfolio into sections. Include color copies of any awards you have received, along with a copy of your publications list.
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