Saturday, December 21, 2019
listing an unfinished novel as a work accomplishment on your resume
listing an unfinished novel as a work accomplishment on your resume listing an unfinished novel as a work accomplishment on your resume A reader writesIm a copywriter. Its my first time hiring for a copywriter position.I dont want to be petty or unfair to applicants, but I dont want to hear about peoples unfinished novels on their resumes or cover letters. In my opinion, it comes off as either immature, self absorbed, or really uninformed about the work (copywriting is really not at all like writing a novel, other than that they both use words). But is it wrong to reject applicants purely because they cite their unfinished novel as evidence of their writing skills?If you complete the novel, even if its not published, I feel like that could rise to the level of a business accomplishment because it demonstrates dedication. But if youre working on a novel for free (i.e. a publisher has not given you an advance), then thats not really evidence that you can write especially well or even t hat you write regularly. Theres no deadline or editor that youre beholden to.I could see bringing it up in an einstellungsgesprch when discussing culture fit or if you were looking for an editing position at a publishing house.Am I missing something? I would love you know your take on this.Full disclosure I have about 150,000 words of my own unfinished novel but I dont put it on my resume.Yeah, its not something that should go on a resume, for exactly the reasons you say. Its not evidence that you can write well, since theres no accountability to others involved. And thats not just because its unfinished you could have a finished novel, but if its unsold, it indicates that you have stamina, but not much about the writing itself.But I wouldnt reject an otherwise excellent candidate for including it on their resume. It would raise my eyebrows, yes, and I wouldnt be super impressed with their judgment in this regard but if they had really strong experience and skills, those would outw eigh it. On the other hand, if they kept citing it in the interview, that would be a fairly strong strike against them, because theyd be showing they didnt really get that its not significant to the work of the job.However, if the person didnt have other evidence of strong writing and editing skills, and offered up only the existence of a partially written novel as qualifications for the job, then yeah, thats a rejection - because the person isnt really demonstrating any qualifications in that case (assuming you want to hire people with experience and a proven track record).