The first rule of writing a copywriter’s resume is – you have to do better! Since you are a copywriter, there is no excuse for your resume to be written badly. Moreover, you will have to do a lot better than that. You will have to be better than a bunch of other copywriters.
This is not meant to scare you away. This is only meant to make you think twice before just listing your work experience and your MA in English literature and Shakespearean plays.
Those things are lovely and they are quite an achievement, but are they really what recommends you best to your future employer?
Your resume needs to reflect your writing skills and creativity without cluttering your resume with unnecessary details, irrelevant information and overall fluff.
Be creative, straightforward and interesting – just like if you were to write about a product. A resume is all about selling yourself and presenting yourself in the best possible light.
Make It All About Writing
You know what to do when you get to write down your entire work history in copywriting. However, if you don’t have any copywriting experience, you will have to work your way around it.
More precisely, you need to focus on the details of your previous positions and try to make it about writing.
For example, let’s say you have worked in the hospitality industry. Perhaps, you have spent some time waiting tables or behind the reception desk.
Even in those positions, you might have had an opportunity to write something. Waiters might have written daily menu specials in a fun way or those funny outside signs that sometimes go viral online.
Receptionists might have had to create emails and email templates for proper correspondence with the clients or a sort of a newsletter for the company.
These can also be examples of the well-written form. It may not be the best, but it is still better than the fact you had to do some clerical duty, as well. At least it relates to writing, in away.
List the Courses and Training You Completed
This should be part of every resume, let alone the copywriting resume. However, copywriting for an online audience is a skill that isn’t really studied in traditional universities.
It is, sometimes a part of business studies, but it is still impossible to get a BA in copywriting.
Therefore, the only way you can prove that you have gone through a sort of training for the position of a copywriter is to list the certificates and courses you completed.
If you don’t have any, it is a good idea to go through some copywriting training first. It will equip you for the job and it will give you something to list in your resume.
There are some certificates that are well-known among the copywriters, but they are rarely known outside those circles, so it is not very advisable just to list them. You need to list the skills you have learned there and the types of content you are capable of producing.
Add the Numbers to Your Achievements
Achievements are much more memorable and impressive when they are enriched by numbers. People respond better to numbers and your statement looks more authentic if it has some sort of quantification in it.
That is why you should list, not only what you have done and written, but what impact it had on the company that you worked for, preferably expressed in numbers.
For example, you should not simply write that you have “created a sales page”. You should quantify it and say that you have created a sales page that improved the conversion by 30%.
The same goes with emails. It is not enough to write simply that you have created an email marketing sequence. You should say that you have created an email marketing sequence that has an open rate of 40% and the click rate of 20%.
Craft It as You Would Craft a Sales Letter
When a business owner or an HR person wants to hire a copywriter, they want to do it so that their business is boosted.
They want a copywriter who writes high-quality content that is on-brand, but also content that will sell.
Consequently, if you are doing a bad job of selling yourself, how can they trust you to sell their product or services? That is why you should approach your resume, the same way you approach writing a sales letter.
You need to take a step back and think about your benefits for a business and how to express them in the most effective way.
In other words, you should try to sell yourself in the same way you would write to sell a product. The only difference being the fact that your product is actually your copywriting services.
Make a Portfolio to Go with Your Resume
Creating a portfolio is an excellent idea for any copywriter. Moreover, if you don’t have a rich portfolio in terms of past projects, one of the best ways to prove your skills is to show off your portfolio.
You may wonder how are you supposed to create a portfolio when you don’t have the experience? The answer is fairly simple – you should write your own pieces.
Make home pages for imaginary companies, or improve product descriptions you find online. Create good and high-quality copies that you can offer as proof of your skills.
Don’t Skip Your Soft Skills
Hard skills of a copywriter are what makes them great at creating a high-quality copy. However, soft skills are the ones that make them a good fit for a certain company.
There are a lot of copywriters out there. Most of them are decent or even excellent. Why would somebody want to hire you instead of somebody else?
In more cases than one, it is all down to how well you communicate and how much they like you. Nobody wants to have to deal with a difficult person on their team.
That makes everything so much more complicated and much more unpleasant. It is hardly worth it. Some soft skills that you should look into are:
- Communication skills
- Time management
Proofread, Proofread and Proofread Again!
Now your resume is all done and written. You probably even have a nice portfolio to go with it. It is all well-arranged and it looks amazing. There are only three steps left for you to do before submitting your application:
Step 1: proofread everything
Step 2: proofread it again
Step 3: ask somebody you trust to proofread it for you one more time
Spelling mistakes are not tolerated in resumes. This goes double for you if you are a copywriter. While you are probably excellent at proofreading, it is always good to have another set of eyes going through your work.
After all these tips and guidelines, it is all up to you and your skills and creativity as a writer to craft a resume that will present you as the best possible fit for a job position you are aiming at.
Don’t just send out your resume as it is to everybody. Take your time to customize it for the company you are targeting.
See which qualities and skills they require an emphasis on them in your resume and portfolio.
Try to find the keywords they use in their job listings and to rephrase your own application so it contains them.
Most importantly, try to be yourself. After all, your resume may open some doors for you and get you a job, but you are the one who needs to work there and live up to that image.
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