Jobs with writing- what they involve and tips for getting in. Part 1: journalist and copywriter

We thought it might be useful to share some of the insights we gained from a recent training event with you:


The work:

· Creating online, audio, video, social media and user-generated content (for example working for Buzzfeed)

· Trend towards ‘hyperlocal’ content within local news: using twitter/facebook to source and share news in local area

· Basic maths skills are helpful for analysing large volumes of social media stats

· Increasing trend towards freelancing, but there are still plenty of vacancies for journalists including trainee reporters if you know where to search

Increase your chances of getting in:

· Need NCTJ accredited qualification and excellent writing skills

· Digital skills are essential – social media, photography, filming, recording and ability to edit audio and visual content

· Get as much work experience and evidence of your published work as possible e.g. published articles or online content

· Create Your own blog to showcase your writing skills (need to update regularly)

· Need to be able to use teeline shorthand (ideally at least 100 wpm)

Find out more: (Try journograds for advice and vacancies)


The work:

· Writing material for individuals or organisations to help them convey their brand and achieve the desired effect on the reader

· Could be writing and editing online material, social media, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) speeches, training manuals, emails to customers, or call centre scripts

· Could be working in-house for a large organisation (most have a team of 4-5 copy writers), for an advertising agency with a copywriting arm, or for a specialist copy writing agency

Increase your chances of getting in:

· Need to be technically good at factual writing for various purposes

· Demonstrate quality of writing: write for a friend’s site, a local business or charity site – quality of work is much more important than your social media profile

· Most copywriting agencies offer copy writing internships which they advertise on their own site

· Research advertising and copywriting agencies (using Google/twitter e.t.c.) and check their sites for opportunities

· Create a portfolio of writing samples (any format) – need at least four different pieces of writing: could be flyers or press releases, you could include pieces which have been used for university or Student Union purposes

· If you are offered an internship, it’s worth knowing that the agency will be looking at your writing skills and your ability to take feedback and use it to improve writing (even when you don’t agree with client)

Find out more: Guardian – Routes into copywriting and Copywriters Unite


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