Adding Your Writing Skills on a Resume: How to Make Every Word Count

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November 3, 2023
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min read

3 key takeaways

  • Why it’s important to showcase writing skills effectively on resumes
  • How to incorporate writing skills into sections of your resume
  • How Teal’s AI Resume Builder can streamline this process

Whether or not you work in a writing-centric field (like marketing or journalism), writing skills will be important in your role. (Think about it: Even mathematicians have to write emails to colleagues, explain their equations, or put their ideas on paper.)

But including your writing skills in a professional resume can be tricky.

So what’s the solution? What keywords should you include, and how can you do it in a way that demonstrates your writing skill rather than disproves it? Take a look at the smartest, easiest, and most effective ways to showcase writing skills on your resume.

Why you should list your writing skills on a resume

No matter your specific job description, at some point during your career, you’re probably going to have to write. That’s why you need to prove to potential employers that you’re prepared

No, you don’t need to be the next Stephen King—simply showing that your communication skills can handle day-to-day workplace writing tasks is enough. 

What skills qualify as writing skills?

When you think about “writing skills,” concepts like vocabulary, grammar, and sentence construction are likely the first words to come to your mind. But you don’t have to stop there. Even additional skills—ones not usually thought of as writing-specific—can serve to demonstrate your writing prowess. 

Below are some examples of skills that absolutely count as “writing skills” and should be included on your resume.


In many cases, research is a huge part of writing. Research is the process of collecting, organizing, and analyzing information on a certain topic. 

The ability to conduct strong, efficient research (and then translate that research into an article, a paper, or maybe even just an email) will get you a long way in the workplace. That’s why you need to be letting potential employers know up front that this is an area where you excel. 

You might be a good researcher if you are:

  • Curious
  • Analytical
  • Determined
  • Collaborative
  • Communicative 


What does organization look like in writing? 

The ideas you present should flow logically, structured in a way that makes it easy for readers to follow and understand what you’re trying to say. If your writing isn’t organized, your reader won’t stick around for the end. 

Some writers like to create an outline before they dive in. Others find it simpler to organize their thoughts as they go. Either way, you want your resume to show that your writing is well-organized—from an introduction to a conclusion and everything in between. 

Meeting deadlines

You can write the most creative, organized, well-thought-out article anyone has ever read. But if you don’t turn it in until a week after the deadline, your boss probably won’t be happy, and those awesome writing skills won’t matter so much after all. 

Meeting deadlines is crucial. Doing your part and meeting a deadline helps the entire team stay on track toward the shared goal of organizational success. 

How to incorporate writing skills on a resume

Highlight important keywords

Many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help process large volumes of job applications. This software is a digital filing system hiring professionals use to store and sort applications. 

They can then search the ATS to find specific keywords and qualifications—ones that you can easily include when listing your skills.

Recruiters and hiring managers will use their ATS to find resumes that mention exact terms, phrases, or words. These keywords are usually skills that the company is prioritizing in the position. 

For example, they might be looking for “organization,” “adaptability,” or “project management.” These are all versatile resume keywords that you can slip in as part of your writing skills, helping your resume become more visible to a recruiter looking through a stack of hundreds.

Want to find the right words quickly and easily?

The Teal AI Resume Builder and Job Application Tracker highlight the top keywords from any job description so you can easily incorporate them into your resume. 

Using keywords to highlight writing skills on a resume 
Highlight the right writing skills on your resume with keywords.

Showcase both hard and soft skills

As you begin to compile a list of your writing skills, make sure you’re including both hard and soft skills. Resume hard skills are more technical skills—things you’ve been trained to do in order to complete your job. Soft skills are natural; think of these interpersonal skills as more like personality traits.

You can (and should) incorporate both hard and soft skills that are related to writing into different sections of your resume. Hard skills for writing might look like:

  • SEO writing
  • CMS proficiency 
  • Editing and proofreading
  • AP style (or any other style, like Chicago)
  • Research
  • Translation
  • Grant writing
  • Proposal writing

Soft skills for writing could include:

  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Collaboration
  • Patience
  • Empathy

Use the Teal AI Resume Builder “Skills” section manager to incorporate any hard skills you aren’t able to leverage throughout other sections of your resume. 

Showcasing writing skills on a resume in a dedicated section
Showcase your hard writing skills in a dedicated section. 

Tailor your skills to the job description

Another important resume writing tip: Line up the resume skills you include with those mentioned in the job description. 

You might be tempted to include generic writing skills like “grammar” or “typing.” But in reality, recruiters often view these skills as low-level or too general.

Instead, pick out two or three specific skills mentioned in the job posting and add those to your resume. 

For instance, a job posting for a brand copywriter or content marketer might talk about skills like writing high-quality sales copy, being a strong collaborator, or easily adapting your writing tone between projects or clients. Using the same language as the company is a great way to get hiring managers to notice your resume. 

If you want to compare your resume to a job description, try Teal’s Matching Mode. Teal’s Matching Mode compares your skills, experiences, and language to the job description—uncovering patterns and insights to give you a Match Score. 

 Compare writing skills on a resume to a job description
Compare your resume to any job description to tailor your content

Discuss other skills in the context of writing

Your resume should include a healthy number of skills, even if they don’t all have a direct connection to writing. But even the ones that don’t can still serve to highlight your writing ability. 

For example, you may have learned to pay close attention to detail in your previous roles. This is a beneficial transferable skill that can also apply to your writing, helping you take the time to ensure your writing is factually accurate and well-edited. 

Project management and adaptability are two additional examples of crucial skills for writers that you may already possess, thanks to prior job experience. Planning and organizing projects uses a similar skill set to organizing a piece you’re writing, and adaptability can help you adjust your writing voice on the fly to fit a new set of brand guidelines. 

Show instead of tell with specific examples

One of the best resume tips you can follow is to show instead of tell. Yes, you should list your key skills in bullet points at the end of your resume—but you should also take those skills and incorporate them higher up in other resume sections, describing your past work experience in a way that proves your competency in these areas. Here are a few tips to help.

1. Be specific about your skills and experience

When it comes to your skills and experience, be as specific as possible. Vague, general descriptions don’t give potential employers a clear picture of who you are as a candidate. Instead, give examples of specific skills and how you’ve used them in past roles to show them what you bring to the table.

2. Quantify your accomplishments

Adding numbers to your resume accomplishments is always a good idea. 

Quantifying your accomplishments wherever possible makes those achievements more effective. Hard, cold metrics prove that you know how to put your top skills into practice. 

This might look like:

  • Effectively coordinated and monitored a project budget of $200,000, identifying and reporting any discrepancies and variances to the project manager.
  • Researched and implemented state-of-the-art machine learning techniques, resulting in a 5% improvement in model accuracy and a 10% reduction in false positives.
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to implement security controls and solutions, resulting in a 25% reduction in security incidents and a 20% increase in system availability.

3. Include writing skills throughout your resume

Another way to show instead of tell is to sprinkle your writing skills throughout your resume. They don’t have to be confined solely to the resume “skills” section (and they shouldn’t be unless they’re hard skills)—you can add them elsewhere, too.

Mention any writing-related education or certifications you have. You can also list relevant software or tools you’re proficient with, such as Microsoft Word or SEO tools like Clearscope. 

Finally, make sure your cover letter (and any social media platforms that your recruiter might find) also demonstrates a strong writing skill set and command of the English language.

Build powerful writing resumes with Teal

Building a strong resume isn’t always easy—even for seasoned writers who know their way around the blank page. 

But no matter your writing skill level, you can make the resume writing process easier with Teal. 

Teal’s AI Resume Builder helps you quickly generate personalized resumes tailored for each job application. Analyze your resume’s effectiveness and get targeted recommendations to optimize every time you hit apply.

Show off your writing skills with a tailored, optimized resume—try Teal for free today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I quantify my writing skills on a resume to make them stand out?

To quantify your writing skills on a resume, include specific achievements such as the number of articles published, the readership levels you've reached, or the percentage increase in engagement due to your content. Mention any awards or recognitions received for your writing, and if applicable, highlight the successful outcomes of projects that benefited from your writing expertise, such as successful marketing campaigns or grant proposals.

Should I list general writing skills or be specific about the types of writing I excel in?

It's best to be specific about the types of writing you excel in to match the job description and showcase your expertise. Instead of just stating "excellent writing skills," mention particular styles such as technical writing, creative writing, copywriting, or academic writing. Tailor your skills to the role you're applying for, demonstrating how your writing can add value to the potential employer.

Can I include writing skills that I've developed from personal projects or hobbies on my resume?

Absolutely, personal projects or hobbies that involve writing can be a great addition to your resume, especially if they demonstrate skills relevant to the job. For example, if you maintain a popular blog or have self-published work, these experiences can showcase your initiative, creativity, and audience engagement abilities. Be sure to explain how these personal writing endeavors have honed your skills and contributed to your professional development.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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