Do you enjoy the Super Bowl as much for the commercials as for the game? Do you long linger over ads in glossy magazines, and pay close attention to the web advertisements that you come across every day?
If you appreciate witty, moving, or informative advertising, you owe a nod of recognition to copywriters, the specialists who prepare copy for print, broadcast and Internet ads. They also write copy for other materials used to promote the sale of goods and services, such as mass mailings and graphic presentations.
Where the jobs are
Advertising and public relations firms are the most common employers of copywriters. Under the supervision of a creative director, copywriters assess a client's product and target audience, usually working as part of a team to create what they hope will become a memorable advertisement.
Sometimes the client works directly with the creative staff, giving the copywriter an opportunity to learn first-hand just what he or she is looking for and to get a sense of the client's style, sense of humor and general expectations. Copywriters may also collaborate with graphic designers, research staff and the marketing specialists as part of the overall ad campaign.
Learning the trade
It may be possible to land a job as assistant copywriter without a degree, and work your way up through the ranks by demonstrating solid skills. But it would be in your best interest to have a degree in advertising or public relations before hitting the classifieds. Most colleges offer majors in communications fields that will provide you with a solid foundation for a career as a copywriter.
Whatever educational background you bring to the job search, be sure that you have honed superior communication skills and can demonstrate creativity and problem-solving ability.
How many ways can you say it?
As the population of the United States continues to grow and change, foreign language skills become important for more and more professions. Consider the number of people who are not fluent in English living in such cities as Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston and Phoenix. The ability to create copy that reaches this demographic is a skill that will be prized by many employers.
In addition, new media are creating even more opportunities for advertising products and services. The Internet, while not new itself, continues to present challenging options for copywriters to keep up with new sites and programs to reach more potential buyers. If you can "speak" the language needed to address the technological advances that are sure to come, you'll add an impressive, and valuable, skill to your resume.