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How to Write a Résumé as a Creative Professional

Write a resume for writers

Guest contributor Neely Raffellini is the founder of 9 to 5 Project, which helps professionals get the tools they need to land jobs they love. For more information, visit or email hello[at]9to5project[dot]com. 

Sometimes I think people dread writing their resumes about as much as doing their taxes. #truestory And that’s for people who have a traditional work history. When you throw in freelancers, bloggers, writers, and small business owners, well, how do you write a resume for that?

At 9 to 5 Project, we often remind our clients that their résumés are marketing documents, not just lists of accomplishments and skills. And the purpose of a résumé is to get you in front of the hiring manager for an interview—or get an email or a phone call if you work online or remotely from home. That’s it. Don’t overthink it.

Whether you’re a creative professional with an unconventional job and work history and want to move into a more traditional role, or you need write a résumé for an online or telecommuting position, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Analyze your transferable skills.

Transferable skills are skills that can be applied from one job to another. What transferable skills do you have in areas such as leadership, communication, finance, research, etc.? My guess is many more than you think. For example, marketing skills can be a valuable asset whether you’re a blogger or public affairs professional. We have an awesome worksheet that lists transferable skills that are beneficial to employers in any industry. Check it out here in our career resource library.

2. Quantify your accomplishments.

Two things that potential employers are interested in are how you made money and how you saved money. For example, did you research ten affiliate networks for your blog and implement the one that increased page views by 1000%? Write that down.

3. Use a skills-based résumé format.

Unlike a chronological format, a skills-based format focuses on the specific abilities and strengths you’ll bring to your potential employer. When you write a résumé, try using the keywords listed in the job description as your headings. Then, fill in your accomplishments. For example, is the job posting asking for administrative, financial, and creative skills? Use those as your main headings and describe your accomplishments below.

4. Highlight your subject matter experience.

If you’re applying for a content writing position, let’s say, that requires experience in marketing, veterinary medicine, or vegan cooking (fill in the blank), what if you haven’t had formal experience but have extensive knowledge? Summarize that knowledge, along with skills and accomplishments (as above), to highlight your ability to write the content the company needs.

5. Add some creativity.

As a creative professional, feel free to add some artistic “flair” to your resume! You can do this by:

  • Adding small, appropriate images
  • Using untraditional yet readable fonts (a favorite is Garamond).
  • Including swatches of color, perhaps a colorful but simple border

Résumé writing can be challenging especially if you’re a freelancer, if your job history is spotty, or if your work is simply unconventional. Remember: A résumé is a marketing document. And for a creative professional, it’s also a synopsis or summary of your career story, even if your story doesn’t cover a conventional timeline.

If you’re struggling to write a résumé, try these tips. If you need more assistance, feel free to email me at hello[at]9to5project[dot]com with any questions. My business partner, Maureen, and I respond to every email. I hope this information helps you!

9 to 5 Project helps women get the tools they need to land the job they want.

Questions and comments are welcome in the comment section below.

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7 comments… add one
  • Thanks for the advise. It’s very important to know your goal first before making any move.

  • resume writing service says
    Good information about cv writing tips but don’t you thing everyone is using the same methods

    • Thanks. That’s an interesting point. Thing is, plenty of people don’t know much about resume writing, or they’re confused by all the options. This article is meant to provide solid, trustworthy information for anyone who needs it.

  • Thanks for this information. I am damn sure its going to help me build my resume for more job opportunities. Keep writing.
    CV Enhancer recently posted…Does Your Resume Says “Pick Me”?My Profile

  • Thank you for sharing the information with us. I am sure these tips going to make my resume good to get my dream job. Keep sharing
    GetMyResumes recently posted…Multiple Resumes Writing Tips Leads You Towards Land a JobMy Profile

  • All the points are really informative. I would like to add one more. While resume writing, one should not copy-paste someone else’s resume. For e.g. picking up the resume of a friend or someone from the same industry and then just editing it with minor details. This should be avoided.


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