How to Use Copywriting Skills to Improve Your Resume

Whether you’re writing an email to pitch your services or a resume to apply for a job, copywriters can use their skills to improve what they produce. Many copywriting skills are applicable across various platforms, and you should use them to boost your career chances.

Discover the importance of using your copywriting skills to improve your resume.

What does a copywriter do on a resume?

A copywriter uses their resume to sell their talents and provide a history of their relevant work experiences. The resume is only half of a copywriter’s application. Copywriters also submit portfolios of their work so hiring managers can see their abilities in action.

Here are some steps to maximise your copywriting abilities when creating your resume.

Use keywords

Most businesses use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to make hiring more efficient. For candidates, the ATS will automatically screen your resume and either send it to a hiring manager or eliminate it from the process.

Just as you would use keywords to boost the SEO of an article, you need to use the appropriate keywords to ensure your application makes it through the initial vetting stage. Most businesses looking for a copywriter will have some combination of these keywords in their ATS:

  • Writing
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Keyword research
  • WordPress / Microsoft Word 
  • Creative
  • Editing
  • Style guides
  • Open-minded
  • Marketing
  • Independent

Start your resume with a summary of your professional identity and include these keywords to appease the ATS and get to the human hiring stage. The section of your resume dedicated to your skills is also an excellent opportunity to use more of these important keywords.

Highlight skills

You can highlight your relevant skills in your resume’s introductory summary and the ‘Skills’ section. The summary is an excellent place to write about your in-depth knowledge of programs like WordPress and Grammarly. You can also reference your understanding of the importance of SEO and keyword research in this section.

The ‘Skills’ portion of your resume should be single words that describe your abilities without further context. Keywords in this section can relate more to your personal attributes than industry-specific terms. Highlight that you are open-minded, creative, and detail-oriented.

Customise applications 

Customising your application to the role might sound obvious, but hiring managers dismiss many resumes for being too vague. Using the company’s name and the position you’re interested in shows the hiring manager that you are a serious candidate.

Copywriting is a vast field. You can specialise in almost any subject, so ensure your resume is specific to the job. Some businesses need technical writers who can produce compelling copy for industries like engineering, medicine, and finance. Other companies, however, are looking for writers who can research and investigate a range of topics.

You might be a great copywriter who can excel in both types of content creation. Hiring managers only want to know about your suitability for the role they offer. Highlight skills that are most relevant to the job. 

Reference portfolios

Resumes are one component of a copywriter’s job application, while portfolios comprise the other half. Your portfolio demonstrates that you can produce high-quality, compelling content that fits your client’s brief. Hiring managers want proof that you can deliver on the skills and experience you mention in your resume.

Many copywriting roles will ask for a portfolio when you apply, but you should provide it whether or not they ask. If you have an online portfolio, attach a link to your resume so the hiring manager can access your past samples immediately. 

Experienced copywriters might have multiple portfolios or pages to keep their work organised by industry or style. If you have a range of portfolios to show, only send the one most relevant to the job. Hiring managers spend lots of time sorting through applications, so making it as quick and easy as possible is essential.

Proofread thoroughly

Lastly, proofread your resume. This step also sounds obvious, but we all know how easily a typo can slip through the cracks. If you’re sending out various applications customised to their businesses and roles, it’s even easier to make a mistake.

Proofreading is a core skill for copywriters. If you send a resume that proudly boasts your detail-oriented work but is filled with errors and typos, it won’t look good. It’s well worth reading your resume a second and third time to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.

How do I add freelance copywriting to my resume?

Freelancers use their resumes more than most professionals. Rather than applying for jobs every few years, they consistently reach out to new clients and seek opportunities depending on how and when they want to work.

A freelance copywriter’s resume mostly resembles a full-time copywriter’s. However, freelancers can include their rates in their resumes or portfolio. Streamlining the hiring process like this is more efficient for candidates and hiring managers. 

You can add freelance projects to your resume under the ‘Experience’ heading. It’s also good for freelancers to highlight their portfolios to hiring managers to understand their client history better. Instead of referees, freelance copywriters might also have a section of testimonials on their portfolio that hiring teams can reference.

Does freelancing look good on a resume?

Freelancing definitely looks good on a resume. If you have a gap in your full-time employment where you have freelanced, including this information seems much better than leaving the gap unexplained.

Whether you have recently become a freelancer or there is a period of freelancing in your work history, be prepared to answer questions about it in an interview. Most recruiters want to know why you went freelance or returned to the full-time workforce. 

Having a history of freelance can highlight your ability to work independently and follow a brief. Use your freelance work in your resume to pinpoint your research and time management skills.

How do I pitch myself as a freelance copywriter?

Reaching out to potential clients is one of the main ways freelance copywriters pitch themselves. Freelance copywriters must be more proactive than full-time workers when looking for work. Drafting resumes and solid portfolios are the keys to generating new freelance business. 

Cold pitching is a significant component of getting work as a freelancer. Once you have a solid portfolio and know which companies you want to contact, you can develop a resume using these copywriting tips and start drafting those pitch emails.

Your resume is your first impression. You can refine and improve your resume using copywriting techniques to have the best chance at advancing to an interview. At The Author’s Pad, we can provide clear guidance to help you write your first resume, create your copywriting portfolio, and confidently grow your career.

FAQs

Here are a few frequently asked questions about entering the copywriting field.

Can I be a copywriter with no experience?

You can be a copywriter with no experience. One of the most complex parts of entering the freelance copywriting world is getting those crucial early jobs that give you experience. You can create briefs for yourself or even offer your services for free to develop your skills if you’re worried about copywriting with no experience.

Which type of copywriting is easiest?

Although all areas of copywriting have their challenges, business-to-business (B2B) copywriting is one of the most accessible fields. There is an incredibly high demand for copy oriented around B2B services and interactions, so even new copywriters stand a decent chance at getting experience in this area.

How do I know if I am good at copywriting?

The key to knowing if you’re good at copywriting is if you love writing. Writers find joy in all kinds of writing styles and love learning the ins and outs of a new format. Copywriting poses a new challenge for writers, and those who excel do so because they love to write. If you regularly read and enjoy reading about various topics, you are a great candidate for copywriting.

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