Do you know how to prove your writing skills in a resume?

In today's competitive labor market, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate yourself from other job candidates. To successfully compete, you need to make sure that your resume delivers a powerfully compelling message that makes a positive first impression on hiring managers. One way to enhance your resume narrative is to include your relevant writing skills.

In this post, we will explain the following: 

  • Why writing skills are important in so many different industries

  • We'll examine the different types of writing abilities that employers may be looking for

  • We will also help you learn how to match your skills to your desired job role

  • We'll show you how to use achievements to highlight writing skills in your resume

  • We'll provide some examples showing you how to include writing skills in a resume and offer some tips you can use to enhance your writing ability

What are writing skills, and why are they important?

Many job seekers assume that they only need to include writing skills in a resume if they're seeking a job that involves a lot of writing. Obviously, the ability to communicate through the written word is an essential skill for people who create marketing presentations, reports, legal briefs, and similar documents. At the same time, though, those same skills are invaluable assets in many other fields as well.

That's because writing skills enable you to communicate ideas in a convincing way. People who possess these skills are often proficient in a wide array of communication styles, including everything from persuasive writing to the use of descriptive, technical, or creative writing. Effective writers also tend to excel in the use of good writing structure, grammar, punctuation, and messaging tone.

Employers who see writing skills on a resume will recognize you as someone whose communication skills can provide real value to any team. That's true whether you're seeking a job as a copywriter or pursuing a role in marketing, accounting, or management. 

The bottom line is clear: even if you're not seeking a job that regularly requires great writing skills, highlighting them in your resume can help set you apart from rival job seekers.

Types of writing skills for a resume

At this point, you might be wondering just how detailed you should be when describing your writing skills in your resume. The reality is that there are a host of distinct writing skills that can benefit you in various job roles. Let's take a moment and review some of the most common writing skills that employers might want to see:

  • Fundamental writing skills like grammar, punctuation, etc.

  • Business writing

  • Creative writing

  • Content writing

  • Technical writing

  • Editing

  • Email composition

  • Blogging

  • Report writing

  • Grant writing

  • Journalism

  • Collaborative writing

  • Media content creation

  • Social media writing

  • Presentation writing

  • Brand management

How to identify the right writing skills for the job

Before you just start listing different writing skills on your resume, it's important to ensure that you're aligning those skills with the employer's needs. The easiest way to do that is to use your research skills to examine the job posting and any role description you can find. 

  • Which specific writing skills are listed as required qualifications? 

  • What terms are used to describe those abilities? 

Create a list of all those skill requirements and focus on including them in your resume's skill section.

It can also be helpful to search the Internet for similar job resumes to see which skills are typically listed as core competencies. That can provide useful insight into what employers want to see from candidates in your field.

It's also vital to make sure you're using the same terms the employer used in their job posting since those terms may be keywords needed to satisfy applicant tracking systems, or ATS. 

You'll want to include those keywords throughout your resume to ensure the ATS software finds them during the automated screening process. That can improve your resume's chances of being seen by a hiring manager.

Use achievements to demonstrate your writing skills on a resume

As you create your list of writing skills, always focus on skills that you can demonstrate by referencing specific experiences and accomplishments. Employers understand that anyone can claim to possess certain skills. However, only truly skilled individuals will be able to back up those claims with real-life achievements. By citing those skills in the summary and work experience sections of your resume, you can more effectively demonstrate how your writing skills create real value for employers.

The following tips can help you create powerful achievement statements that demonstrate your writing skills in your resume.

Select writing skills that have achieved real results

Make sure that you include achievements that show how the writing skills in your resume were used to produce real results for employers. Your focus should be on using achievements to prove your skills. For example, if you've used those abilities to create client presentations that helped close deals, create an accomplishment statement that highlights that achievement.

Quantify the value your skills have provided

It is also vital that you quantify your achievements by including real numbers that reflect the value your skills can bring to any organization. Those numbers can demonstrate the amount of revenue that your writing skills helped to generate, increases in online engagement, time savings, cost reductions, or any other measurable achievement that contributed to your employers' profitability, productivity, and operational efficiency.

Create achievement statements

If you really want to make sure that employers understand the value of your writing skills, you can highlight those abilities throughout your resume. Obviously, you'll want to include some of the most prominent writing skills within your core competencies section, and in the bullet point achievements that you include in your professional experience section. For maximum impact, you can also include an achievement statement in your summary that emphasizes those skills.

Below, we'll show you how to highlight your writing skills in each of those key sections.Writing skills in your core competencies section

As you might imagine, your core competencies, or skills section, can be a great place to highlight these writing abilities. You can include some of your core writing skills in this section, along with other key technical abilities and relevant soft skills. Remember to use bullet points for your list and use two or three columns to format the section. 

Some of the key soft skills that complement writing expertise include:

  • Communication

  • Search engine optimization

  • Adaptability

  • Research techniques

  • Time management

  • Social media management

  • The ability to connect with audiences

Try to include a mix of these hard and soft skills. That will help employers understand that you not only have the technical abilities to perform the job but also possess the interpersonal skills you'll need to work effectively with others.

Related post: Soft Skills Explained - and the Top 7 for Your Resume

Writing skills in your resume summary

Your resume summary is another fantastic place to highlight writing skills in your resume. Obviously, it's one of the first things many employers read, and serves as your introduction to the reader. If writing skills are an important part of your resume narrative, you need to include some mention of them in this vital summary paragraph. 

The best way to do that is to add an achievement statement that demonstrates those talents. For example:

Dynamic Marketing Manager with 9 years of experience in strategic campaign development, team building, and project implementation. Skilled content creator with proficiency in online branding, search engine optimization strategies, and increased website traffic and sales engagement. Created multi-tiered email and social media content that reached 20,000 new customers monthly, increasing customer engagement by 22% and leading to a 17% boost in sales.

In that sample summary statement, the last sentence highlights the candidate's writing skills, providing hard numbers that quantify how their content provided real benefits to the employer. If you can create solid achievement statements that demonstrate this type of value, your accomplishments will help to convince employers that you have the skills you claim to possess.

Related post: Resume Profile Explained (with Examples)

Writing skills in your work experience section

It will come as no surprise that the best place to highlight and prove writing skills on your resume is in your work experience section. Here, you will want to use bullet-point achievement statements that quantify your results. For each job title you've included in this section, add between four and six of these bullet-point accomplishments using real numbers that demonstrate your value proposition.

Related post: 47 Accomplishment Examples for Your Resume: Expert Picks

How to list writing skills on a resume: examples

Below are some examples of the types of achievements you can include in these bullet point statements.

  • Wrote ABC Corp. Sales Training Manual, revising onboarding and training techniques to reduce onboarding time by 17%; improved new salesperson sales results by 22% in their first six months on the job.
  • Created presentation content for Alpha Bank proposed merger, helping overcome M&A negotiation barriers and facilitating $100 million acquisition.
  • Crafted more than 500 blog posts, website landing pages, and email campaigns in two years, credited with 130% increase in customer online traffic and 12% increase in sales revenue.

You get the point. The key is to focus on your writing contributions, describing the challenge you faced, what you did to overcome that obstacle, and defining the results. 

If you find yourself struggling to condense those narratives into brief achievement statements, check out a related post: How to Create an Effective STAR Method Resume (With Examples).

Tips to improve your writing skills

You may find it interesting to know that even professional writers actively work to further develop their writing skills. The reality is that everyone can benefit from continuing to develop their written communication skills, and that includes those who only use these skills on an occasional basis. 

So, how can you develop your writing skills to ensure that you have the abilities needed to make a great impression on employers? Below are some tips to guide you in that question.

1.     Return to the basics

Spend some time reacquainting yourself with writing fundamentals like grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You can find free resources online or take a class at a local community college if you need additional help.

2.     Read more

Believe it or not, regular reading is one of the biggest secrets to effective writing. Immerse yourself in the written word and pay attention to how other writers communicate to their audiences.

3.     Learn to use outlines

Another secret to effective writing is to learn how to create outlines. Before you begin to write any complex document, always start with an outline that provides a clear structure for your narrative.

4.     Practice writing

This cannot be emphasized enough: if you want to be a better writer, you have no choice but to write. Write something every day to ensure that your skills are constantly being used. Practice won't make you perfect, but it will make you better.

5.     Get used to creating drafts

Never assume that the first words you write will be your finished product. Instead, take your ideas and get them out of your head and into your document to create a first draft. Once that's done, you can go back and revise that content as much as needed to create the right message.

6.     Always do your homework

Don't underestimate the power of research. By doing your homework before you start writing, you can ensure that you write with conviction and authority. Readers are drawn to authentic content.

7.     Don't be afraid to delete unnecessary content

Never be afraid to delete words, sentences, or entire paragraphs that contribute little to your narrative. The best writers are always willing to abandon content that isn't achieving their goals.

Enhance your job search by including writing skills in your resume

When you want to highlight your writing skills on a resume, it's not enough to just say that you possess those abilities. Instead, you need to demonstrate those skills by providing real examples of measurable achievements. If you can do that, you'll have an easier time proving those writing skills to employers – which can help differentiate you from rival job seekers and improve your odds of landing an interview and job offer!

Want to make sure that the writing skills in your resume effectively convey your writing talent? Get a free resume review from our team of experts today!

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