"A resume? I just started my writing career. How could I possibly have enough writing credentials to fill a paper and call it a resume?" I thought. I had just read a submission guideline that requested a "resume." I am a dental hygienist by profession. My duties as a hygienist hardly qualifies me as a writer...or does it?
The Dreaded Writer's Resume, by Jan Fields, Jan writes that what publishers are looking for is whether your resume shows areas of skill or expertise rather than whether it shows you have been published a lot. This came as a relief for me!
Now the challenge is to dig into my work and education history and bring forth the experiences that will enhance my value as a writer...or expert. Let's break the resume down into parts and discuss what is important to list (I summarized the main points that Jan makes in her article):
Publihsers don't care where you work. But what they are interested in is the experience you've gain while working. Listing subjects that you are an expertise in from the job you held is valuable.
Education is the least important part of the resume for publishers. But your degree will "prove" your expertise in a certain subject. Publishers also do like to see that you are putting effort into growing and improving as a writer. So listing writing classes that you've taken or listing conferences that you've attended is a plus.
Even if you do not have any awards related to writing, your other awards and achievements will point out areas of expertise as well.
This shows that you are serious about writing. Your association with other writers will show your enthusiasm and interest in the craft.
Again, publishers like to see that you are active in growing and improving as a writer.
Okay, so now I think I do have something to list on my resume afterall. You can view my sample resume to give yourself an idea of what a writer's resume will look like. You can easily see what I am an expert in. This resume would probably appeal to a publisher looking for someone to write children's dental books or health articles. Just remember, this resume is from someone with very little writing credentials. But the goal of this resume is to appeal to the publisher looking for an expert in the topic they are interested in.
Visit Creating a Writer's Resume by Moira Allen for more on this topic.