Writers and Authors

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Also known as:
Advertising Copy Writer, Advertising Copywriter, Author, Biographer, Copy Writer, Copywriter, Lyricist, Novelist, Playwright, Poet

ABOUT WRITER OR AUTHOR CAREERS
Video transcript

The number of words produced by writers and editors each day is staggering. Newspapers, magazines, and books are only the most obvious examples. There are also the catalogs that arrive in your mailbox, the words that appear on everything from aspirin bottle to cereal boxes, and the words found in instruction booklets and on printed forms - to say nothing of those in internet web pages.

Regardless of where the writing appears, however, an editor probably decided what was needed, assigned the job to a writer, and later fine-tuned the writer's text. There are writing and editing jobs in nearly every industry and at most levels of government.

The broader and deeper your education and experience, the better. The most important qualification of all is a knack for communicating effectively, whether on paper, on film, or through electronic media. If you have that talent, writing and editing can be very satisfying and rewarding professions.

SNAPSHOT

Originate and prepare written material, such as scripts, stories, advertisements, and other material.

Daily tasks

Conduct research and interviews to determine which of a product's selling features should be promoted.

Review advertising trends, consumer surveys, and other data regarding marketing of goods and services to determine the best way to promote products.

Write articles, bulletins, sales letters, speeches, and other related informative, marketing and promotional material.

Invent names for products and write the slogans that appear on packaging, brochures and other promotional material.

Develop advertising campaigns for a wide range of clients, working with an advertising agency's creative director and art director to determine the best way to present advertising information.

Vary language and tone of messages based on product and medium.

Present drafts and ideas to clients.

Discuss with the client the product, advertising themes and methods, and any changes that should be made in advertising copy.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
TOP SKILLS
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.