Writer’s Resume Template

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Today, I’m going to address an equally important (though less requested) professional necessity: the writer’s resume.

resume

A writing-specific resume is a good thing to have on your website in case interested industry professionals stop by. It’s also great for record-keeping, and it’s nice to have one handy in case an agent or publisher requests one. So where to start?

I’ve set up a resume template with various headings that might be applicable. Everyone is different; every resume should be highly tailored. What does this mean for you? Use the room to your best advantage. Don’t have industry expertise relevant to your genre? Use that space to highlight your exceptional (if relevant) education. Were your grades so-so? Leave them off. List more publication history. Lacking in publication history? Boast about a longer history of group memberships and leadership roles.

My strategy is this.

Fill out this entire template, leaving nothing off and not worrying about how long it is. Then prioritize. Almost always, past publications are of the most interest, so put those up top. Then go on a case-by-case basis from there, highlighting your most impressive credits first. For a website, don’t worry about length too much. But have a shortened version that is no more than one page for requests from professionals.

When choosing what to include, always go by relevance and prestige. If you don’t have any particularly impressive expertise in your genre of choice, just leave that category off entirely and include your education instead. If you have a degree in English or Writing, feel free to include that. Generally speaking, don’t include GPAs or test scores unless they are phenomenal (4.0, etc.). Save that extra line for something that can ONLY be construed as good. Likewise, in listing prizes, to save space (especially in a 1-pager), only list 3rd place and higher. List them all if you have the room, but a Masters in Poetry is more impressive than 10th honorable mention, if you have it.

See what I’m saying? Fill it all out, see what you have, and only include the best. Good luck!


View the full list of available organizational documents.

All documents are © Annie Neugebauer. These documents are intended for personal use only. Copyright applies. Please ask permission for anything other than personal record-keeping. If you’d like to share these with writers you know, please send them the link so they come visit me here. Thank you all so much for your support!

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  • DUO

    This is great. Many thanks for sharing! Been struggling with this for ages but this post is super.

  • This is great IF you have published works & all. I’ve only got a blog, tons of knowledge/skills, and determination. What do I do?

    • Renae, I would suggest focusing on the most “proven” of your relevant skills. For example, if you’re great at grammar, list your education as proof. If you need to, keep the resume short and simple. You can list skills, but don’t get carried away. You can also list any writing organizations you’re a member of; those look great because they show you’re dedicated. (And if you’re not in any, at least consider joining some.) You can also list conferences and workshops you’ve attended. And then start working on building some writing awards and publication credits! Everyone has to start somewhere. =) Best of luck!

  • So glad I’ve come across your site, Annie. Thanks for the generous and very organised information, now it’s time for me to get details in that template and start reaching out.

  • Frontbeam

    Thanks so much for this.

  • Erica

    You’re my new best friend!!

    It’s very difficult to figure out how to present yourself when you haven’t made writing your primary career yet. This template and your advice really helps me realize how much I DO have going for me already, and helps me figure out what credits I want to earn to put on my resume in the future. I feel very fortunate that I happened upon your article very quickly rather than wasting my time on some of the junk advice floating around the internet.

    Thanks a million

  • Justina

    You are super wonderful. I can’t even give a decent compliment I’m so overcome with gratitude. I’m finally writing a solid writer’s resume!

  • Cat

    Super helpful!!

  • Nazzy

    Just what I was searching!! Thanks!

  • Nicole

    Thank you! I needed a good resume sample for a grant application. I built my resume off of this. Thanks so much for your hard work in putting this together for the rest of us. You saved me from panic! LOL

    • You’re welcome! I’m so glad it helped. Best of luck with the grant!

  • Bradley Hook

    Thank you, simple and effective.

  • Jennifer Mackinday

    Best example I have ever seen – Thank you!!

  • Atyaf

    Hi Annie,

    I googled for writer’s CV templates and yours was the first result (Glad it was)

    It is so neat and organized. I am making similar one for a friend of mine, and I have two questions if you don’t mind:

    – If a book won an award and was published (by the competition as part of the award), can I list it twice, under Awards and Publications?

    – The guy I know is a theater director and writer, if I want to list all his works under work history, where exactly do I put the position? am I to put it like this, for exapmle:

    * ‘Film’, Script writer, Production Company, 2013

    * ‘Play’,Director, Theatre Organization, 2011

    Thank you so so so much !

    • Thank you! I’m happy to hear that. I’ll give you my answers, but please keep in mind that I’m not any type of job-hunting expert, so please take them with a grain of salt. 1) Yes, I would. 2) That seems logical to me! Best of luck!

      • Atyaf

        I’ll do as you said and maybe pass it to an expert then… Although I think it’s perfect and professional. Can’t thank you enough 🙂

  • Shannon

    Thank you for sharing! I was at a total loss at what to do about this.

  • Really appreciate this! Is there a such thing as too much? If so, that’s the direction I was headed in my writer’s resume. This helped a great deal. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    http://www.arielsaysnow.com

  • Amanda Wynn

    This is a life saver thank you, I’m about to graduate college and needed this desperately.

  • Would this template would also work for screenwriting credits as well? While I have written numerous stories and have novel manuscripts (I still remain unpublished), I’m also delving into film writing. I’m just saying, would that count as information to put in a writer’s resume? Or is this more for authors and published works?

    • Sure, you can put screenwriting credits on your resume, if you feel they’re relevant. The point is to tailor your resume each time you use it, so if you feel that whatever job you’re applying for, etc., will be impressed by the screenwriting, then there’s no reason you can’t include it.

  • Medea X

    Hi Annie, thanks a lot for this ! Just a quick question: where do you think I should list the literary festival I took part in? thanks from an italian novelist

  • Medea X

    oh, and the translated editions of my books

    • Hm, I’m not sure! That’s a subjective thing; there are several options. I would probably put the translations with the rest of your books, but specify that they’re translations with a note. And the festival could go under activities perhaps. It’s up to you! I would just trust your gut and do what makes the most sense to you.

  • Peter Fenech

    Thanks so much for the template! Really useful stuff 🙂

  • Eagle

    Going for a grant. You saved my bacon! Thanks!

  • Fay Keenan

    Hi Annie,

    Thanks so much for this – I’ve been compiling a writing resume this afternoon, and it was a really useful template 🙂

    All best wishes

    Fay

  • Kayla Lords

    This was incredibly helpful! I wish I could have given you more.

  • anonymous

    Hello! I’m trying to publish my book and I’m stuck on resumes as i am a child. Help!

  • akshay shelke

    i have started my work of writing novel recently, i dont have any experince and degree, but i want to publish my work, so plz tell me how to write a resume to publication to request for publishing my work

  • myCVfactory

    Hi Annie! Thank you for this article and good advice. I wonder how we could cooperate; I am providing candidates with solid and attractive resume templates, see for yourself: https://en.mycvfactory.com/cv-templates I’d be delighted to discuss more about partnerships’ opportunities, BR, Pauline

  • ERic

    I would like to find resume and CV writers who are affordable. Any suggestion?

    • No, I’m sorry but I don’t know anyone who offers those services. Good luck!

  • Vallabh Bhuva

    thank you ma’am This is great information for me

  • Very helpful, thanks!

  • Thanks for sharing! Very helpful.