Diary of a hopeful author: How to create a writer’s CV

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

I’ve been writing my CV. Well, I say writing, more pulling together. I mention this because, after tonnes of in-depth research (surfing the web whilst swigging coffee and watching 30 Rock re-runs), I have discovered that these days, in the age of the Internet, email and dancing cats on You Tube, the paper CV is nigh obsolete.  Gone. Done. Kerrput. Okay, not totally.

You see, I work in, well, I guess you’d call it, media. Yes, I write for a living, but think how fast things move. If we want to get in touch with an editor, it’s via email. If we need some fast data, get on the web. If we need to order pizza, call on that smart phone.

My trouble is that my old CV is outdated. I worked in marketing and my CV is on paper, it’s all, ‘strategic planning this’ and ‘advertising revenue percentages that.’ Not really conducive to a writing CV were you’re after a job that lets you sit in your PJs eating custard creams and writing about pop music, politics and society all day long. And so to a little digging. Turns out online CVs are where it’s at. For a writer, because we have to, you know, get stuff to places fast, an online CV sits with that nicely, like balsamic vinegar sits with olive oil. It just goes. But, oh where to start? What does a groovy online CV look like for a writer? Do I have enough material? What will I say? Do I really have to have a picture of myself on it?

As it stands, that there internet thing turns out to be something of a marvel when it comes to answering all these questions. One quick Google and I have a whole host of info on how to create a writer’s CV. Things like this: keep it updated. Everything you write, log it, get it down. As a writer, what you scribe IS your CV. You are only as good as your next piece. Detail your experience first, then your education, then skills.

But why all this leg work? Well, you see CVs are vital to writing jobs. CVs are like your shop window – if it doesn’t look good, people won’t want to stop by. And so think of an online CV as the retail equivalent of a store website. Everyone shop has gotta have one as well as the high street store if they’re going to survive.

And so, too, for writers. Online CVs are essential now. They can be emailed at the click of a finger – mouse – to prospective employers, giving you an edge, with all your writing for them to view in one place. Hopefully. But what should they look like? A cracking website I found was by a journalist called Josephine Moulds. She is a freelance writer for papers such as The Guardian and The Telegraph. Her online CV is done using a WordPress site. It’s simple and effective – and she can keep it updated . Here’s the link – it’s worth a look if you’re in the same boat http://www.josephinemoulds.co.uk/

As for me, I now have an online CV, too. Well, I say, have. I will do. Just about 5% of it left to finish and then new job ops here we come. Oh, God, I hope so.  The next step will be drawing up a list of who I should contact, who I already know – and I’m all set to get on out there. And then I’ll get distracted and go shopping. Online.

How do you develop your writer’s CV? Do you put your CV online? Or is it paper all the way?

Links: http://www.josephinemoulds.co.uk/

 Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog. This week I’m talking about  fox hunting in Gloucestershire…**

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