Quick Navigation

An advertising copywriter is a creative professional who develops marketing content to promote goods and services. With so many careers available to writers, you may be wondering how to decide which path suits your interests and professional goals. Learning more about the job responsibilities and requirements for an advertising copywriter can help you decide if this job is right for you.

Image via Unsplash by Glenn Carstens-Peters

What Exactly Does an Advertising Copywriter Do?

Advertising copywriters write the words you see in print and web advertisements. This could include information for brochures, website ads, or billboards. They also create jingles for companies, create product descriptions, and write slogans for products and services. These copywriters may see their work featured online, on TV, in magazines, or in stores. Some other daily duties may include:

  • Adapting content to meet client expectations
  • Brainstorming ideas with the creative team
  • Discussing project briefs
  • Meeting with clients and team members
  • Presenting copy to clients
  • Proofreading copy

What’s the Work Environment of an Advertising Copywriter?

Advertising copywriters typically work for marketing agencies or as freelancers. In some cases, they may work in-house to create all the promotional copy for one company. Other times, usually with an agency, they work with several different clients on multiple campaigns.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sales call request
Hidden
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Copywriters typically work in an office setting, though some may have the chance to work remotely or from home. They often work with account executives, art directors, and marketing planners to meet client needs. Sometimes, copywriters may have the chance to travel to meet clients or work on location for a project.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be a Copywriter?

The qualifications to become an advertising copywriter may differ depending on the place you want to work or the niche industry you want to enter. Most copywriters benefit from having an interest in language, marketing, or sales. They may also enjoy debating others or persuading people to do things. Other beneficial skills for copywriters include:

  • Ability to adapt content tones and messages for each campaign, project, or client
  • Ability to work under strict or tight deadlines
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • Editing proficiency
  • Knowledge of graphic design software

How Do I Become an Advertising Copywriter?

Use these steps to start a career as an advertising copywriter:

1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Depending on where you work, you may not need a degree to become a copywriter. However, getting one can help you learn skills more quickly and could be helpful when competing with other professionals for roles. Consider majoring in areas like English, communications, or marketing. You can also major in one area and minor in another to earn even more skills. Some courses to take may include:

  • Consumer behavior
  • Communications theory
  • Mass communication law
  • Public relations
  • Strategic campaigning

2. Get Writing Experience

You can gain writing experience even before you get your first copywriting job. Consider completing an internship while in school. Your professors or your school’s career services department may be able to help you find internship opportunities. You can also look online for openings or contact local agencies to see if they accept interns. You may get paid for some internships, and others you can take to fulfill graduation requirements.

Another way to earn writing experience is to start your own blog or website. This can help you decide if you enjoy writing enough to do it full time. It also lets you practice your skills by writing about topics you enjoy.

3. Get Design Experience

Writing and design go together in the marketing field. You can practice your graphic design skills with programs like Canva or Adobe Photoshop to learn about how all the elements of an ad work together to persuade and inform. These additional skills may help set you apart from other advertising copywriter applicants on the job market.

Knowing how to create infographics can also demonstrate your design capabilities. To learn more about this specialized type of content, download CopyPress’ free eBook on making your own quality infographics.

4. Create a Portfolio

Creating a portfolio—or a “book,” as it’s sometimes referred to in advertising—is a way to collect and display the work you’ve done so that future employers can assess the quality of your work and your fitness for a potential role. Once you’ve created a portfolio, you can keep adding items over time. It can include print and digital copy, television or radio recordings, links, and images.

Depending on the advertising niche you want to work in, you might host your portfolio online or simply keep a hard copy. However, online portfolios are beneficial because you can send the link to prospective employers for easy access.

5. Get an Entry-Level Role

In most fields, including advertising, you often need experience to get experience. Besides internships and personal work, employers may want to see that you can work with a team or with clients. Look for entry-level roles like junior copywriter positions. You may also consider freelancing for individual clients or working part-time for startups. Additionally, roles in related fields like TV, radio, magazines, and nonprofits may be good options. The experiences you gain in these places may help you find advertising agency work later in your career.

6. Join a Professional Organization

Joining professional writing or advertising organizations can open you up to new opportunities. Consider groups like the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) or the American Marketing Association (AMA). Groups like these provide chances to network and meet other people in the industry. You can also access news, job boards, webinars, and training courses.

7. Consider a Master’s Degree

If you’d like to try for more competitive positions, having an advanced degree could help. Consider master’s programs in advertising, public relations, mass media, marketing, or writing. Most programs take up to two years to complete. Many colleges and universities offer master’s programs in-person and online to meet the needs of students who are working and taking classes at the same time.

8. Advance

Working as an advertising copywriter can lead to promotions to more senior positions. Pursuing other skills like graphic design, editing, web development, and coding may also help you take on additional responsibilities. Some paths to advancement for copywriters include:

  • Communication specialist: Also known as a public relations specialist, this person develops relationships between an organization, the media, and members of the public. They use a variety of creative tools to share and shape brand messages and reputations.
  • Creative director: This person leads the in-house marketing or advertising departments for a company. They make the final decisions about ad copy and design, set brand messaging, and handle management duties in their department.

How Much Does an Advertising Copywriter Make?

According to Indeed, copywriters make an average of about $53,150 per year. Factors that may influence salary include education, experience, location, and company. In full-time positions, copywriters may also receive benefits packages.

What Hours Do Advertising Copywriters Work?

The hours of an advertising copywriter depend on where and how they work. Most in-office jobs operate on a traditional schedule of 40 hours per week. If you work freelance or remotely, you may have more flexibility to set your own hours. Copywriters may work weekends or overtime if they’re coming up on a deadline.

How To Create an Advertising Copywriter Resume

Use these steps to learn how to create a resume and apply for jobs as an advertising copywriter:

1. Create a Header

The header section of a resume includes your name and contact information. The header is also a place to include a link to your online portfolio or professional social networking profile to let hiring managers learn more about you and your work.

2. Write a Professional Summary

The professional summary section of a resume recaps your expertise and qualifications. Use your most attention-grabbing professional attributes when crafting this section, like certifications, years of experience, and areas of content knowledge.

3. Include Previous Work Experience

List your relevant previous work experience to help hiring managers understand your past job responsibilities. You can list the jobs in descending chronological order, starting with your most recent job. In addition to full- and part-time work, your internships, freelance work, and unpaid positions can fit under this heading. For each role, include:

  • Your job title
  • The company name
  • The dates of employment
  • A bulleted list of your job responsibilities

4. Include Your Educational History

Include the highest level of education you’ve received on your resume. If you have room, you can include other degrees or certificates related to the position. You can also list degrees and programs that you’re still working to finish. For each entry, you’ll want to include:

  • Your degree’s formal name, like “Bachelor of Arts in English Literature”
  • Your institution’s name and location
  • The dates attended or anticipated graduation date
  • Your GPA (optional)

5. Add Certifications, Achievements, and Organizations

You can include any relevant certifications, memberships, or achievements that may help you appear qualified. Achievements can include things like published papers, awards, important projects, or conference presentations.

6. List Your Hard Skills

List your hard on your resume to give additional information or validate the information you include in your job descriptions. Hard skills are those which you can learn, like technical software, design techniques, or secondary languages.

Advertising Copywriter Resume Template

Use this template to understand how to structure your own advertising copywriter resume:

[Full name]
[City, state, and ZIP code]
[Phone number]
[Email address]
[Portfolio, website, or related links]

Summary of Qualifications

[Certification or attribute] copywriter with [Number] years of experience in advertising. Familiar with [Specific content knowledge] for [Relevant industry or industries].

Work Experience

[Job title] | [Company name]
[Company location] | [Start date] to [End date]

  • [Job responsibility 1]
  • [Job responsibility 2]
  • [Job responsibility 3]

Education History

[Degree name] | [School name]
[School location] |[Start date] to [End date or anticipated graduation date]
[GPA]

Skills

  • [Skill 1]
  • [Skill 2]
  • [Skill 3]
  • [Skill 4]
  • [Skill 5]

Memberships

[Organization name] | [Organization location]
[Date joined]

Achievements

[Achievement name or title]
[Achievement date]
[Achievement description]

Advertising Copywriter Resume Example

Use this fictional resume example to understand how yours may look when it’s completed and ready to send to potential employers:

Breanna Malone
Pittsburgh, PA 15142
777-777-7777
Bmalone@email.com
Portfolio: breannamaloneadvertising.com

Professional Summary

Enthusiastic copywriter with two years of experience in advertising. Familiar with branding and content creation for nonprofit organizations.

Work Experience

Junior Copywriter | Mon Yough Historical Association
McKeesport, PA | August 2020 to Present

  • Create ad copy for the association’s website and promotional materials
  • Proofread and edit volunteer newsletter submissions
  • Conduct keyword research to reach the largest audience with ad copy

New Media Intern | For The Kids Charities
State College, PA | December 2018 to May 2019

  • Attended charity events to conduct interviews and capture media for use with articles
  • Wrote event article recaps for publication on the For The Kids Charities website and to share on social media
  • Created and curated content for the company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts

Education History

Bachelor of Arts in Creative and Professional Writing | Nittany Mountain University
State College, PA | August 2016 to May 2020
GPA: 3.8

Skills

  • Knowledge of AP Stylebook
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Canva
  • Intermediate Spanish

Memberships

American Marketing Association (AMA) | Chicago, IL
September 2020 to Present

Achievements

NMU Professional Young Alumni Conference | Presenter
February 2021

  • Presented a 10-minute talk called “Finding Your Passions: What To Do With Your Writing Degree” 
  • Acted as member of a panel discussion for prospective writing department students

Advertising copywriters use their skills to help companies earn revenue and clients. Continuous learning, growth, and experience can help them further their careers and find new and exciting professional opportunities.

The Pitfalls of Scaling Enterprise Content

Download eBook

Knowledge Base: Agency Solutions

You May Also Like