For copywriters who’re looking to work for an employer, like a marketing agency or a public relations firm, having a polished CV is essential.
Usually when a position is advertised, the decision maker who’s sifting through potentially hundreds of CVs will only look at each one for less than two minutes.
They want to compile a short list for interviews as quickly as possible and will, without hesitation, toss CVs that don’t quickly measure up into the ‘round file’.
So how do you ensure your CV stands out from the crowd?
Name and contact details
The whole point of submitting a CV is to have the hiring manager contact you, so this information needs to be easy to find. The best way to achieve this is to put your contact details at the top of the page. This may sound like common sense, but you might be surprised over how many CVs don’t follow this basic rule.
You should include your name, telephone number and email address. You don’t need to include your date of birth, home address or nationality.
This is one of the sections that the hiring manager will pay most attention to. As a copywriter, you need to show that you have writing ability.
So to really impress, you should include significant words that your target employer will want to see in a seamless, punchy statement that sells you as an employee worth having.
It’s fair to say that if your Professional Profile doesn’t have this kind of ‘wow factor’, your chances of getting an interview are virtually nil.
Significant Word List
Create, Compelling, Relationships, Benefits, Accomplished, Resonates, Proven track record, Demanding environments, Extensive experience, Numerous roles, Effectively manage, Campaigns, Promotions, Social media platforms, ROI, Post campaign analysis, Strategic recommendations, Tracking industry trends, Developed concepts, Effective communication principles, Brand awareness, Increase engagement.
One of the best ways to show a real point of difference between you and most other candidates is to showcase your core copywriting skills. Some CV writers even leave out this section altogether, so it makes sense to spend some time and effort on this.
By providing a ‘snapshot’ of yourself, you show at a glance what you bring to the table. Most CV writing experts state that having about eight Core Skills is a good number to aim for. If the list is too short, it makes it appear like you’re lacking something. If the list is too long, it can look inauthentic.
Suggested Core Skills List
o Elite English language skills
o Ability to combine critical and creative thinking
o Customer relations
o An eye for detail
o Ability to see and embrace different perspectives
o Superior research skills
o Time management
o Ability to write different forms of copy (give details)
Don’t worry if you’ve never had a paid copywriting job. You can include university projects, work experience or volunteer work.
It’s always best to list your job positions in reverse chronological order – the hiring manager is always interested in seeing where you’ve worked most recently because this is the information most likely to give an insight into your current skills and abilities.
When you’re writing about role descriptions, don’t make it all about you. Show how you’ve benefited employers and demonstrated your value.
Include any relevant information on the following:
o Key responsibilities
o Main achievements
o Expertise gained
o Demonstrated skills
o Who you interacted with
o What kind of work you produced
o Where you worked
o When you worked
o How you benefited the company
Focus on providing details about any study you’ve done that is directly, or even indirectly, related to copywriting.
Even you haven’t got a degree in advertising, communications, marketing or public relations, you would have done at least some subjects in your academic studies that required you to submit a significant amount of writing. Give details about assignments and presentations, as well as the skills required.
If you’d like to read more about the art of copywriting, look out for more blogs in this series. Or if you’d like to share your thoughts, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.