When you’re first starting out as a copywriter—or really any new career—your resume loses its luster. It’s hard to put together a traditional resume without filling it with a ton of non-copywriting experience. And, of course, when you’re trying to attract copywriting clients or hiring managers, you want to put your best foot forward and show what you have to offer to them.
Luckily, you have a couple of different options to create an outstanding resume.
Option 1: Selected Credits Resume
The first option is to eschew a traditional resume in favor of a “Selected Writing Credits” resume. Instead of listing out all the jobs you’ve worked, go back through your years of experience and pull out all the writing work that you’ve done. (This, by the way, is 90% of what a copywriting hiring manager cares about, anyway. The other 10% is split between the fact that you’ve worked somewhere before and that you’re not a complete lunatic.)
When you put it together, in additional to your contact information up top, it should look like this:
XYZ Hospital – Boeing, Vermont
– Created welcome letter for new patients
– Updated monthly newsletter with hospital news and doctor interviews
ABC Cafe – Smithville, Maryland
– Created signage for new breakfast offerings
– Rewrote menu to focus on unique dishes.
And so on and so on. Of course, as much as possible, you should try to have samples of the projects you reference in your Selected Writing Credits resume in your portfolio.
Option 2: Keep Your Current Resume
Now for option 2: Keep your current resume, take out the things that are really irrelevant, and draft a stellar cover letter. I suggest taking out the things that are irrelevant because the hiring manager needs to see that you can tailor your message to your audience. (Ahem: big part of copywriting.)
Then, in your cover letter or email, sell yourself. Let them know what you can bring to the job that no one else can, let them know all the copywriting work and all the copywriting self-study you’ve been doing and let them know a few things that make you particularly excited about this opportunity. (Do your research on the company so you can be detailed and specific.)
Now, one more step: Let’s say that, unfortunately, a hiring manager doesn’t opt to have you come in for an interview. In that case, send that hiring manager a very polite email to ask what they didn’t see in your resume or cover letter that they wanted to. Too little interactive work? No agency experience? Not enough technical writing? If they give you the feedback, thank them profusely and then use it to get that experience/make those improvements and make your resume even better.
How have you optimized your resume when looking for a new job? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on December 6, 2023