I had to update my CV this week and then for one reason or another I had to create a writers CV as well. This stumped me. I mean, what does that even look like? I’d never written a CV just for my writing stuff before. What is it meant to include? Is it different from a normal CV? I gave it a bash and then decided I probably ought to do what I do best, and research. So here are the top tips I have gathered on creating your perfect writers CV.
ONE – Less is more
Like a normal CV less is more. No one needs to know you were a pot washer at 12. Just include the relevant stuff.
For a lot of writers, writing is a second job, so don’t bother including any of the stuff you do in your day to day, its just not relevant, that is of course, unless you are a freelance writer, publisher, editor or anything else relevant.
TWO – Stick to the Rules
Just like with a normal CV you want to keep the layout and format similar. Stick to two pages. Clean fonts, size 12.
If you need to bend the rules to squeeze more in, it’s better to play with the margins than shrink the font.
THREE – Plain English
We’re writers, that doesn’t mean writing war and peace for your CV, it means we’re good with words. So be good. Be concise. No flowery metaphor filled language. Cut to the point, what have you done, and why was it awesome.
FOUR – Profile, Profile, Profile
If the only thing your submitting is a CV then you’re restricted with how much of ‘YOU’ you can actually put in. BUT, you can put a profile at the top, a three-ish sentence summary of who you are, what you’re about, why you’re awesome and why they would want you.
FIVE – Be Charmingly Arrogant
Look, forget all the modesty bullshit if you want to get a writing gig you need to sell yourself. No one else is going to do it for you. So big yourself up. That doesn’t mean lie. It means tell the truth as it should be told. Have you boosted your daily stats from 50 – 100 views per day? If so, say it. Have you won a competition? WELL SAY IT THEN.
SIX – Outcomes
This is the hard bit, like a normal CV the best thing to do in terms of style is to lay out your achievements in as easily digestible format as you can. For example,
The Wrong Way
I run my own website which I personally created from scratch, doing all the design and artwork and writing all the content for the site. You can find it here www.Irunthisw3bsite.com I have also worked really hard for four months to build the views which now average 100 a day.
The Right Way
I created and now run a website, http://www.Irunthisw3bsite.com focused on connecting writers to editors. I have taken it from 1 view per day to 100 views per day in just 4 months.
See? It says exactly the same thing, only it is much more clean and concise.
SEVEN – Content
This is where it differs from normal CV, the content will need to focus on a variety of specialised topics, including:
Publications you may have had
Websites / social media
Agent and/or publisher
Memberships – do you have any writing memberships? If so, list them
Writing Projects you have worked on – this could be for magazines or your own novels/stories
Skills – your writing skills – what are your specialisms?
Genres and Fiction types – do you write fiction or non-fiction and what genre?
EIGHT – The other stuff
Finally, you need to include other normal stuff like:
Education – degrees or other types of courses that could be relevant
References and anything else that may give you an edge
What else? What have I missed? I am learning this as I go, so I would love to hear if you think I have missed anything – I am definitely going to have to go and revise my CV now!