Writer Resume Examples, Skills and Keywords

Different writing positions have unique requirements that your resume should meet. Here's what you need to know about writing a resume for the most common writer jobs.

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Writer resume samples

Writers provide content for every industry, from technical documents to long-form news and fiction. In general, they need to have an eye for detail and strong research skills. Specific necessary skills can vary dramatically. For example, technical writers need industry-specific knowledge, copywriters need to match brand voices, and grant writers need to understand the grant application process.

If you want to work as a writer, you need to understand what your target employers expect from candidates. Your resume is your best chance to do that. You can use your application to show that you know the position’s requirements and demonstrate your writing ability at the same time.

If you write your resume well, it can convince hiring managers to look at your portfolio. It’s tempting to let your portfolio speak for you, but that can backfire. Many hiring teams will use your resume to decide whether it’s worth looking at your portfolio in the first place, so your resume needs to get their attention.

If you want to build a resume that gets you hired, you can learn from other resumes in that field. These three writer resume examples show how you can appeal to employers in the most common writing niches.

Copywriter resume example

Copywriters produce copy for websites, blogs, and stores. They may work as a staff member at a single company or copywriting agency, or they may freelance. Salaried copywriters usually work with marketing and PR teams to create material for content marketing strategies. These writers are responsible for everything from taglines and ads to blog posts and whitepapers. ‌ Copywriters need to write a wide variety of materials, so they need to have a flexible writing style. They also need to understand SEO marketing. Finally, copywriters need to have excellent research skills so they can write authoritatively on any topic they're assigned. ‌ This copywriter resume shows how to highlight your relevant skills and flexibility without sounding generic.

Technical writer resume example

Technical writers produce supporting documentation for manufacturers, software and hardware developers, and other specialized fields. They usually work at a single company since they need an in-depth understanding of what they're writing about. ‌ These writers collect data about new products and services. They use that information to create instruction manuals, journal articles, procedure write-ups, guides, and any other documents their employer needs. This means that technical writers need to explain complicated topics in a way that's easy to understand. Most technical writers get certifications in the field to learn how to write well. ‌ This technical writer resume displays how to showcase your education and experience effectively.

Grant writer resume example

Grant writers research different funding opportunities, find grants for which their employer is eligible, then produce polished grant proposals to win funding. They usually work for a single non-profit employer at a time, though some grant writers work as consultants. It's not unusual for grant writers to move from position to position depending on funding. ‌ Many grant writers learn about the process by volunteering or taking marketing roles at non-profits. Past experience is excellent to put on your resume, but it's not always necessary. ‌ This grant writer resume example demonstrates how to use different types of non-profit experience to make your application more appealing.

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Writer resume skills and keywords

As a writer, you’re probably familiar with the importance of using keywords in your work. It’s just as important to include writer skills and keywords in your resume. Employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to look for specific resume keywords. The ATS filters out resumes that don’t include the keywords the employers are looking for.

Your resume is more likely to be seen if you include the best writer resume keywords.

30+ skills for writers

  • Clear written communication
  • ‌Time-management
  • ‌Meeting deadlines
  • ‌Research
  • ‌Problem-solving
  • ‌Online publishing
  • ‌Microsoft Office
  • ‌WordPress
  • ‌Multitasking
  • ‌Article pitching
  • ‌Copywriting
  • ‌Editing
  • ‌SEO
  • ‌AP style
  • ‌Creativity
  • ‌Collaboration
  • ‌Attention to detail
  • ‌Markup
  • ‌HTML
  • ‌Grammarly
  • ‌Compliance
  • ‌Flexibility
  • ‌Efficiency
  • ‌Computer literacy
  • ‌Social media
  • ‌Revision
  • ‌Google Suite
  • ‌Marketing
  • ‌Independence
  • ‌Resilience

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Salary expectations for popular writer roles

Writing is a popular career, but not every type of position is equally competitive. Technical writers generally earn more because there are fewer writers with industry-specific knowledge. In contrast, grant writers often work for non-profits and earn less.

$51,880
Copywriter
$61,075
Technical writer
$49,282
Grant writer

Education and certification requirements for writer resumes

Most writer positions don’t require any specific education or training. However, having a degree or certification can help you get hired if you don’t have professional experience as a writer. Education and training can help convince hiring managers that you have the skills they need.

For example, many copywriters have associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in fields like:

  • ‌English
  • ‌Communications
  • ‌Journalism
  • ‌Creative writing
  • ‌Technical writing

‌These degrees include a lot of training in writing clearly, so they help you build your portfolio. They also reassure employers that you know what you’re doing.

If you’re interested in technical writing but don’t have a degree, some employers will require you to get a field-specific certification. The Society for Technical Communication, the National Association of Science Writers, and the American Medical Writers Association all offer specific certifications you can include on your resume.

Finally, grant writers often come from marketing and business backgrounds. If you want to transition into grant writing without prior writing experience, you can take college courses or outside certification classes to learn more.