Writing a resume or CV can be a difficult art to master. It’s the first impression you’ll be making for potential employers. And you can guarantee that recruiters will see a lot of them, so it’s important to do everything you can to stand out (in a good way). 

In an effort to help you put together a high quality writer resume, we’ll be laying out some advice and tips.

We’ll split the advice into 2 sections:

  • General advice 
  • What to include in your resume

A lot of the things we’ll be covering is just generally good advice for writing any resume, but there are a few key differences when applying to be a freelance writer. 

General advice

Be individual 

Like we mentioned up top, the recruiter reading your resume will probably be reading a lot of resumes in a single day. So you need to make sure your resume makes you stand out as an individual. 

You can do this by talking about unique skills and experiences you have, and how they relate to the job you’re applying for. 

Get to the point

Most recruiters won’t admit it, but a lot of them will just give your resume a quick scan before deciding whether or not to consider you as a candidate. And you can bet they probably won’t be willing to trawl through 4 pages of wordy text. 

So keep it short and sweet, and only include relevant information.

Tailor your resume for each job

When it comes to resumes, one size does not fit all. This is true of any resume, but especially when it comes to writing.

Writer resumes are unique in the sense that the resume itself is actually the first piece of your writing the recruiter will see. 

Depending on the kind of writing you’re applying for, you should change the style and experiences you talk about. 

Some companies will appreciate a more casual style, some will appreciate humour, while others will look for a more formal approach. Research the website of the business you’re working for, see what kind of thing they already have, and try your best to match it. 

Proofread everything

Again, this is good advice for any resume. But making silly mistakes in your writing resume won’t inspire confidence in your recruiter. 

Have a friend double check everything makes sense and reads well, and use grammar check sites like Grammarly to double check your grammar and spelling. 

Update your resume regularly

Using an old resume will look a bit lazy, and it’s easily spotted. 

Aim to update your resume regularly, like every 3 months. It’s partially about recording all your new experience and skills, but it’s also about that second look. There’s always something you can make a little better, and gradual improvements are much easier to handle. 

Think about the layout

There’s a lot of competition out there, so the actual design and layout of your resume is one of the best ways to stand out. Again, as a writer, you’re trying to showcase your ability to communicate information.

As a general rule of thumb, recruiters should be able to glance at your resume and find what they want to know immediately.

There’s nothing wrong with using a CV template to help you; that’s what they’re there for. Just make sure it’s clean, simple, and clearly lays out all the different sections of your resume. 

If you’re applying for a lot of different writing jobs, experiment with different templates and layouts and see what gets the best responses. 

What to include in your resume

Skills and Experience

This is the main bulk of your resume. It’s the part that recruiters are going to be most interested in. The key is knowing which skills and experiences you choose to highlight. 

Remember, you want to get straight to the point, so don’t waste time talking in depth about things that aren’t relevant to the job you’re applying for, no matter how interesting you think it is. 

Accomplishments and Interests

This is your opportunity to add a personal touch to your resume, but the same rules still apply. It needs to be relevant to the industry you’re applying to. 

For example, a financial tech company probably won’t care all that much about your keen interest in mountain biking. But a sports tech company will love to hear your enthusiasm about it, and it’ll show them you have inside knowledge about the industry. 

Education

Most people don’t think much about this section, they just write up their education and that’s it. But it’s definitely worth expanding on specifics if they’re relevant. 

You might have a degree in Journalism, and that’s great, but you can go into detail about what exactly you studied, the transferable skills you learned, and how you can use what you learned. 

Links to your website or online portfolio

Most writing job applications will ask for this. You just need to decide what best represents your work. This can include links to your own website, a guest blog on another website, or a collection of work across different sites. 

If you don’t have anything professionally published yet, there’s nothing wrong with submitting work you’ve done independently on a private blog or social media channel. It’s all about showcasing your ability. 

Cover letter

Not every job application will ask for a cover letter. But if they do, it’s the first example of your writing they’ll see. Like the rest of your resume, it should be specific to the job you’re applying for. 

The key here is to give the recruiter a sense of who you are. Mention some of your experiences and skills, but don’t go into too much detail (that’s what the rest of the resume is for). Think of it more as a personal summary or blurb.

You can structure your cover letter any way you like, but generally you want to split into 3 sections:

  • Who are you? – Tell the reader who you are, the job you’re applying for, where you heard about it, and why you want it. 
  • What are you doing? – Let the reader know what you’re doing at the moment, and how it relates to the job you’re applying for. 
  • What have you done? – Give a brief run-down of any relevant skills, experience, education you have that are relevant to the position. 

Keep on top of your finances with a simple app

When you’re starting your own business, it’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate from day one – to save yourself from time-consuming admin headaches further down the line. 

When you sign up for a Countingup business current account, you’ll receive free accounting software with a range of time-saving tools. 

Simply log into the app to create and send invoices, get financial insights, and see income tax estimates. To find out more here.

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