I have to admit it, I don’t like updating my resume or creating a new one from scratch. Even if it’s as simple as adding a new job description and job duties. Or, revising it to match a job I’m looking at landing (which may be as simple as updating the “Objective” section).
So, when the time came around to create a resume for my new web-writing business, I was stumped. I mean, I was new at this line of work. What was I going to put on this new resume? How was it going to look?
If you’re also starting out as a copywriter, you’ll need a new resume, too. It’s pretty much the same as a “normal” resume.
Well, sort of.
Basically, it has a lot of the same sections you’d expect on a resume, like:
- Your name and contact info
- Your title or what you are or do (for example, “Web Copywriter & Consultant”)
- Employment History
- Professional Associations
- Plus, your Writing Samples (not normally found on a resume)
Use your copywriting skills to write your Objective.
The Objective is the place on your resume where your copywriting skills will make the difference. Why? Because this is your opportunity to persuade your reader that you are the right one for the job or project. “Sell” your prospect on the advantages of working with you. And, the best way to do that is to write an Objective that answers the prospect’s question, “What’s In It For Me?” Draft your Objective so it explains to the reader why you are best suited to do this work, what you will provide him, and how you will best solve his problems. Your Objective should be more about what you can bring to the relationship than what you expect to gain.
One of the most important sections is your Qualifications.
Why, you ask?
This is where you have to convince your prospect that you’re fully qualified to do the job or project you’re applying for.
So, you have to seriously ask yourself, “What really makes me qualified to do this project or job?” Or, “What really qualifies me to write for this niche?”
This isn’t always an easy question to answer. If you’re just breaking into the copywriting industry, you may not think you have the qualifications someone is looking for. Maybe you just completed AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting program or Copywriting 2.0: Your Complete Guide to Writing Web Copy that Converts and don’t have any practical experience.
At least, you think you don’t.
On two different occasions, Joshua Boswell and Bob Bly gave me the perfect solution on how to handle this “obstacle.”
Joshua told me you need to dig into your past — to find everything you’ve ever done or accomplished. This includes all of your previous jobs, awards, and achievements … no matter how small you think they are. Go back as far as high school and college. Did you win any medals? What were they for? What you’ve accomplished in the past says a lot about who you are.
Let’s say you’re looking to break into the health market and are certified in CPR. The prospect you’re trying to land may find that certification important. And, not just for the fact that you have a CPR certification. They may see it as you being a caring individual, truly concerned for the health of others. There’s relevance in that certification.
When speaking with the prospect, they may ask you what makes you qualified. Then, you tell them what you’ve done and what you know that may apply to their industry or job. Even the smallest bit of information may help.
That’s what Bob Bly did. He was trying to land a copy project for an engineering firm. When he was asked what made him so qualified to do work for them, he proceeded to tell them he was an engineer in their industry for more than 25 years.
Was the prospect impressed? Yes, very. Because they knew he completely understood their business, and would be able to deliver what they wanted.
This is the type of information you need to have on your resume. Sometimes it’s clearly relevant, sometimes it’s not. You never know what the prospect is actually looking for.
Next, you’ll need your Employment History.
Human Resource experts say not to go back more than 10 years with your employment history, unless there are too many gaps. Then, you’d want to shorten the time frame.
Employment history should include the name of the company you worked for (or completed work for) and their location, your job title, and the dates you worked there. You know, the usual information.
Add your Education, Certifications, and Professional Associations.
Include your formal education as well as AWAI and Wealthy Web Writer. For example, you could put “American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI): Advanced Copywriting Programs Graduate” or “Attended Wealthy Web Writer’s Web Intensive.”
Do you have any certifications? Include those as well.
Do you belong to any professional associations? Include them. These may consist of the Circle of Success, the Professional Writers’ Alliance, the Direct Marketing Association, the Chamber of Commerce, or any other memberships you have or organizations to whom you belong.
Do you include samples or not?
Do you have samples of your work? Some choose to put “Writing Samples: Available upon request” or you may provide specific samples for the work you’re looking for. The choice is yours.
If you don’t have any samples yet, these articles will give you some great ideas on how to build your portfolio.
- Don’t Panic If You Don’t Have Any Writing Samples In Your Portfolio
By Bob Bly
- How to Create an Impressive Portfolio From Scratch — Even If You’ve Got ZERO Professional Experience
By Jason Gaspero
- How to Build a Web Copywriting Portfolio FAST
By Sid Smith
Now that you know how to create your web copywriting resume, take the next step and complete one for yourself. You’re now ready to apply for that new copywriting job or project!