Building a content creator resume is going to be the only way to find new creative work online.
It doesn’t feel like it when you’re doing it, but publishing creative work online to an audience of 0 is not wasted time. It’s going to feel like a grind for no reason, but there are benefits you may be looking past.
With the right consistency and mindset, you can build the skills necessary for attaining paid creative work you have always dreamed of doing. There are countless opportunities online for content creation. Media companies are expanding their efforts like never before. Retail brands are rapidly trying to catch up to the media game they fell behind in. The market is on-boarding, and many are hopping on for the ride.
Media companies are expanding their efforts like never before. Retail brands are rapidly trying to catch up to the media game they fell behind in.
The market is rapidly growing, meaning there are opportunities everywhere. However, a new age of content creation opportunities also ushers in a new age of resumes and applications (and rejections). In starkly different formats to how many of us secured jobs before. Now, we need a content creator resume.
Every time you hit the publish button, you are building your resume. While expanding your abilities, you grow a catalogue of projects. These projects are a flexible and mobile exemplar of your skill-set and progression.
If you channel your focus on building an impressive content creator resume, you can almost guarantee success as a content creator – in many media fields beyond your own channels. Whether it becomes shooting and editing commercials, directing videos for other content creators or large media companies, or even publishing your own sponsored content. The directions are endless. But you can’t head in any of those directions without the proper resume.
What a Content Creator Resume Looks Like
The content creator resume is made up of the same 3 aspects as a traditional resume.
- Work History + Education
- Cover Letters
This article is going to dive into each one, and help you define your goals, and refine your efforts to make them as strong as they can be.
Let’s find creative work online, together.
But Why Do I Need a Resume? Can’t I Be My Own Boss With Content Creation?
Ah, quite an astute question I am pretending you asked.
When we start a content creation journey, many of us have similar goals – even if some of us are humble about it. To earn money from our content.
If my goal was only to build a personal brand, I wouldn’t worry about finding clients. But with 4 kids, I have to be transparent and honest with myself. I have to earn some extra income. Client work becomes more reliable than algorithm riding at that point.
I have to earn some extra income. Client work becomes more reliable than algorithm riding at that point.
My ideal dream, of course, is to simply generate enough cash flow from our own brand. Unfortunately, that path takes quite a lot of time to achieve (as long as ethics are considered). To build a large enough audience to consistently earn significant ad revenue, Patreon subscribers, or profitable sponsorship deals can take an enormous amount of time. Many creators struggle to stay consistent long enough with little to no earnings.
For example, I struggle to block time off for creative work away from my family. Without a monetary benefit, I feel selfish for not spending that time with my family.
That was until I understood the power of this content creation resume. In finding clients who will pay you to do what you are already doing.
You Can Work WITH Clients. You Work FOR Algorithms.
We don’t have to rely on inconsistent ad revenue and algorithms if we are directly landing clients and doing work for their brands. By working for clients and building a professional network, your opening your own content to an important audience. Your content becomes an evergreen advertisement for what you are capable of.
The work you do for others will build your skills further, and offer new perspectives you would have never considered. Making content from your own ideas one thing. Trying to make content to someone else’s requirements will teach you a lot more about business and marketing strategies.
Creating your own content helps to define your skill-set. Creating content for others helps refine it.
Now that I know you’re on board with this idea, let’s jump to the 3 parts that make up any resume.
Work History + Education
I have good news and bad news on the topic of your education history.
The Good News – The skills you learned in College or University will absolutely apply to anything you choose to do.
The Bad News – Nobody cares what your diploma says. (Even if your Mom picked out a really nice frame for it.)
Education has been jostled from its spot as the #1 requirement for new and exciting jobs. Instead, it’s almost all based on your work history. Lucky for you, you can start building your work history in any field you want – regardless of your education.
To start build work history in a new field, just start doing it for your own projects. Even if they are embarrassingly bad.
Let’s look at an example:
- Start watching YouTube videos, or reading “How-To’s” on the coding language you want to learn.
- Try building a small, simple application.
- Learn a new trick and build a new application around that.
The applications you create are not going to be Earth-shattering. They probably won’t even be good. But digging into your own curiosity, and sharing your learning along the way with your network is the purpose.
You learn a lot in this practice. Especially if you share it publicly.
- If you can do this work consistently and repeatedly.
- What makes your curiosity spike about the topic.
These are both valuable pieces of knowledge to be aware of when searching for possible work opportunities.
You’ll learn quickly if you would burn out in that field full time, or if you hold deep interest in it. By documenting your learning publicly with your network, you are providing proof that you are deeply interested and capable.
When you jump at an opportunity within your network, chances are you’ll already have a reputation for the work. Either they have seen it from you before, of you have a convenient link to your past work in your bio.
If the recruiter is just outside of your network, maybe you have mutual contacts who can back up your reputation. A mutual friend’s introduction, leads us to the next section.
How do I break the news to my High School English teacher that they’re not my main reference anymore?
To build up references on a content creation resume, you have to have valuable impact in the lives of individual people.
This means not focusing on amassing as large of a following as possible. Instead, focusing on improving the lives of people already along for your ride. Through publishing content regularly, and providing value to your audience for free, you are building connections with individual people.
Take those connections to the next level with real conversations.
For early stage content creators, more opportunity comes from strong connections than large followings.
The Content Creator Cover Letter
The impossibly intimidating “Cold DM” is the most effective cover letter you’ll ever write.
The cold DM, or the cold email, is something that stops many content creators before they say go. Though if done right, and not abused, they can unlock unimaginable opportunities regardless of your following size.
The problem, is that many early-stage creators are thinking about DMs all wrong. Too many are even abusing them.
A DM should be a connection, and not a promotion.
By sending a thoughtful and authentic message, you convey so much more than any sales pitch can. You promote yourself as a person and as a contact, simply by asking thoughtful questions. Even if your message doesn’t eventually lead to an opportunity – it can be an opportunity for learning.
Reaching out and having real conversations with your audience is key to understanding how you can add value to their lives. Having authentic conversations with creators you look up to can unlock new levels to your own creative work. Either by natural occurring advice, or simply by soaking in their energetic attitude towards creation.
An exciting trend in the last year or so is more and more people being hired through Twitter. That means there are more opportunities popping up every single day. By being a familiar, social, and friendly face – you give yourself a massive head start.
If you can take yourself from a “Cold DM” to a “Lukewarm DM”, you are ahead of 95% of possible applicants. Do this by being a warm, friendly face across Twitter as you stay active in your communities.
Start Building Your Content Creator Resume Today
You can break this down into segments of your resume, or tactics you can use. But the honest lesson at the end of the day is pretty simple.
- Being kind
- Remain unafraid of content creation
- Be mindful
Be kind to every person you cross paths with – ignore the cruelty. Remain ahead of imposter syndrome, and be mindful that every publish is an addition to your history. Using it wisely is an investment in your future.
I recommend you start building your content creation resume today. If you’re already creating, go make the next one. If you haven’t started yet, make a piece of content laying out your fears of publishing. Use that content as a public challenge to overcome them. Use the #InTakeCreate and share it with me. I’d love to support and help you move on from them.
If you enjoyed reading this, or are in the process of builidng your own content creation resume, follow me on Twitter (@Intake_anthony) and let’s build together.
From InTake to Create
If a content creator resume sounds like something you want to start building, start today.
Now that you have read this post, save it so you can return and resurface your motivation when needed. Find the area you want to work in and publicly state you want to work in it.
For example, send a Tweet right now with your dream career. (Here’s mine: My dream is to build InTakeCreate into a media company designed to inspire, empower and engage with Content Creators of all sizes. Here’s how I plan to accomplish that…)
Tweet yours and pin it to the top of your profile. This will be your north star as you continue building your content creator resume.