Objective: To, like, get a job? I guess?
May 7, 2010 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Freelance writing resumes: do you have one, do I need one, and if so how do I make one?

I've been freelancing for a few years, but I've never had a staff job at a magazine or paper - nor do I want one - so I didn't think I needed a writing resume. I have a website with my bio and a bunch of clips, and I write cover letters when appropriate. Maybe I've just been lucky, but so far that's been enough. Now, however, I'm working on an application for a freelance writing job that asks for a resume. The job listing states that you don't have to be a published writer to apply, which makes me wonder if the resume part is optional, perhaps for those who have other career experience that qualifies them for this gig. Or maybe it's meant for applicants who have had staff jobs or written books. If it's not optional, or if it will help me get the job to send one anyway, I'm happy to write one. Except that...I don't know how.

I've been looking at freelance writing sample resumes online and I'm worried that mine will look really unimpressive. I didn't go to school for writing (though I do have a degree in another creative field.) I've written for a couple of very recognizable, respected publications but most of my stuff has been for little online magazines. And I don't have any long-term, repeat clients. So is it better to attempt to create a resume out of what's essentially a list of clips, or to send just the clips (which they also request) and refer them to my website and blog for further info? If I do write a resume, what should I put on it? How should I structure it? Any links to templates or formats that have worked for you would be greatly appreciated!
posted by DestinationUnknown to Writing & Language (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Usually folks want a portfolio (here's mine), but with any resume, you need to target it at the specific job. You could try listing your "core competencies" in a bullet list at the start of the email (being sure to match what they are looking for), and then proceed with a list of writing projects with a brief explanation of why you knocked each out of the park.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:55 PM on May 7, 2010

I've hired various types of people for various jobs (in book publishing), and I've never not hired someone because of a crappy resume (especially if the cover letter was great, and the clips/ editing test were good), but I never even looked at the applications from people who didn't follow the instructions on how and what to submit. If the listing asks for a resume, it wants a resume. Even if your resume is just a list of the biggest publications you've written for (with the title of the piece and date) and things you are good at, plus a list of references, that's enough. Try to make it take up at least 3/4 of the page.
posted by shamash at 5:58 PM on May 7, 2010

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