3 entry-level jobs to kick-start your writing career

 7 December 2017

Writing careers are particularly attractive to students and graduates but can be incredibly competitive to get into. Take a look at these three alternative entry-level jobs that are guaranteed to kick-start your writing career.

Let’s face it, we’ve all seen the film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, fancied ourselves as the next Carrie Bradshaw, or kept up with successful bloggers and their incredible looking lives on Instagram.

If you’re looking for your first professional writing job, you may have thought about setting up camp in a café blogging or exercising your journalism skills at your local paper.

If you’re not quite brave enough to write your debut novel just yet, you may also have considered becoming an editorial assistant in a publishing house.

While these career paths are possible, they’re also incredibly competitive and may not provide a salary that aligns with your qualifications. 

1) Copywriter

An entry-level copywriter position is great for anyone looking to start a writing career.

Employers are usually looking for anyone with competency in writing and communication and a spark of creativity.

Usually based within the marketing team, the everyday duties of copywriters are more or less the same.

A PR assistant role is a great first career step if you’re a graduate.

Although some small differences depend on the industry or the department’s needs.

‘Copy’ is the industry’s term for ‘words’, ‘text’ or ‘written material’ and copywriters are responsible for crafting copy in various styles, for a variety of purposes.

Advertising copywriters typically have a more design-orientated or creative-based role.

Typical tasks include developing headlines, straplines, slogans, scripts and other promotional material, like emails and whitepapers.

In addition to being skilled at crafting persuasive and engaging copy, advertising copywriters often need to be well-versed in Adobe software, such as Photoshop and InDesign.

Digital copywriters’ duties, while still creative, are heavily aligned with other areas of digital marketing.

Typical responsibilities include writing website copy, blog posts, social media content, video scripts and emails.

The responsibilities of advertising and digital copywriters overlap and day-to-day duties will depend on the type of employer and whether you work in-house with an organisation, for an agency or freelance.

2) PR assistant

If your hunt for a job in journalism is going south, perhaps you should consider a role in the department where every big scoop begins: Public Relations (PR).

Like copywriters, PR assistants can work as part of an agency, looking after a handful of clients’ profiles.

Or in-house, promoting their company’s reputation and presence in the media.

Digital copywriters’ duties, while still creative, are heavily aligned with other areas of digital marketing. 

As a PR assistant, you can expect to write press releases, comments, features, case studies, whitepapers, presentations, speeches and social media posts.

In addition to the writing duties, PR assistants have a direct line with the press, so you’ll also be responsible for communicating with publications daily to secure media coverage.

This might mean you have to step away from the desk for a while, attending press conferences and events too.

A PR assistant role is a great first career step if you’re a graduate.

This is because employers are looking for job hunters with proficiency in written and verbal communication skills, organisational skills, commercial awareness and a solid understanding of social media.

And you would have gained these skills throughout your degree.

3) Content writer

Content writers are a key component of any marketing team and are often a hybrid of digital copywriters and PR assistants.

Main writing duties include producing blog posts, emails, whitepapers and newsletters.

Content writers are often involved in wider marketing duties, such as social media, and can support other departments via copy editing, proofreading and fact checking too.

To become a content writer, you simply need some experience in writing, the ability to write well and to a brief, the confidence to amend others’ work and have impeccable time-management skills.

The great news is you’ve gained all that through education.

Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

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