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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

Writer resume examples & templates

You have a way with words, but finding the right ones for your writer resume can be tough. Read our guide and look at our resume example to get your creative juices flowing.
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Writer resume examples & templates
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Words are the tools of your trade. But when applying for jobs, you might be at a loss for them. Even the most gifted wordsmiths can have trouble selling themselves to a hiring manager. However, if you want to have a shot at your dream writing job, you need to get this right. 

Perfecting your writer resume is the best place to start. This one or two page document needs to share your value with the reader concisely. That means keeping things short and sweet. 

While you might have endless things to say about your career thus far, it’s important to consider the reader’s time. Hiring managers spend a matter of seconds reviewing each resume. That doesn’t give you long to make the right first impression. Never fear. We’ve got you covered. 

Resume guide for a writer resume

Write the perfect application with Resume.io. We have a selection of resume examples covering over 500 professions. Plus, our resume builder makes creating the perfect resume a cinch.

This resume guide and corresponding writers resume example will cover the following:

  • How to write a writer resume
  • Choosing the right resume format for writer
  • How to add your contact information
  • Using summaries
  • Adding your writer experience
  • Listing education and relevant experience
  • Picking the right resume design/layout
  • What the writer market looks like, and what salary you can expect

How to write a writer resume

Before you get started with your writer's resume, you need to understand what sections to include. Here are the elements you need to include: 

As a writer, you can expect the hiring manager to scrutinize your resume more than they might others. There’s an expectation that you can convey a message well. After all, that’s your job. Chances are, you’re already a pro at finding the right way to say something. However, you need to ensure you are positioning your writer resume well. Here’s how to do that: 

  • Identify the company’s needs. When applying for a new writing job, take the time to consider what the business at hand needs. You can find this information in the original job advert, for example. Try to come up with a unique selling proposition that solves the business’ main problem. This small trick will give you a competitive edge.
  • Highlight your accomplishments. When writing a resume, focus on what your actions resulted in. What accomplishments do you have under your belt? Consider the impact that your writing skills had on previous roles. By looking at what you have offered prior employers, you can effortlessly prove your value to prospective ones.
  • Ensure that the visual aspects of your resume hit the mark. Looks matter more than you may realize. The first impression that the hiring manager gets will be based on how your application looks. With that in mind, you should choose the right resume template for the position. Take the time to consider how it aligns with the vacancy and company.
  • Optimize your writer's resume to get past ATS screening software. You can do this by incorporating the right keywords and phrases into the body of your application.
Expert tip

Optimize for the ATS

Keywords could be the secret to your success. Most businesses now use applicant tracking systems, or ATS, to track incoming resumes. The software scans applications for specific words relating to the business and the job. Luckily, you can often find these in the job advert.

For example, the writing job posting lists the following requirements: 

  • “SEO knowledge”
  • “MLA Style”
  • “Proofreading skills”

In that case, you can use the above phrases within your resume summary. You might write the following summary as part of your writer resume: 

“Experienced writer with high-level SEO knowledge, research, and proofreading skills. Confident using MLA Style while delivering complex information in simple terms.”

Choosing the right resume format for writing

Next up, you need to make sure that you get the resume format right. The golden rule here is to use the reverse chronological order to tell your career story. This approach means starting with your most recent accomplishments at the top of the page. As you work your way down the page, you should move backwards in time. It’s what most hiring managers expect to see. 

However, it’s worth noting that this is not the only option. If writing has not always been your full-time job, you might want to go another way. Using a functional format focuses more on your skills than your experience. You may find this structure works better for your application. 

Check out our wide range of resume templates in our resume builder. You can select the format that best suits your application there. We also have a selection of resume examples you can use for inspiration, many of which use different formats. 

Remember, your writer's resume should use a modern layout. After all, you want to make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to read your application. 

Include your contact information

Your resume header is one of the first things a hiring manager will see. Much like a business card, this section covers your basic contact information. Ensure that it is clear. 

It’s vital to make this information accessible to the reader. With that in mind, make sure that you include the following key points. 

  • Full name & title. Include your first and last name and the job title, i.e., Writer.
  • Professional email address. Make sure that the email address you choose is suitable for work. If in doubt, use one that simply has your name in it.
  • Phone number. Ensure that you are reachable on the number that you include here. You should also check that the answer message is suitable for work.
  • Location. You only need to include your city and state. Don’t bother listing your full address. If you are willing to relocate for the job, make sure that you say so.
  • LinkedIn. As a writer, your LinkedIn profile should be active and up to date. If that is the case, you can include a hyperlink in your resume header.

Don’t include:

  • Date of birth: The hiring manager does not need to know how old you are, as this could lead to age discrimination.
  • Personal details: You don’t need to include details, such as whether you have children, your marital status, social security number, passport number, etc.
Do

Sarah Simons 

Writer 

New York, NY 

385 933 0230

[email protected]

Don't

Sarah Simons 

Single

Professional Wordsmith

Apt 21, Clifton Sq, New York, NY 

01385 9330 230

[email protected]

Make use of a summary

It’s time to put your writing skills to the test. Your summary is a 2-3 sentence blurb about you. However, you don’t get to wax lyrical about your writing prowess. If you want to make the most of this section, you need to make sure that it targets your prospective employer. 

To help you get that right, do your homework. Go back to the original job advert and read the criteria. You should aim to incorporate what the employer needs into this part of your resume. 

You likely already know all about action verbs. However, don’t forget to use them. Including powerful words, such as delivered, created, enhanced, and spearheaded, will boost your resume. You can use these words either in the past or present tense. The choice is yours.

Avoid the pitfall of merely repeating the achievements you have noted elsewhere on your resume. Give the reader something new to think about. Focus on your unique selling proposition here. What do you bring to the table that other candidates lack? For example, you might write, “Content writer with SEO experience and proven track record of high-ranking articles on Google.”

Seize the opportunity to stand out by showcasing what makes you unique. If you’re not sure where to start, consider trying out a few different approaches and seeing which is strongest.

Do you have writer’s block? Check out our related resume examples for inspiration including our: 

You can find adaptable writer resume examples summary below:

Entry-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Creative writer adept at crafting engaging blog posts, articles, and in-depth guides for online audiences. Boasts a working knowledge of SEO, excellent lexicon, and a high level of attention to detail. Seeking an entry-level position in an agency.  

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Mid-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Talented content writer with 6+ years experience working for digital agencies. Confident in following briefs, adhering to in-house style guides, SEO research, and proofreading. Specializing in lifestyle and health-related topics for online audiences.

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Senior-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Award-winning writer with 10+ years of experience working in digital media. Articles and opinion pieces published in The New York Times, the Guardian, and The Times. Confident in interviewing sources, investigative journalism, editing, and adhering to MLA Style. 

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Outline your writer work experience

Now that you have the reader’s attention, it’s time to keep it. Your work experience section should cover positions you’ve held over the last 10-15 years. You don’t need to go any further back than that. Once again, you should use reverse chronological order here. 

To save yourself some space, omit any opening lines that start with “I”. For example, you don’t need to include “I am,” “I have,” or “I did” in this section. Instead, you want to get straight to the and showcase your value to the reader. You might throw in some action verbs here, too.

Avoid merely recounting your duties to the hiring manager. They are unlikely to inspire them or give them any indication of what you can do for business. Here’s what not to do: 

  • “Wrote articles”
  • “Proofread content”
  • “Followed briefs”

These bullet points cover your main duties in a role. However, they don’t tell the hiring manager anything specific about your skill set. If you want to upgrade your application, zoom in on the results-based points here. Let’s take a look at how that looks: 

  • “Wrote 10+ researched and interview-based articles per month”
  • “Proofread 25+ guides per month with 99% grammatical accuracy”
  • “Followed briefs and incorporated keywords to optimize content for SEO”

The more detail you can offer the hiring manager at this point, the more likely they are to care about your writer resume. You already know that you’re an ace writer, but they don’t. Show them how your writing skills have impacted the business you’ve worked for in the past. 

Take a look at the writer's employment history resume sample below:

Adaptable resume employment history example

Staff Writer at The Onion, Chicago 
September 2018 - Present 

  • Write satirical news articles, opinion pieces, and multimedia content for the publication's print and digital platforms
  • Develop and pitch original ideas that capture the zeitgeist and push the boundaries of humor and social commentary
  • Collaborate with fellow writers, editors, and graphic designers to refine and enhance the comedic impact and visual presentation of content

 

Freelance Writer at Various Publications, San Francisco 
June 2015 - August 2018 

  • Contributed essays, short stories, and cultural criticism to publications such as The Believer, n+1, and Electric Literature
  • Explored a wide range of themes and styles, showcasing versatility and a distinctive literary voice
  • Participated in writing workshops and conferences to hone craft, network with industry professionals, and stay current with emerging trends
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How to write a writer resume with no experience

Are you a budding writer? If you’re new to wordsmithery, you need to prove that you have what it takes to the hiring manager. You can do this by focusing on your transferable skills and your enthusiasm for the sector. Let the reader know why you want to be a writer. 

While you may not have worked as a professional writer, you will have some experience in this area. For example, if you worked in administration, you may have spent your time writing compelling emails. Be creative when looking for overlap in your career history and this role. 

You can also cover your career pivot in your resume summary. Talk about why you have decided to pursue writing at this stage in your career and what skills you already have. Being upfront about this will work in your favor. You are not trying to hide your lack of experience. 

Don’t panic if you have no direct experience on your resume. Everyone has to start somewhere. Simply ensure that you are applying for entry-level jobs that suit your level. 

Include the relevant key skills that make you a great writer

Any good writer knows that you need a balance of hard and soft skills to make it. When writing the skills section of your resume, you should keep this firmly in mind. 

Hard skills are technical and relate directly to the vacancy. For example, these may include SEO knowledge, style guide understanding, proofreading, and editing. 

On the other hand, your soft skills are likely transferable. You should highlight your written communication, organization, and time management talents. 

Using our resume builder will give you AI-generated skills that match your requirements. However, you can also include your own skills. 

Here’s what the skills box looks like in our writer resume template. 

Key Skills and Proficiencies

Seo
Editing
Wordpress
Journalism
Advertising
English
Writing
Organized
Collaboration
Communication

You should include your key skills in this section. However, you want to go one step further than that. Put each of them into context in other areas of your writer resume. Here are some examples of how you might do that: 

  • Describe how you used shorthand when transcribing interviews.
  • Detail how your research skills allowed you to uncover a major story that you were able to break.
  • Cover how you used your editing and proofreading skills to ensure that your content was always grammatically correct and spelling error-free.

If you’re not sure which skills to include, return to the job advert once again. It’s smart to weave in the competencies the hiring manager is searching for (so long as you have them). 

Detail your education & relevant writer certifications

Writing your education section should not cause too much stress. This is a straightforward part of the process. While there are no official qualifications you need to become a writer, the more relevant certificates you have, the better your chances of success. 

Expert tip

Leave out your high school education 

If you have a college degree, you don’t need to include your high school education. The hiring manager is more interested in your most recent qualifications. Save yourself the space! 

If you’re unsure which qualifications you should include on your writer's resume, we have you covered. Let’s take a look at some of the certificates that would be relevant:

Of course, you should reflect on the qualifications listed in the job advert. This will give you a good idea of the level of education the hiring manager expects here.

Adaptable example for education and certifications

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, University of Iowa, Iowa City 
August 2013 - May 2015 


Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie 
August 2007 - May 2011

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Pick the right resume layout and design for a writer resume

Your resume needs to look the part. The pill that is hard to swallow for many writers is that readers judge how something looks first and foremost. For that reason, you need to make sure that your resume design is clear, crisp, and easy to read. 

On that note, be sure to pick a legible font. There’s no room for fancy typefaces that are beautiful on the page but impossible to read. Wherever possible, make use of white space, too. This approach means that your resume looks sophisticated. 

If you want to take all of the hassle out of designing your application, check out our resume templates now. That way, you can focus on perfecting the content of your writer resume. 

Writer text-only resume example

Writer resume example (text version)

Profile

Imaginative and detail-oriented writer with 8+ years of experience seeking a position at McSweeney's to craft unique and thought-provoking content, engage readers, and contribute to the publication's distinctive voice and style.


Employment history

Staff Writer at The Onion, Chicago 
September 2018 - Present 

  • Write satirical news articles, opinion pieces, and multimedia content for the publication's print and digital platforms
  • Develop and pitch original ideas that capture the zeitgeist and push the boundaries of humor and social commentary
  • Collaborate with fellow writers, editors, and graphic designers to refine and enhance the comedic impact and visual presentation of content

 

Freelance Writer at Various Publications, San Francisco 
June 2015 - August 2018 

  • Contributed essays, short stories, and cultural criticism to publications such as The Believer, n+1, and Electric Literature
  • Explored a wide range of themes and styles, showcasing versatility and a distinctive literary voice
  • Participated in writing workshops and conferences to hone craft, network with industry professionals, and stay current with emerging trends


Skills

  • Creative ideation and execution
  • Humor and satire writing
  • Literary analysis and criticism
  • Adaptability to various genres and forms
  • Collaboration and feedback incorporation


Education

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, University of Iowa, Iowa City 
August 2013 - May 2015 


Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie 
August 2007 - May 2011

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Writer job market and outlook

There were 151,200 job openings in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The sector for 2022 to 2032 is expected to grow at a rate of 4%, which is as fast as the average.

Of course, this sector covers a wide selection of roles, including blogger, writer, author, content writer, copywriter, and more. It’s worth looking far and wide for your ideal position. 

What type of salary you can expect in writing

The average salary for a writer in 2023 was $73,690 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average hourly rate was $35.43 per hour. Needless to say, there’s a wide range of jobs out there, and you can expect the salary you gain to match your seniority level. 

Key takeaways for building a writer resume

The writing field is highly competitive. If you want to make it, you need a resume that tells a compelling career story. Ensure you follow the structure we have outlined here and include the most relevant information at the top of the page. Tailoring your resume to meet the needs of the company at hand is a savvy way to get ahead of your competitors. 

Using our online resume builder is the best way to streamline the process. Effortlessly create an application that turns the hiring manager’s head now.

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