The website Zety lists 20 job titles for writers. They are:
- Copy Editor
- Content Creator
- Communications Director
- Technical Writer
- Public Relations Specialist
- Proposal Writer
- Content Strategist
- Grant Writer
- Video Game Writer
- Film Critic
- Travel Writer
- Social Media Specialist
Most are self-explanatory. Some are not. For example, I’m still not sure what a content strategist really does, although I’ve generated enough content that I feel I should know. Copy Editor and Editor/Proofreader are not, in my opinion, writer job titles. I wouldn’t have included Social Media Specialist, or maybe I would have. Writing tweets, etc. can be important and significant work I suppose.
Some of these titles like Translator, Tech Writer, Grant Writer and Video Game Writer require special skills. Many, even most, however, have significant overlap. And in truth exact job titles rarely mean much.
The real question is can you solve their problem?
A client will hire you only if they believe you can solve their problem. In a very real sense, job titles are an attempt to categorize people’s work roles. They’ve also become ways to assign value to some, with titles like President or CEO, COO, CFO and the like carry much more prestige and usually much higher pay than titles that don’t carry the C suite aura.
‘Writer,’ of course, means you can put words on the screen/page in a way that accomplishes the goals of that particular piece of writing – a great story entertains and informs, copy writing sells a product or service, journalism reports the news while public relations aims to create a favorable impression about a company, a product or a service.
When your credits don’t match the job titles
Although there are exceptions, it seems to me most writers can pretty much handle a wide variety of topics. That often means you’ll find yourself in a position where your actual writing credits don’t exact the job titles of the job you’re considering applying for.
My advice? If you think you understand the potential client’s problem and believe you can solve it, go ahead and apply. Take time to carefully demonstrate why you can solve their problem even though your credits don’t match, exactly, the job titles. Here’s what I mean:
Although I’m certainly not a public relations guru, I’ve written enough press releases and interviewed enough article subjects that I can often qualify, if I take time to point out both.
Long before I started writing I sold and developed property with my father. Referring to that background which wasn’t on my list of credits, landed me enough real estate writing so I look like an expert.
While I’m not a scientist, if you can explain it to me, I can turn it into prose that is eminently readable by lay people.
On the other hand, my refusal to watch football or play golf means I’d be a poor choice to write about either – unless it was “why I don’t watch football or play golf” essays…which come to think about it might be fun.
You get the idea!
Write well and often,