Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Freelance Writing 101 - Creating a Writer's Resume

If you're a writer searching for work, creating a resume is critical to your success in landing a writing gig. In order to leave a lasting impression on potential clients or companies, you'll need to showcase your skills and expertise with ease. A skills resume is the best option for a writer, as it outlines your skills and qualifications in a section separate from your work history.

To begin, you'll need to create a header for your resume. Below, you'll find an example of what your header might look like.

Full Name Here
Address Goes Here
Home Phone - Fax Number - Email Address


Next, you'll need to include an objective (if desired). Do not go over two lines and try to use a single sentence. Short and sweet is the key here.


Perhaps the most important part of your resume, the qualifications section should list all of the skills you have that are relevant to the position that you're applying for. You may also choose a more specific title for this section, such as "Writing Experience" if you aren't experienced in another field. Below, you will find a few examples of what you might include in a "Qualifications" section.

- Writing: Professional freelance writer for 5 years, with experience in blogging, newspaper, and article writing. Author of over 400 articles in over 10 online publications, including USA Today Travel Tips; co-author of two children's books. Featured article on eHow's homepage in 2011.

- Internet, HTML, and Online Publishing: Webmaster for Freelance Lady ( Familiar with HTML and CSS. Familiar with several blogging platforms including WordPress and Blogger.

Work History

Work history is another important part of your resume. Even if the work you've completed has nothing to do with writing, it shows that you're reliable and that you're able to hold down a job. Always include jobs in chronological order and include the job title, dates of employment, the name and location of the company, and a contact name and number, if desired. Be sure to include any promotions or achievements within your field.


If you've been self-employed for awhile, include this as your most relevant job. This will explain any gaps in employment. An example may be found below.

Freelance Writer - Date to Date
City, State
Briefly describe your writing activities and projects. Include the names of clients, companies, or publications that you've produced work for.


If you have a formal education or in the process of pursuing a college degree, go ahead and list this information and omit high school information. It is also wise to omit high school information if you have been out of high school for over 5 years. If you have no formal education, include vocational training, on the job training or even reputable and relevant online courses.

Awards and Memberships

If you've won any awards relating to writing or editing, include them. If you're a member of any writing organizations, list those as well. It is inappropriate to list awards that your blog has won unless they are from reputable sources. For example, blogger awards from other bloggers are unlikely to impress potential clients.

The Extras May Make All the Difference

Put together a portfolio of your work. Create a list of publications on a single page that is double-spaced. Use only the most important and relevant publications. With each line, include the title of your work, the publication or website where it appeared (along with the URL, if applicable), and the date it was published. You may also include color copies if photos were included, as well as actual copies of the publication if it appeared in a hard-copy edition of the publication.

Include some of your best writing samples or clips. Obviously, these should be previously published, unless otherwise stated in the client or company requirements. Use a leather binder to display your clips and place each into clear dividing folders. You may also include copies of any awards or certifications that are relevant to the position in which you're applying.


Perhaps the most important part of creating a resume is proofreading. If you're applying for a writing position and your resume includes spelling or grammatical errors, this is a red flag to potential employers. Even if you have to read it 15 times before handing it out, you should be confident that it's ready to go. You know what they say: "Better safe than sorry.

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