This is a three part series about the writing required by travel writers in addition to creating travel articles.
In Part 1, we’ll focus on resumes and CVs.
Remember, when you apply for a travel writing opportunity, you may be required to submit a resume or CV in addition to a cover letter and writing samples. Let’s take a look at these career tools.
A resume is a one to two page summary of your skills, experience, and education. They are either functional (focuses on your skills and work experience), chronological (lists your employment beginning with your most current position), or combination (functional and chronological).
In years past it was customary to have a single resume prepared and printed on high-quality paper. Typically it was only updated or changed if you changed jobs. Today it is considered acceptable to tailor your resume (structure and focus) for each opportunity to which you’re applying, and emailed or online copies are common. If you do send a printed copy, be sure to use a light-colored high quality paper for both the resume and cover letter, with a matching envelope for mailing. Yes, showing that you care enough to use quality materials still impresses potential employers.
Sections of a resume
- Objective. Some people argue that it’s not necessary, while others believe it’s still important. Employers are accustomed to seeing one, so even if it’s an outdated tactic, it can’t hurt to have one. If you decide to include an objective keep it short and simple;
- Summary of qualifications. Highlight your writing, interviewing, photography, and other skills you may have that are applicable for the position you’re interested in. Use bullet points to make your qualifications stand out;
- Professional experience. List your previous work history, highlighting any that is similar, or applicable to, the position or company your applying to. There’s no need to list jobs that you only worked at three months or less;
- Education. Don’t worry if your degree is not in Journalism or Writing. It’s still important to list your education. This includes two and four year degrees as well as licenses and certifications;
- Awards/Accolades. Be proud of that “Travel Writer” of the year award. List any awards you won for your travel writing;
- Professional organizations. List organizations you belong to such as the IFWTWA. This can make you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of receiving a writing opportunity.
Writing a resume can be daunting for some travel writers. Before you begin writing, look at some resume samples which can be found on the internet. Have someone like a recruiter look at your resume. You’ll receive valuable feedback and they can give you “tips and tricks” to improve your resume and make it stronger than ever.
A CV stands for curriculum vita (CV) which is Latin for “course of one’s life.” It’s used in industries such as medicine, law, education, science, media (film, television, etc.), and when you apply for a job outside of the U.S. It’s longer than a two page resume and provides more details such as date of birth, age, sex, weight, height, country of origin, and other information. Some of this information cannot be asked in the U.S. because it’s illegal. Foreign countries require it because you’re a foreigner who’ll be working and living in their country.
The CV includes a summary of your academic and educational backgrounds, teach and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, affiliations, honors, and other details. Employers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia expect to receive a CV. Travel writers who want to apply for a fellowship or grant will submit a CV.
Travel writers are known for creating strong well thought out travel stories. However, they may waiver when they attempt to write a resume or CV.
Remember, you have 30 seconds to dazzle a potential employer with your expertise and skills. Can’t do that in 30 seconds? Consider hiring a professional resume writer or a copywriter to help you write your resume or CV. Consider it an investment in yourself.
How does your resume or CV look? Is it time for a makeover? Share your thoughts.