All About The Resumé
Most writing submissions require a writer’s resumé now. Bang2writers are always asking me what they should include in theirs, so I thought I would pull together my top tips for you. Ready? Let’s go …
1) Presentation is everything
First impressions count. Make sure your resumé (aka your CV, if you’re a Brit like me) LOOKS professional. There’s no set way to do this, so don’t panic … It’s more a case of ‘you’ll know it when you see it’. Swapping with your writing peers is a great idea to see what works and what doesn’t on the page.
2) Layout is key
Keep your layout simple. I recommend avoiding stuff like columns. Stick to normal margins. For more advice on this and a free CV template, CLICK HERE.
3) Length is important (ooh matron)
1-2 pages should be the absolute MAXIMUM for your writer’s resumé. Don’t cheat by making your font smaller than 12 point though, we can tell!
4) Don’t go OTT on design
Some writers like to use colour and various design techniques on their resumé. This is fine, but don’t go overboard. Stick with black type on white. Avoid logos, pictures and photographs, you don’t need them.
5) Start with your CREDITS (or similar)
Lots of writers start with stuff like their education, but I believe this is a mistake. Begin with your credits or similar … ie. your agent; contest wins or placings; if you’ve done short film challenges; or if you’ve been picked for festivals, writing schemes and initiatives. After all, we want to know what you’ve done before!
6) Add your online stuff
If you have a popular blog or lots of online followers, don’t forget to note this on your resumé. It’s surprising how many writers don’t put it down … Yet it can be very helpful in getting a deal!
7) Don’t add your day job stuff
Unless your day job is related to writing in some way, leave it off altogether. Have a separate, non-writing resumé for that instead.
8) Don’t pad it out
Lots of writers freak out and pad out their resumé with random stuff like loglines. Don’t do this. It’s better to have a hyper-focused, short document than a bloated load of waffle.
9) Don’t forget your OWN contact details
OMG, never ever ever leave your contact details off ANY additional material you send with your novel or screenplay! Double-check your email is on there in particular.
10) Don’t hide your light under a bushel!
Lots of writers have great stuff going on, but don’t add it to their resumé. This is madness. Make sure you put all collaborations, wins, contracts etc on there. As long as you are not lying and it happened, it’s fair game.
Have your resumé ready to go
I’m always surprised by how few writers have a submissions package ready to go. Have your up-to-date resume, a short bio and a one pager for your work in progress ready to go … ALWAYS.
For more on putting together a writing resumé, CLICK HERE.
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