How to Get a Writing Job

Two Parts:Making Yourself MarketableFinding a Job

Many people love to write, but if you'd like to make a career out of it, you may not know where to start or what to do. The ability to write well is a very marketable skill, and there are lots of jobs out there that will put your skill to work. Whether you're looking for a full-time or freelance writing job, or you hope to publish a book, you can turn your love of writing into a great career with some hard work and persistence.

Part 1
Making Yourself Marketable

  1. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 1
    Get a degree. While a college degree is not an absolute must, it will strengthen your resume and help you find a writing job. This is especially true if you have limited or no experience as a writer. If you have lots of relevant experience and a great portfolio, you might be fine without a degree.
    • Think about the kind of writing you want to do when choosing your major. If you want to go into marketing, technical writing, or journalism, you should consider majoring in one of those specific fields. If you want to become a creative writer or you are unsure about what kind of writing you want to do, an English major is a good choice.
    • Choose a marketable minor also. You can either choose a second writing-related subject to give yourself more experience with different kinds of writing, or you can choose a subject that you think would be helpful to you in your dream job. For example, if you want to become a journalist, it might be helpful to study a foreign language that is commonly spoken in your area. If you want to work in marketing, you may want to consider a minor in communications.
  2. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 2
    Have impeccable grammar skills. No matter what kind of writing job you are looking for, you will need to be capable of writing content that is concise and grammatically correct. If you struggle with grammar, take classes online or at a local college to improve your skills.
  3. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 3
    Develop strong editing skills. Many writing jobs may require you to edit other people's writing in addition to creating your own content, so it is important to be confident in your editorial abilities. There are several different types of editing, all of which require different slightly different skills.[1]
    • Developmental editing involves working with the author of a long document, such as a book or research paper, to suggest improvements that can be made to the structure and content.
    • Line editing involves editing a document for factual accuracy and consistency, as well as for grammar and style.
    • Copy editing involves the close reading of a document in order to correct grammatical and usage errors and to improve the overall readability of the text.
    • Proofreading involves reading through documents very closely to find typos and formatting errors.
  4. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 4
    Understand style guides. In addition to being able to use proper grammar, you will need to learn to tailor your writing to conform to the specific requirements of a style guide. Style guides provide rules on stylistic components such as capitalization, punctuation, and numerals. There are lots of different style guides, so it may not be possible to know them all, but being familiar with more than one can be very helpful.[2]
    • Common style guides include Chicago, APA, AP, and MLA. Many companies also have in-house style guides, which typically build off of one of the major style guides by adding industry-specific guidelines.
    • For some writing jobs, you may also be instructed to use a specific dictionary for any spelling or hyphenation questions you may have.
    • If you accept a writing job that does not require you to use a specific style guide or dictionary, make sure you are consistent with your stylistic choices. It may be helpful to choose a style guide by which you will adhere in the event that you are not given any direction.
  5. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 5
    Be versatile. For some writing jobs you may be required to write highly descriptive and elaborate content, and for others you may need to write short and concise sentences. As a writer, it is important to be prepared to take on all kinds of different writing challenges.
    • Challenge yourself by writing many different kinds of pieces, such as news articles, press releases, creative stories, and technical guides.
  6. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 6
    Learn to write for your audience. Whenever you are writing anything, you always need to think about who will be reading it. Writing for the needs of your audience will help you choose the appropriate vocabulary and style.[3]
    • Your audience will vary greatly depending on what kind of writing you will be doing. Think about how much knowledge the audience will have about the topic, what they need to learn from your writing, and why they are reading it in the first place. For example, if you are writing an entertaining blog post, your audience will likely be reading it because they enjoy it. Your writing style should be casual, conversational, and maybe even humorous. If, in contrast, you are writing a technical manual, your audience will be want to get information very quickly, so your writing style should be concise, informative, and unambiguous.
    • To help improve your ability to write for different audiences, try challenging yourself to write two or more pieces on the same topic for different audiences. For example, you could attempt to write an article about a political election for an audience that is highly knowledgeable about politics, and then try writing the same article for an audience that knows little to nothing about politics. While the basic facts will remain the same, your writing style will have to change dramatically to cater to these two very different audiences.
  7. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 7
    Practice. If you're going to get a job involving the writing craft, you need to be a good writer, and the only way to do that is to practice! Try to write a little bit every day, and then consider going back to pieces you have written in the past to edit and revise. The more you write and edit, the better your skills will become.
  8. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 8
    Gain experience. Do whatever you can to gain experience, either as a writer or in a writing-related industry. If you want to break into writing for newspapers, for example, taking a part-time job as a receptionist at a newspaper office could be a great first step.
    • Internships and volunteer work are also great ways to gain experience and build your resume, even if you don't get to spend all of your time writing.
    • For added experience, consider submitting articles or creative writing pieces that you have worked on for publication.
  9. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 9
    Have a specialty. This is not necessary if you are just starting out as a writer and are unsure about what career path you want to take, but if you know what kind of writing job you want, work on developing unique skills that will set you apart from other writers.[4]
    • Consider taking some classes to learn a specific writing-related skill, such as grant writing or search engine optimization. These are great resume builders that can help you land a writing job.
    • If you have professional experience or a degree in a non-writing field, you could have an excellent opportunity to cross-market yourself. For example, if you are highly knowledgeable about physics and you also have exceptional writing skills, you would be the perfect candidate to write or edit for a journal on physics.

Part 2
Finding a Job

  1. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 10
    Write a flawless resume. If you want someone to consider hiring you for a writing job, you need to have an extremely well-written resume that is both compelling and free from grammatical and spelling errors.
    • Make sure your resume is nicely formatted as well. You can find free online templates if you need help with formatting.
    • If you have never had a writing job before, consider creating a separate section on your resume that describes the various skills and experience you have as a writer.
  2. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 11
    Build a great portfolio. For most writing jobs, you will be asked to submit samples of your work. It's a good idea to have a large variety of samples prepared before you begin applying to jobs, so you can choose the ones that are most relevant to each specific job.
    • If you don't have any writing that you feel would be appropriate to submit as a sample, write something specifically for that purpose. For example, if you are applying for a marketing job, but you have never written ad copy before, do some research on your own and write a mock ad.
    • Having a website or blog can be very helpful in sharing samples of your work with prospective employers. Include a link to your site in any emails you send to inquire about job opportunities.[5]
    • Be prepared for writing tests as well. Some employers may want to see how you perform under time restrictions or how well you are able to write about a specific topic. Researching prospective employers thoroughly should help you prepare for these kinds of tests.
  3. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 12
    Network. As with all professions, you will have a much easier time finding a writing job if you leverage your connections with other professional writers.
    • Use professional networking websites like LinkedIn to connect with other writing professionals and post your resume.
    • Take advantage of any connections you may have made at school or at previous jobs and ask these people for advice on where to apply and how to get an interview.
    • Attend career fairs and conventions to meet people in your field. Even if the people you meet are not able to offer you a job, they may be able to connect you with people who are.
  4. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 13
    Apply for internships. Landing an internship with a magazine, newspaper, publishing company, or marketing agency is a great way to break into the writing world.[6]
    • You can find internships on major job boards like Monster or Craigslist. There are also job boards devoted solely to internships, like
    • If you know of companies in your area that you would like to work for, don't be afraid to contact them to express your interest in an internship. They might be willing to take on a new intern even if they didn't have a position posted
    • If you're a high school or college student, check with your adviser or career services office for advice and assistance with finding an internship. Your school should also be able to explain to you whether or not your internship can earn you college credits.
    • Many unpaid internships will not require huge time commitments, which is great if you also need to hold down a paying job. Before you accept a full-time gig that doesn't pay, make sure you have a plan for how you will support yourself. If you don't, it may be best to keep looking for other opportunities.
  5. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 14
    Look for freelance opportunities. You may be able to make a living as a freelance writer if you are willing to commit yourself. As a freelancer, you will have the opportunity to create your own schedule and decide what kinds of jobs you want to accept, although you will not have the security of a regular paycheck or employee benefits.[7]
    • There are lots of job boards devoted to freelance writing jobs, including, and, just to name a few. You can also find freelance jobs on major job boards such as Craigslist.[8]
    • Start exploring all of the job boards you can find, and then narrow it down to the ones that have posts that are most relevant to your interests and experience level.
    • Be willing to start small and work your way up. The more experience you gain and the better your reputation is, the more you can expect to earn as a freelancer.
    • Look for long-term independent contractor jobs or clients who will be willing to give you work frequently. This will take some of the stress out of freelance work because you won't have to be looking for new clients all the time.
    • Make sure to only accept jobs that you are capable of completing on time. You don't want to develop a bad reputation by missing deadlines or submitting poor quality work.
    • Watch out for scams. You should never disclose any sensitive personal information to a prospective employer without verifying that the company is legitimate.[9]
  6. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 15
    Get published. Another way to become a writer is to work on a project independently and then submit it for publication. This can be risky because you will not get paid unless your writing is accepted for publication, so you may want to start by doing this on the side while working a regular job.[10]
    • A literary agent can represent you and help you sell your work to publishers.
    • Instead of writing an entire book and hoping it will be accepted, you can submit a book proposal, along with a few sample chapters, to agents or publishers.
    • Self-publishing is also an option, although there is no guarantee that your work will make you any money.
  7. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 16
    Find a full-time job. If you'd like the security of a full-time job, it's definitely possible to find one that will put your writing skills to work, although you may have to be a bit flexible, especially if you have no experience. Even if your first full-time writing job is not your dream job, it will give you the experience that you need to advance in your field.
    • Regularly check job boards like Indeed and Craigslist for new posts, and don't limit yourself to jobs posted under the writing category. There may be jobs in other fields, such as marketing or technology, that actually require a lot of writing. Try using keywords like "write" or "writer" to filter jobs instead of filtering by category.
    • Almost all industries need writers, whether or not they advertise for positions using that language. For example, a lot of companies have in-house marketing departments that will hire writers to fill positions with titles like "marketing assistant" or "communications specialist."
    • Look for companies in your area that might need writers and editors. Good places to look include publishing companies, newspapers, magazines, and advertising agencies. Once you find them, check their website to see if there are any open positions. If not, you can still send an inquiry email to them, along with your resume and some writing samples.
    • If you have technical knowledge, don't forget to look for technical writer jobs. You may not find these kinds of jobs under the writing and editing section of the job board, so be sure to use the search functionality.
    • Landing an editing job can be a great first step towards your career goals, even if you really want to write. Don't neglect to use keywords like "editor" or "proofreader" when looking for these kinds of jobs online.
    • Don't give up. You may have a hard time finding your first writing job, but being persistent will pay off in the long run. If possible, try to get short-time freelance gigs to keep you busy and build your resume while you search for a full-time job.
  8. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 17
    Consider a grant writing job. If you're looking for a rewarding career that involves writing, do not neglect to look into the field of grant writing. You will need strong research skills and the ability to meet deadlines in order to be successful in this career. Even if you don't plan on doing this kind of writing forever, it's a great way to gain experience.[11]
    • Grant writers are sometimes full-time employees, most often for nonprofit agencies. To find these kinds of opportunities, check major job boards, focusing on the nonprofit sections. You can also try researching particularly active nonprofit agencies in your area and reaching out to those who seem to apply for grants frequently.
    • Many grant writers are freelancers as well, so you will find job opportunities on sites like or You may also want to look into joining organizations such as the Grant Professionals Association, which helps to match grant writing professionals with clients.
  9. Image titled Get a Writing Job Step 18
    Keep writing. If you get the job, that's wonderful! Pat yourself on the back, and get right back to writing. Whether or not you got the job, you need to keep your skills sharp and constantly improving. Even if you can't get a full-time position in the writing craft, you can still make writing a money-making hobby if you can sell a book or find occasional freelance work.


  • Get feedback on your writing and always keep improving. The better your writing gets, the better your chances are of getting a job!
  • Talk to professionals in your desired profession to see what will be required of you and if you can get a few tips on writing.
  • Beware of scams! You should never have to provide any money to secure a freelance or full-time job. You should also be sure to check the legitimacy of the company before providing any personal information.

Article Info

Categories: Job Search | Working from Home