The Rules Have Changed on
How to Write and Send Effective Resumes.
Could There Be a Business Opportunity in This for You?

Not too many years ago, most employers preferred a snail-mailed or faxed resume over one submitted via e-mail. Today, however, it is a different story. According to a recent article in the Freelance Work Exchange, only 4% of employers said they preferred to receive resumes by e-mail in 1999. By 2000, the number had skyrocketed to 48% – and you can be sure this year's number will be even higher.

Given this trend, it's not only new graduates who are currently in the market for help in writing eye-catching resumes that stand out amongst the competition.

Could resume writing turn out to be a lucrative side business for you while you're building your copywriting career? If you're interested, you might want to check out AWAI's Resume Writing Program.

Meanwhile, here are a few tips from the AWAI Resume Writing Program that you can use when preparing your own resume to go after new clients …

When Writing Your Resume, Remember the No.1 Lesson You Learned About Copywriting: Know Your Prospect

In this case, you are not pitching a sale to a prospective buyer of a product/service. Your audience is the editor, publisher, or marketing director who is looking for a piece of copy or an article that will get the most attention or bring in the most money. Your potential client/employer – be he a CEO or Mr. Perkins at the corner bakery – wants to know what YOU can do for HIM.

In order to write an effective resume, you have to put yourself in your prospect's shoes and think like him. Ask yourself what he would be looking for in a copywriter. Ask yourself how you can make yourself stand out and look unique.

Have you written articles or successful sales letters in the past? If so, list them and (if you're sending your resume by fax or snail-mail) include copies. Do you have an impressive education? Make sure you mention it.

Here Are Some Other Important Things to Keep in Mind While Putting Your Resume Together …

  1. Keep your job objective focused. If you want to write copy for a health, travel, or financial publication, say so. Avoid listing a number of different interests. If you have too many, you cannot be considered an expert in any of them.
  2. Use bullets to help zero in on your accomplishments and achievements – and use specific numbers and details to add to your credibility. (Sound familiar?) These are the types of things a prospective client/employer wants to see:

    • You increased a company's sales by 53%.
    • You authored 5 published articles in ABC magazine on hidden hot spots throughout Europe.
    • You increased a renewal rate by 37%
  3. Make sure your contact information (name, address, phone/fax/e-mail numbers) is at the top of the page.
  4. List your most impressive (relevant) accomplishments first.
  5. If copywriting is a career change for you and you feel that you don't have enough experience to create an impressive resume, don't worry about it. Experience isn't a "must" to land a job. However, that doesn't mean you should try to fill up your resume with other irrelevant things. Instead, you might want to structure it this way:

    • Objective
    • Summary of Experience
    • Accomplishments
    • Professional Background
    • Education
    • References
  6. Never, EVER put the following things on your resume:

    • your salary expectations
    • personal data (age, sex, marital status, etc.)
    • cutesy gimmicks
    • your photo
    • your reasons for leaving your previous job
  7. If you're going to submit your resume via e-mail, the best way to do it is to cut-and-paste it into the body of your message instead of including it as an attachment. Attachments are too-often filed and lost instead of printed and read. Also, a potential employer might delete your attachment rather than risk getting a virus by downloading it. (Don't forget that your e-mailed resume must be formatted like a plain-text document. Boldface, italics, underlining, and color will be lost during the cut-and-paste process.)
The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: July 2, 2001

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