Looking for new copywriting opportunities? While it’s currently a job seeker’s market, there’s always stiff competition for creative copywriter positions. As such, understanding how to set yourself apart from other applicants is critical.
To varying extents, every job and application process is unique. However, there are certain tactics any creative copywriter can use to increase their chances of capturing (and keeping) the attention of prospective employers. Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to land a coveted role or an aspiring creative copywriter dipping a toe into the industry, read on for five ways to increase your chances of landing the job.
Polish your resume, cover letter and portfolio (and customize them too)
Your application materials should be up to date and written in an easy-to-follow manner. After all, as a copywriter, it’s crucial that your resume, cover letter and portfolio are not only well-written and clearly organized, but also free of grammatical and spelling errors. Think of your resume as your first writing sample. Hiring managers may receive numerous, equally compelling applications—yet in the process of whittling down the selection, a single typo can serve as the determining factor as to whether you make it to the next round.
In addition to crafting compelling and error-free writing, adapting your materials to the specific role is key: Generic language is lackluster, but it can also potentially indicate a lack of interest in the role. To avoid giving this impression, closely read the job ad and research the company you’re looking to impress. They obviously want a strong creative copywriter—but what else?
Make it clear to the hiring manager that your materials were written specifically for this role by tweaking and fine-tuning your message to address the position’s unique requirements. Addressing these more nuanced and less obvious details in your cover letter will not only show you’re a good fit, but indicate to the employer that you are thoughtful, attentive and genuinely want this specific copywriter role.
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Fine-tune your LinkedIn profile
It’s not just about your resume and cover letter when you’re applying for copywriting jobs. Your LinkedIn profile must also be well written and current. Begin by focusing on crafting a highly polished and engaging “About” section, which is the first thing potential employers will likely see. Ensure all your previous, relevant roles are included and organized.
Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t just allow you to showcase pertinent skills; it can give these skills merit by featuring recommendations and endorsements from bosses, colleagues, clients and other professional contacts you’ve worked with. If you don’t have any recommendations yet, work on getting some from different people who can speak to a range of your professional abilities. They should describe your proficiency as a creative copywriter, but ideally, will also address your ability to collaborate, work under pressure, meet deadlines and deftly adapt to challenges.
Maintain an active professional network
The more people you stay in touch with, the more likely you are to hear of appealing career opportunities. Establishing and fostering meaningful connections with former coworkers, potential colleagues and other creative copywriters will also allow you to learn of relevant industry news and emerging trends as well as job leads.
Whether online or through more traditional networking approaches, try to engage in genuine connections and conversations for the sake of it—rather than reaching out to others only when you need something. Additionally, make a point to share job opportunities and help others form connections when you have the opportunity.
Keep an eye out on Linkedin and other networking sites for information on industry conferences or webinars. Virtual conferences and trainings provide an avenue to develop relationships—whether with colleagues, mutual connections, or even your greatest role models.
Follow other writers whose work catches your attention. Even if these individuals are not within your industry, reading sharp, well-executed copywriting can be a powerful motivator to continually refine your own work and go after your career goals.
Prepare for common creative copywriter interview questions
The best way to prepare for a job interview is by researching. Read up extensively on the company you’re interviewing with and be sure to scour lists of common interview questions for copywriters.
If the interview is going particularly well, it may veer away from the more typical question-and-answer format and become more of an organic conversation. However, with any creative copywriting role, it’s likely you’ll be asked at least some questions similar to the following:
- What is your process when writing copy?
- How do you manage and prioritize multiple writing projects at once?
- What is your approach for effectively collaborating with designers, editors, and colleagues in general?
- How do you navigate situations where not everyone agrees on how to edit copy?
- Have you ever missed a deadline? If so, how did you handle the situation?
While you won’t want to appear rehearsed, having a general sense of the questions you might encounter gives you a head start in coming up with genuine, thoughtful responses that best convey your skills and overall professionalism to the interviewer.
Connect with a staffing firm specializing in the creative industry
A staffing agency specializing in the creative industry can be an invaluable resource for finding and landing creative copywriter roles. Well-connected staffing professionals have deep networks. Recruiters often have inside knowledge about upcoming creative copywriter positions before the openings are made public. (And being an early applicant can be an instrumental factor in the hiring process.) Cella is one such staffing agency. If you’re looking for a creative copywriting job, Cella can help you develop a meaningful and fulfilling career by connecting you with the right opportunities.