Strong writing skills are often sought-after by recruiters and employers, regardless of the industry that you’re in.
Even if you’re not applying for a particular position as a writer, it can be important to highlight these skills on your resume in addition to your work experience, education, and other skills. They are a key indicator of the ability to communicate effectively, which is vital for most jobs.
In this article, we’ll examine the importance of writing skills, their types, and the best ways to add them to your resume for optimal chances of success. We’ll also give you advice on how to improve your writing skills—all to help you make an outstanding resume and leave a positive impression on potential employers!
Writing skills are essential in the workplace, as they allow you to communicate with others, share ideas, and exchange information.
These skills are in the top 5 of the most sought-after abilities by recruiters and employers, which makes them important for any resume.
There are four styles of writing—persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive—and many different types of writing—technical writing, blog writing, copywriting, etc.—whose uses vary from one career or job position to another.
The five core writing skills you could list on your resume are research, planning, grammar, proofreading and editing, and reading comprehension.
One of the best ways to demonstrate your writing skills on your resume is to use specific examples from previous jobs.
There are many ways to improve your writing skills, including reading and writing regularly, seeking feedback and mentorship, studying the works of prominent writers, and more.
What Are Writing Skills?
By definition, writing skills allow you to communicate your thoughts, ideas, and information through written language. Needless to say, this makes them essential in today’s society and modern workplace.
The foundation of good writing skills is a strong command of grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. However, a good writer also knows how to neatly organize information and present it in a clear and concise manner.
Writing skills also encompass the ability to choose the right words to convey the exact meaning that you want. You construct sentences using grammar, punctuation, and other literary devices to create enticing and impactful written work.
Furthermore, proficient writers can adapt their style for different audiences and various purposes. For example, writing a business report will be vastly different from working on a scientific paper, an essay, or a personal letter.
Why Are Writing Skills Important For Your Resume?
Simply put, writing skills are important for your resume because employers value them highly and often look for them, as they are a valuable asset in many professional roles.
We have already touched on the importance of communication in the workplace, and writing is one of the main methods of doing that. Written communication can be anything from writing emails and creating presentations to working on specific documents and even casually chatting with coworkers or supervisors.
Moreover, solid writing skills also often indicate that you possess attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking abilities, too.
The importance of having such abilities on your resume is backed by hard evidence as well. According to NACE's 2023 survey report, one of the top 5 attributes employerslook for on a resume is written communication skills.
Jobs with Writing Skills
All of that makes writing skills welcome on any resume, especially in fields like marketing, journalism, or public relations and in specific roles, such as:
Content marketing manager
Types of Writing
Broadly speaking, there are four different styles of writing, and they are:
Depending on the purpose of your writing and your audience, you’ll opt for one of these styles.
That being said, there are many different types of writing, which are more specific than styles. The ones you need will depend on your career, position, or even the particular project that you might be working on.
Here are some of the most common types of writing you should be familiar with:
Types of Writing Examples
Argumentative writing presents a point of view backed with evidence.
Technical writing has the goal of giving specific information on a precise topic.
Journalistic writing serves to inform the public and give them the latest news.
Business writing refers to communication in a professional environment.
Academic writing involves writing essays and research papers, as well as creating other written work for educational purposes.
Creative writing includes various imaginative forms such as poetry writing, screenwriting, playwriting, songwriting, etc.
Blog writing involves writing for online platforms such as professional and personal blogs.
Report writing serves to present information obtained from research or investigation.
Grant writing refers to writing proposals in order to secure funding.
Speech writing relates to writing speeches for public events.
Resume writing involves creating a professional document that highlights your work experience, education, and skills.
5 Core Writing Skills to Put in Your Resume
Let’s take a look at some of the essential writing skills that you can include on your resume.
Research is one of the most important aspects of writing skills. This ability helps you gather information and facts that you’ll use in your writing.
Research Skills Examples
There are multiple benefits that stem from having strong research skills, such as:
Having the ability to find adequate sources and evaluate them to determine their credibility, relevance, and usefulness.
Being able to synthesize information and create one cohesive project from multiple different sources.
Staying organized and keeping track of all the sources you found, ideas needed for your writing, and notes.
Being able to summarize information, present it clearly and concisely, and cite sources correctly.
In terms of writing skills, "planning" refers to your ability to create a precise structure by organizing your ideas.
For starters, planning involves generating ideas through brainstorming and creating a practical outline to ensure a logical structure.
Additionally, it can help you set precise goals and effectively prioritize tasks until those goals are met, which positively affects your time management. By planning properly, you leave enough room for revising and editing.
Lastly, a good planner takes their audience into consideration every step of the way and tailors their writing toward them.
Impeccable grammar is the backbone of good writing. There are many elements to consider when it comes to grammar skills, with some of the most important being:
Grammar Skills Examples
Knowing when and how to use punctuation marks such as commas, semicolons, and periods
Knowing how to use verbs and tenses correctly
Understanding the sentence structure and knowing how to construct well-formed sentences
Knowing how to use adjectives and adverbs to modify nouns and verbs.
Knowing when to use active or passive voice
Ensuring your spelling is impeccable
#4. Proofreading & Editing
Proofreading and editing are vital steps in the writing process, as they allow you to refine your work and optimize it for maximum quality. Being able to proofread and edit effectively means that you’re attentive to detail and able to identify everything from grammar and spelling errors to syntax inconsistencies.
Furthermore, by proofreading and editing your work, you’ll be able to keep it consistent, which is especially important for long-term projects. It can also help you take a step back from your writing and polish it to be more objective.
Not only that, but by re-reading and thoroughly examining your work, you’ll be able to eliminate unnecessary content to keep it concise and check facts to verify the accuracy of information.
#5. Reading Comprehension
Reading comprehension is another important aspect of writing, and it’s tightly connected to research and editing.
On the one hand, reading comprehension helps you understand the information quicker and retain crucial details. That allows you to generate ideas and transform them with your writing style.
On the other hand, reading comprehension skills contribute to your ability to write a cohesive text that will allow readers to understand ideas, draw conclusions from them, and retain information for themselves.
For those reasons, by demonstrating reading comprehension skills on your resume, you indirectly highlight good analytical and critical thinking skills.
23 Other Writing Skills to Put in Your Resume
We’ve established that writing skills encompass a wide variety of abilities. For example, it’s one thing when a copywriter adds a list of professional writing skills to their resume, and it’s something entirely different when an executive assistant highlights their notetaking competence.
That’s why we created a comprehensive list with even more examples of writing skills that you could include on your resume:
Foreign language writing
Collaborative writing skills
Social media writing
Proficiency in relevant software
These were all hard, technical, and writer-specific skills.
However, a good writer often possesses plenty of other qualities in the form of soft skills. Here are some examples of soft writing skills:
Attention to detail
Fact-checking and accuracy
How to Add Writing Skills to Your Resume
Adding writing skills to your resume is crucial to demonstrating them properly to recruiters. However, instead of just creating a list, try to highlight your skills through experience. You can provide specific examples in your resume objective, summary, work experience, and some of the optional sections.
Also, keep in mind that writing skills can be rather broad, so only list a couple of them that are highly related to the position you’re applying for. Naturally, if you’re going for the position of a writer, you’d likely want to list more skills from this group.
Another thing that you can add to your resume is a link to your portfolio, personal website, or social media pages that show off your writing skills.
Writing Skills on a Resume
Here’s how a technical writer could demonstrate their skills on a resume:
Wrote and managed a range of technical documentation, including user manuals and product specifications for hardware and software products
This example shows how to add content writing skills to your resume:
Researched, wrote, and edited blog posts, white papers, and case studies for ABC Corp to increase their website traffic by 35%
Here’s another example of creative writing skills on a resume:
Boosted XYZ Company sales by 27% with compelling copy crafted for print and digital advertisements
The final example will show how a candidate applying for a non-writing position (a customer service representative) could mention their writing skills:
Wrote clear and concise emails to customers to resolve their issues
The mere act of having a well-written resume is another testament to your good writing skills. That’s why you want to ensure a clean and concise document, which should ideally be one page long and error-free.
How to Improve Your Writing Skills
There are many methods you can use to improve your writing skills. While most of them require time, patience, and dedication, you could start working on some right off the bat.
Here are some tips to help you improve your writing skills:
You should read regularly and expose yourself to different writing styles. The variety will help you hone your skills, learn how to structure your writing, and improve your style.
Whenever possible, you should write to put what you’ve learned into practice and improve through trial and error.
Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from others. Share your writing and look for constructive criticism. You can also find a mentor and improve your skills with their assistance.
You can follow the work of other writers, study it, and try to incorporate some of their techniques.
Stay on top of things by studying grammar and usage to ensure they are top-notch since they are essential for writing.
You can always take courses to quickly progress in the specific field of writing that you’re most interested in. There are courses in creative writing, email writing and etiquette, editing, novel writing, content marketing, storytelling, and so on.
Lastly, you should take advantage of modern tools, software, and writing aids that can help you spot mistakes, iron out the details, adapt your work, change its style, etc. Some of the more prominent tools include Grammarly, ProWritingAid, Quillbot, Scrivener, Hemingway App, and others.
Writing skills can be a valuable asset on a resume in today’s job market, and not just for writing-oriented careers.
Everyone from copywriters and technical writers to managers, assistants, marketers, or customer service representatives could benefit from demonstrating writing skills on their resumes.
If you follow the guidelines provided in this article and remember to highlight your skills through specific examples, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition from the get-go.
Finally, remember to use relevant keywords, add links where recruiters could check out your written work, and tailor your resume to the position that you’re applying for. That way, you’ll turn your resume into a written work of art!