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Building a Strong Writer's Resume?

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by HisNameIsAngel, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Hey all,

    I'm looking for a little guidance. I'm getting to the point where I feel like I can knock on some doors without wasting someone's time. While I'm about two semesters away from my degree, I feel like I should be doing something to get a jump on the job market. But at 25, the majority of my work experience is irrelevant to my field.

    Right now, I'm trying to figure out the best way to present myself on paper (or .PDF/.doc), and am drawing a blank. I write for the Examiner, but am on the fence about including that as anything more than a footnote. My best bit of experience is as an intern at one of NY's bigger city-wide newspapers. Realistically, I think my best selling points are my skills in multimedia and digital technology, but I really want to showcase my writing for a potential employer.

    The majority of my struggles revolve around identifying my best clips and the actual presentation of the resume. If anyone can help me out, I'd be eternally appreciative. Perhaps point me in the direction of a sample resume, or upload a personal one (redacting all critical identification information, of course)?

    Sorry if this question's been asked a thousand times.

  2. ringer

    ringer Member

    Re: resume presentation, I suggest going to a bookstore and flipping through some sample resumes in employment help books. Pick a format you like and go with it.

    In general, resumes have three parts: Experience, Education, and Personal.

    Whatever you do, limit it to one page, be concise, make sure you use the official name of each publication (i.e. if "The" is part of the name, be sure to include it), and don't misspell anything. Also, use verbs and choose them carefully. (Again, resume reference books will list some of the good ones)

    Try not to view your other experience as irrelevant to your field. In journalism, everything is relevant. In fact, the broader range of experiences you have, the better. But I know what you mean about not wanting to seem scattered. Try to find and highlight the marketable skill in each position.
  3. Awesome! Thanks for the advice, ringer. So generally, there's not a different format for a writer's resume than anyone else's? I can go through those Microsoft Word templates and find something that suits me best?
  4. spud

    spud Member

    There is absolutely no one specific template for a writer's resume. Our field relies about as much on clip files as resume presentation, so there's no one way to do it. It's more nuts and bolts than, say, a management position with a corporation or a law firm or what have you.

    Focus on picking the right clips to send to the right job, get your resume factually correct, use a lot of active words and make sure it's put together cohesively. Generally speaking you want to let your experience and clips do the talking for you. Just make sure nothing you do, resume included, is bland.
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