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Listing Writing Skills on a Creative Resume This Year

Writing skills can be an important part of your resume. How can you present these skills most effectively on your resume?

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 3 minute read

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Writing skills

In many jobs, writing skills are one of the most important types of skills you need to succeed. Whether you’re applying for a copywriting job specifically or you just know you’re going to have to do a lot of business emails, adding writing skills to your resume can help you showcase that you’re the right person for the job. What constitutes good writing and how can you list writing skills on your resume? Here’s everything you need to know.

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What are writing skills?

As the name suggests, writing skills are general skills that have to do with the writing process. Good writers know how to handle written communication in a way that’s effective, clear and straightforward. Typically, those with writing skills will be able to write clearly, without filler words, understanding the English language and often mimicking a variety of writing styles.

You may use writing skills in a number of different situations. When you think of writing skills, you probably initially think about writing-intensive jobs like copywriting, social media management and business writing. These types of jobs definitely need great writing skills, and it’s important that you’re able to provide them. However, other positions such as management jobs also need high-quality writing skills so you can communicate with other people as part of your job. Even general office jobs need decent writing skills that tie into your communication skills.

Narrowing down your writing skills for the job

When you’re trying to decide which writing skills are right for your resume, you need to narrow down the skill list you have available. Here are a few ways you can narrow down your skills and make sure you’re showcasing the right ones:

  • Look at the job description
  • Check what other resumes are using
  • Highlight responsibilities and achievements that make use of these skills
  • Use the skills you can prove

You want to list the skills you can back up with achievements and experience, the skills other people in your industry are also using and the skills that make you better at your job. Every skill you list needs to have a reasoning behind it, and when you’re trying to add writing skills to a resume, the four tips above are one of the best ways to do it.

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Potential writing skills for a resume

“Writing skills” can include all sorts of different abilities. If you want to add writing skills to your resume, consider these specific skills, not just putting “writing skills” on your resume and assuming that tells the hiring manager everything about what you can do:

  • Specific writing products (Google Docs, WordPress, Microsoft Word)
  • Technical writing skills
  • Skills in specific types of writing (academic writing, letter writing, professional writing)
  • Product knowledge
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Newsletter and report writing
  • Essay writing
  • Creative writing and storytelling

These skills will all have their benefits for different jobs. For example, if you’re applying to be a manager at a software engineering company, you probably don’t want to put creative writing on your skill list, but you probably do need to include report writing. By tailoring your skills to your resume, you’ll be able to land the job you really want.

FAQ: Writing Skills in a Resume

Have questions? We’re here to help.

You typically don’t need to provide writing examples in your resume and cover letter, but be prepared to send them separately to employers if requested. In a way, your cover letter and resume will be examples of your writing skills. You need to use great resume action words, proofread your resume with spell check a few times and spend some time revising the resume before you apply.

If the job application does request a writing sample, include your absolute best writing pieces that fit well within the confines of the job. For example, include business writing samples if that’s going to be what you write if you get hired. You may also want to bring a few friends onboard as proofreaders who can look over your writing sample and make sure it reads well.

Although actual writing skills are a big part of succeeding as a professional writer, you should also list soft skills alongside your writing skills. One of the most common mistakes that writers make is assuming they don’t need any interpersonal skills because they’re just engaging with the written word. Even your ability to collaborate with coworkers is a great benefit here.

Writing is a skill you have to consistently hone. Whether you’re trying to improve your sentence structure, learn new types of writing skills or just get generalized writing tips, writing courses are a great way to build strong writing skills. If you can sit down and work on your writing skills for as little as a few hours a week, you’ll end up being a better writer overall for your resume and your job. Plus, you may be able to get a certification to show off on your resume.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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