Writing a CV or resume as a content writer can often feel like a daunting task. You’re used to crafting stories and messages for brands or products, but now the focus is on marketing yourself. The key is to present your skills and experiences in a way that resonates with potential employers and lands you that all-important Content Writer interview.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating a compelling content writer CV or resume. We’ll provide straightforward advice and include practical examples to help you showcase your writing prowess and professional achievements effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, these tips will help you craft a document that stands out in the competitive field of content writing.
- 1 Read The Job Description / Advert
- 2 Research The Company
- 3 Find A Good CV Template
- 4 Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
- 5 Detail Your Employment History
- 6 Detail Your Education History
- 7 CV Structure
- 8 WHAT NOT TO DO
- 9 Content Writer CV Tips – Recap
- 10 Content Writer CV Sample
Read The Job Description / Advert
The first step is, of course, to read the job description. We need to know what the firm is looking for so that we can properly highlight these characteristics in our CV. So read back over the job description and try to pinpoint the important points. A lot of times a firm will call things “required”; if you see this, you need to make sure you include that in your CV. Similarly, if certain things are repeated throughout the advert, this indicates they are of high importance, so we will want to make sure our CV shows that as well.
When performing this analysis, take care to copy the ‘exact’ words and phrases that are being used by the hiring manager. We will want to pepper these into our CV later.
Content Writer Job Description Example
We are seeking a creative and detail-oriented Content Writer to join our dynamic team. In this role, you will be responsible for creating high-quality, engaging content across various digital platforms. Your primary focus will be to develop content that resonates with our audience, supports our brand strategy, and drives user engagement.
- Write, edit, and publish content for websites, blogs, videos, social media posts/campaigns, email campaigns, and more.
- Collaborate with the marketing team to develop a content strategy aligned with short-term and long-term marketing targets.
- Create compelling headlines and body copy that will capture the attention of the target audience.
- Identify customers’ needs and recommend new content to address gaps in the company’s current content.
- Consistently brainstorm and collaborate with team members for new ideas and strategies.
- Research markets and industries to compare and create content that is innovative and original.
- Analyze web traffic metrics to gauge content performance and update existing content to boost search engine rankings.
- Use SEO best practices to generate traffic to our site.
- Regularly produce various content types, including email, social media posts, blogs, and white papers.
- Actively manage and promote our blog, and pitch articles to relevant third-party platforms.
- Edit content produced by other members of the team.
Skills and Qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Marketing, or a related field.
- Proven content writing or copywriting experience.
- Working knowledge of content management systems, like WordPress.
- A portfolio of published articles.
- Excellent writing and editing skills, with a keen eye for detail.
- An ability to consistently meet tight deadlines.
- Experience writing for a B2B audience.
- Experience using SEO best practices to write creative copy that includes effective keyword placement.
- Strong research skills and the ability to learn about new topics quickly and efficiently.
- Great interpersonal and communication skills.
We offer a dynamic and creative work environment where your ideas and contributions are valued. Join us and be a part of a team that takes pride in delivering quality content that makes a difference.
Note: This position offers a competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Research The Company
Time to put on your detective hat and do some research on your target company. Look at their website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. You are looking for any piece of intel that will give you the leg up.
- Find out about recent work/projects they have undertaken or will be embarking on (highlight your experience in these areas on your CV)
- Find out what software/processes they use and make sure you include your proficiency in them in your CV
- Learn what interview questions you might expect should you make it that far
See if you know anyone who works there and/or connect (LinkedIn) with people ahead of the interview. A little nepotism could never hurt, and you might be able to glean more information about the role/hiring process in the meantime.
Find A Good CV Template
When selecting a CV template, it’s essential to opt for a simple design and structure. Not only are straightforward layouts more compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), but they also make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify and understand key details. A clutter-free and organized CV ensures that your most important information stands out, facilitating a smoother review process for potential employers.
Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
A handy approach is to craft three sentences: the first highlighting your qualifications and experience, the second showcasing your biggest professional achievement, and the third detailing your most recent experience.
Content Writer Professional Summary Example
- With over 8 years of experience in content writing, specializing in digital marketing and SEO, armed with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a certification in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute. Expertise includes crafting engaging content for various industries, including tech, lifestyle, and health, using tools like WordPress and HubSpot to enhance content reach and engagement.
- Spearheaded a major content strategy overhaul for TechTrendz, a leading tech blog, which resulted in a 60% increase in web traffic and a 40% rise in user engagement within six months. This achievement was accomplished through meticulous research, the use of SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs, and a keen understanding of audience analytics.
- Most recently focused on developing and executing a content calendar for LifestyleBuzz, a popular online lifestyle magazine. This involved coordinating with a team of writers and social media managers, using tools like Trello for project management and Google Analytics for performance tracking, leading to a consistent 25% monthly growth in social media traffic and a 15% increase in subscriber count.
Detail Your Employment History
Begin by listing your employment history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent role. This allows potential employers to see your recent experience upfront, which holds greater value. Keep in mind that brevity is key.
As you go further back in time, reduce the level of detail to ensure your CV doesn’t exceed two pages. Employers are less likely to read lengthy CVs.
When writing about your responsibilities on your CV, focus on how you’ve made a real impact in your role as a Content Writer. Instead of simply stating “Wrote articles for a tech blog,” you could say, “Crafted 50+ SEO-optimized articles for a leading tech blog, resulting in a 30% increase in organic traffic over six months.” This approach not only shows that you wrote articles but also demonstrates your skill in SEO and your contribution to significant traffic growth. It’s about turning a basic task into a story of success and skill.
Detail Your Education History
Keep your CV concise, aiming for a two-page limit. The education section can often be streamlined.
Highlight the most relevant qualifications. For instance, if you have a degree, your A-levels become less significant. Similarly, if you’re in the U.S., having an MBA overshadows your high school GPA.
Unless an older educational milestone is crucial for the job or highly pertinent, focus on showcasing your Bachelor’s degree, post-graduate studies, or professional certifications. If you lack these, mention your latest qualifications. Remember, having a Master’s suggests you’ve finished school, so no need to state the obvious. Only include your educational background if it’s pertinent to the job.
Tactically structure your CV to the ‘most wanted’ attributes of the job description. For example, if the job description values “qualified”, then place your qualifications first; if they want someone with RECENT experience, put your last job up top. If they want multiple years of experience, highlight your tenure.
We always recommend that you have a Professional Summary up top (after your name/contact info), as it will be the first thing that anyone reads. As discussed earlier, this should be tailored towards the job advert and showcase your experience and skills in what the employer is looking for.
A fairly typical structure would go:
- Name and contact info
- Professional Summary
- Current (or most recent employment)
- Education & Professional Qualifications
- Employment History
WHAT NOT TO DO
Now that we’ve discussed what you should be including in your CV, let’s look at some things that you should avoid doing.
- Do not include personal history or likes. Employers are not going to care about your hobbies, so unless you have some inside information that the hiring manager only hires people who play a particular sport, for example, then leave your extracurricular activities off your CV. This does not extend to things like volunteer or charity work. Definitely include that if you have the space.
- Do not list your skillset and the tools/applications you have experience with. It takes up valuable space and is often obvious (Skilled in Excel…?). Instead, include these in your achievements section (Example: “Used Asana to manage and coordinate tasks for a remote team of 25 members”).
- Do not include references or “references available on request”. If employers want a reference, they will ask you for them; otherwise, this is just wasted space on your CV.
- Do not include a photo of yourself unless specifically asked. In many countries, including the UK and US, you should not include a photo of yourself on your CV/resume. Companies don’t want you to do it, as it opens them up to liability, and there is absolutely nothing for you to gain by doing so – plus, you are making it easier for firms to discriminate against you, either implicitly or explicitly.
- Do not use any fancy graphic or artistic CV format. Most CVs come in a standard format, allowing Application Tracking Software, recruiters and hiring managers to easily pick out the key pieces of information they need quickly based on their experience. If you throw them a CV in an artistic format, they are more likely to get annoyed and throw your application away. This is not a situation where standing out is good. You want your skills/experience to be noted, not your CV format.
- Do not include your previous salaries. This will severely impact your negotiation abilities down the line.
Content Writer CV Tips – Recap
Let’s recap what we’ve discussed so far:
Understand Your Audience Before you start writing your CV, think about who will be reading it. Tailor your CV to reflect the skills and experiences most relevant to the job you’re applying for. If the job emphasizes SEO and digital marketing, highlight your strengths and achievements in these areas. 🎯
Showcase Your Writing Skills Your CV is a reflection of your writing ability. Use clear, concise language and ensure your CV is free of grammatical errors. Demonstrate your proficiency in different writing styles by mentioning the variety of content you’ve created, such as blogs, social media posts, or white papers. ✍️
Quantify Your Achievements Wherever possible, use numbers to quantify your achievements. For example, mention how your content increased website traffic or social media engagement. This provides concrete evidence of your impact and effectiveness. 📈
Highlight Relevant Skills Apart from writing, content writers need a range of skills. Make sure to include your proficiency in SEO, familiarity with content management systems like WordPress, and any other relevant skills like keyword research or analytics. 🛠️
Include a Portfolio If possible, provide links to your published work. This gives potential employers a direct insight into your writing style and quality. A portfolio is a powerful tool to showcase your experience and versatility as a content writer. 📁
Education and Certifications List your relevant educational background, including any degrees or certifications that are pertinent to content writing, such as courses in digital marketing or SEO. 🎓
Keep It Updated Regularly update your CV to include your most recent work and achievements. Keeping your CV current ensures that you’re always ready for new opportunities. 🔁
Content Writer CV Sample
Below is an example CV from someone with a number of years experience in the field. For an editable .DOCX version, click here.