Thank you to Lucy V Hay for this wonderful article, which was first published on Bang2Write.
What should you put in your writer resumé?
So, over in the Bang2writers FB group, Gail asks: “How do you put together a writer’s resumé? What should go in, what should be left out, what counts as relevant experience?” This is a great question I get all the time, so warrants a lengthier post.
First up, the usual disclaimer: this post is based on my experience of writing my own resumé and reading other people’s ONLY. There is no *set* way of doing it. However I’ve seen some very good CVs and I’ve seen some very pants ones, so I think I can offer some help here, however small, especially for those who are having issues knowing where to start. So, without further ado, my thoughts …
What Should It LOOK Like?
We often hear presentation is everything in this biz, which is why CVs sometimes look surprisingly BAD on this front. Supposedly “eye-catching” fonts and colors are the biggest no-nos; jazzy layouts, extra space and justified text can also cause issues. I don’t recommend putting your photo on them either, even if you are hot – you’re not an actor. I recommend the following:
– A sans serif font (Minus that “squiggly” bit, ie. Arial)
– 12 pt size
– Black type on a white page
– One to two pages MAXIMUM
Of course, there is room for personal preference too. I like to put my name and jobs (“Script Editor and Novelist” at the top in larger type, putting my address, website and contact details in a little box on the right hand side. I then separate each “section” with a line. Basically, lay it out HOWEVER YOU WANT as long as it is a) simple and b) does not affect “readability”.
So that’s the dull stuff out the way. So what else could go on your writer’s CV?
What Should You Put In A Writer’s CV?
1) About you
A short intro about you is nearly always MISSING on CVs I see and I think it’s a real shame, since this is a GREAT opportunity to really sell yourself off the page to whomever’s reading. Give them an insight into WHO YOU ARE. Mine reads “Straight-talking, web savvy Script Editor with an eye for structure” as a sub heading and underneath there is a short paragraph about my various interests, such as challenging gender stereotypes, social media and event organizing.
I prefer to write in the third person because I’m BRITISH and saying it in the first feels like BOASTING to me, but if you’re more sensible and don’t have the same hang-up, either is fine. (NOTE: this bit should always be first in my opinion, though the rest on this list could be any order I think, as long as it reads well/is logical).