Want a copywriting job? Here’s what I look for

Rebecca Nicholl

Creative Concern

Quite often I get asked ‘how do I get a job as a copywriter?’

The answer? From my experience, there’s no perfect path.

I work in an agency, before that in-house at a charity. I did an undergraduate degree in Geography and a postgraduate degree in Public Relations.

I never even thought about being a copywriter, but I’ve spent the last 12 years being just that (and loving it).

I’m now in a position where I get sent CVs from people looking for both permanent positions and freelance opportunities. Here are four things that I look for:

1. Qualifications, yes. Experience, great. Give me the highlights. Copywriters know how to get the message across quickly, do the same with your CV.

2. Make your covering letter specific to the company you’re applying to. This gets mentioned in every ‘how to’ guide on CVs but it really really does matter.

I want to know that you’ve done your homework, you know a bit about us. Tell me why you want to work for this agency. That may make me sound needy, but it makes a difference.

3. Include a portfolio of your best work, it’s even better if it has a range of long and short copy examples.

If you’re going for your first job, include university work or make something up – take an advert, a webpage, a flyer, anything you think you could rewrite and improve. Or make up a campaign for a brand you like, anything that shows your thinking, creativity and ability.

4. Do you have a blog? Run the social media for a local charity? Write reviews for an online magazine? Perfect. Showing that you have a passion for writing outside the 9 ‘til 5 always goes down well.

Oh, and one extra thing… check your spelling. And then check it again.

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