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Advertising Copywriter CV Writing Tip's

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Advertising Copywriter CV Writing Service

Advertising Copywriter CV Writing Service

If you are creative, imaginative and have excellent writing skills, this job could be perfect for you.

Copywriters (often known in the advertising industry as ‘creatives’), produce the written words or ‘copy’ for advertisements. This could be anything from slogans and text for printed ads and leaflets, to radio jingles and scripts for TV commercials.

In this job you would need to get a message across clearly and persuasively. As you will be promoting products or services, you will need good business sense. You will also need to be in touch with popular culture.

To get into this job, most employers will be more interested in your creativity and writing skills than specific qualifications. However, courses in advertising, marketing, journalism, English and media studies could teach you some of the skills you would need. This is a job where getting experience is very important, so work placements and volunteering can be very useful.

The work

As a copywriter, you would work as a team with an art director, who would provide the visual images to go with your words. Your job would begin with a briefing about the client, their product, the target audience and the advertising message to be put across. Your work could then involve:

  • creating original ideas that fit the brief (working closely with the art director)
  • presenting ideas to the agency’s creative director and account team
  • helping to present ideas to the client
  • making any changes that the client asks for
  • writing clear and persuasive copy
  • making sure that ads meet the codes of advertising practice
  • proofreading copy to check spelling, grammar and facts
  • casting actors for TV and radio advertisements
  • liaising with photographers, designers, production companies and printers.

You would often work on several projects at once, usually under the supervision of a creative director.


Hours

Your hours could vary – you would usually work Monday to Friday, but your days may often be longer than 9am to 5pm if you had deadlines to meet.

You would spend most of your time in the office, but you may also occasionally travel to meet clients or visit studios where advertisements are being made.


Income

Starting salaries can be around £18,000 to £25,000 a year. With experience this rises to between £25,000 and £50,000 a year. Senior creatives in leading agencies can earn up to £100,000 or more.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

Employers will usually be more interested in your creativity, writing skills and business sense than your formal qualifications.

However, advertising is a very competitive industry to join, so you may have an advantage with a qualification that includes some copywriting, such as:

  • a foundation degree, BTEC HND or degree in advertising
  • Communication, Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation (CAM) Diploma in Marketing Communications.

Other useful courses include BTEC HNDs or degrees in journalism, English, media studies and marketing.

Most people get their first copywriting job as a result of work experience. This can give you the chance to make industry contacts and impress potential employers.

You could contact agencies directly to ask about placements, and make industry contacts through relevant groups on social networking sites.

When looking for jobs, you will need to show a portfolio of your work (known as a ‘book’) to potential employers, as you will be employed on the strength of your creative ideas, versatility and writing ability.

It’s a good idea to team up with a would-be art director and work together on campaign ideas for your portfolio, as this can help prove your ability to fulfil a client’s ‘brief’. See D&AD’s website for details of their advertising workshops, aimed at helping people build a portfolio and make contacts in the advertising industry.


Training and development

You would start as a junior creative in an advertising agency, and develop your skills on the job. In larger advertising agencies, you may be trained through a structured graduate scheme.

Your training may include the IPA Foundation Certificate, an online course for junior staff with at least six months’ experience in any area of advertising.

You should keep up to date with advertising industry news and developments throughout your career. D&AD offers Workout, a range of one-day courses for creatives, and the IPA runs a range of short courses and seminars for staff working in its member agencies.


Skills and knowledge

To be an advertising copywriter you should have:

  • creativity and imagination
  • excellent writing skills, with the ability to express a message clearly and persuasively
  • a good command of grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • excellent communication and teamworking skills
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to work under pressure and to strict deadlines
  • resilience and the ability to cope with criticism of your work
  • good business sense
  • research skills, good general knowledge and awareness of popular culture.

Opportunities

Advertising is a very popular career among graduates, and competition is strong. Most jobs are based in London and other major cities in the UK.

Jobs are advertised in the national and trade press, the IPA website and specialist recruitment agencies. However, not all jobs are advertised, so you could also approach agencies directly, or find work through making contacts in the industry.

With experience, you could progress to senior copywriter and creative director. You could also choose to work freelance.

Related industry information

Industry summary

The advertising industry is part of the creative industries, represented by Creative Skillset. This includes: advertising; animation; computer games; corporate and commercial production; fashion and textiles; film; interactive media; photo imaging; publishing; radio; and television.

[N.B. The advertising sector has now been brought under Creative Skillset’s remit and they are currently working on a research programme for the industry. They expect to report back with updated LMI information and statistics from early 2011.]

Advertising agencies (creative, media, direct marketing, digital, sponsorship, specialist agencies etcetera) are core to the advertising industry and are firmly positioned within the ‘creative industries’, alongside architecture, design, fashion and computer services. Careers in advertising can be divided into:

  • Creative careers, which include jobs in copywriting and art direction/graphic design.
  • Commercial careers, which involve planning the advertising strategy and an analysis of markets and targets. Media management and market research are the main strands here.

Key facts:

  • There are 21,455 people working in advertising, this number has declined by 19% since 2006.
  • There are 345 businesses, of which 7% employ less than 5 people and 64% employ more than 20 people.
  • Advertising contributes £1.11 billion to the UK economy.
  • 17% of the workforce is self-employed.
  • 17% of the workforce is employed part-time.
  • Women in the industry are generally more highly qualified than men (53% have an above level 4 qualification as their highest qualification compared with 50% of men).
  • Women are likely to earn less money than men (79% of women in advertising earn less than £20,000 per annum, compared to 33% of men).
  • 6% of the workforce has a below Level 2 qualification (GCSE level).
  • Staff turnover in the industry is high.

Jobs in the industry include: Account Manager, Account Planner, Advertising Account Executive, Advertising Account Planner, Advertising Art Director, Advertising Installer, Advertising Media Buyer, Advertising Media Planner, Brand Manager, Copywriter/Art Director, Event and Exhibition Organiser.


National and regional data

Northern Ireland – There are 11,640 people working in the Northern Ireland creative and cultural sector, of which 2% are in advertising. Advertising in Northern Ireland contributes £7 million to the UK economy. More than 99% of the advertising workforce is white and 74% are male. Less than 1% of the advertising workforce is self-employed.

Scotland – There are 45,420 people working in the Scottish creative and cultural sector, of which 1% is in advertising. Advertising in Scotland contributes £36 million to the UK economy. More than 88% of the advertising workforce is white and 32% are female. 30% of the workforce is self-employed.

Wales – There are 24,060 people working in the Welsh creative and cultural sector, of which 2% are in advertising. Advertising in Wales contributes £5.3 million to the UK economy. More than 99% of the advertising workforce is white and 79% are male. 23% of the advertising workforce is self-employed.

[N.B. The data for the following regions are for the creative and cultural sector as a whole.]

East Midlands – There are 44,380 people in the sector workforce in the region, representing 7% of the UK sector workforce. There are 3,950 creative businesses in the region, of which 92% employ less than 50 people. 35% of the workforce is self employed. 63% of the workforce is male. 95% of the sector workforce is white and 54% are under 40 years.

East of England – There are 63,700 people in the sector workforce in the region, representing 9% of the UK sector workforce. There are 6,710 creative businesses in the region, of which 93% employ less than 50 people. 37% of the workforce is self employed. 66% of the workforce is male. 95% of the sector workforce is white and 46% are under 40 years.

London – There are 164,690 people in the sector workforce in London, representing 24% of the UK sector workforce. There are 21,600 creative businesses, of which 93% employ less than 50 people. 51% of the workforce is self employed. 58% of the workforce is male. 84% of the sector workforce is white and 56% are under 40 years.

North East – There are 19,680 people in the sector workforce in the region, representing 3% of the UK sector workforce. There are 1,330 creative businesses in the region, of which 90% employ less than 50 people. 38% of the workforce is self employed. 63% of the workforce is male. 96% of the sector workforce is white and 53% are under 40 years.

North West – There are 59,580 people in the sector workforce in the region, representing 9% of the UK sector workforce. There are 5,660 creative businesses in the region, of which 91% employ less than 50 people. 34% of the workforce is self employed; the majority of who are in arts and music. 62% of the workforce is male. 95% of the sector workforce is white and 55% are under 40 years.

South East – There are 98,170 people in the sector workforce in the region, representing 14% of the UK sector workforce. There are 12,300 creative businesses in the region, of which 93% employ less than 50 people. 43% of the workforce is self employed. 59% of the workforce is male. 97% of the sector workforce is white and 47% are under 40 years.

South West – There are 60,690 people in the sector workforce in the region, representing 9% of the UK sector workforce. There are approximately 5,000 creative businesses in the region, of which 93% employ less than 50 people. 47% of the workforce is self employed in arts, design and music. 59% of the workforce is male. 98% of the sector workforce is white and 46% are under 40 years.

West Midlands – There are 40,300 people in the sector workforce in the region, representing 6% of the UK sector workforce. There are approximately 5,000 creative businesses in the region, of which 91% employ less than 50 people. 31% of the workforce is self employed, which is the lowest regional figure. 58% of the workforce is male. 91% of the sector workforce is white and 49% are under 40 years.

Yorkshire and the Humber – There are 45,900 people in the sector workforce in the region, representing 7% of the UK sector workforce. There are just under 4,000 creative businesses in the region, of which 90% employ less than 50 people. 40% of the workforce is self employed. 60% of the workforce is male. 97% of the sector workforce is white and 53% are under 40 years.

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