Writer Job Description (With Skills and Job Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 29 January 2023

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Writers are in demand across different industries to create a wide range of informational, educational, promotional and entertainment content. Some writers specialize in specific types of writing, while others may undertake more varied work. By understanding the various writer roles, requirements and responsibilities, you can decide if working as a writer is a career choice that could suit you. In this article, we discover what makes for an attention-grabbing writer job description and learn about the different types of writing jobs.

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Writer job description

The writer description in job advertisements can give you an idea about the employer's expectations for that specific position. While the details can vary for different writing roles, the post can outline the tasks and responsibilities the employer expects the selected candidate to undertake daily. For instance, they might specify that they want a writer to write and edit informative, engaging, compelling and SEO-optimised website and blog content to promote their products and services.

They may state a requirement for technical knowledge or proficiency with writing software and marketing tools. If the company has multiple projects, they may want someone who can multi-task and meet deadlines. The job description may also ask candidates to provide relevant writing samples with their job applications.

Related: How To Become a Copywriter: A Step-by-Step Guide

Writer roles and responsibilities

There can be different job titles for writer roles, such as blogger, content writer, copywriter, technical writer, feature writer, news writer, fiction writer, screenwriter or staff writer. The specific responsibilities can vary as per the job title, but some of the general ones are:

  • reading and understanding the client's brief and their business goals

  • providing excellent, well-written and well-researched content on the given topic

  • ensuring the content is engaging, informative, compelling and easily understood by readers

  • customising content for different online and offline publishing platforms

  • conducting market and competitor analysis to assess and improve writing quality

  • working with the marketing team to analyse content performance metrics

  • using analytical insights to improve existing content and develop new content ideas

  • pitching content and guest post ideas to third-party websites and publications

  • networking on social media to promote content and connect with industry professionals and readers

  • multi-tasking on different projects in a deadline-driven work environment

  • handling client communication via email, messages, social media, phone and video conferencing

Writer skills and qualifications

Professional writers require excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate various topics clearly and understandably to different audiences. It is also essential to have a portfolio of outstanding writing samples. Many employers may also prefer it if you have at least a four-year bachelor's degree, but a two-year master's degree could lead to better work opportunities. The advanced degrees can be in English, English literature, creative writing, technical writing, mass communication, journalism, history, business, commerce, finance, law, medicine or any other relevant field.

Since most writing work is on computers, it can help to be proficient in the latest writing, editing and grammar-checking software. You may also require knowledge of content management systems (CMS), image editing software, marketing software and various social media platforms. Some of the skills you may find in a writer job description are:

  • good communication and interpersonal and collaboration skills

  • capable of working well independently and within a team environment

  • outstanding ability to think creatively and develop engaging content

  • effective at decision making, problem solving and presentations

  • excellent analytical, organizational, project management and time management skills

  • attention to detail and the ability to effectively multi-task in a deadline-driven atmosphere

  • awareness of the target audience and ability to produce contect directed at them

  • knowledge of search engine optimisation techniques to make content search engine friendly

Related: 10 Tips To Improve Your Writing Skills

Writer experience requirements

The experience requirements for writers can vary from job to job. Some writing positions may require writers to have experience in conducting online and field research to produce original content. Other writing jobs may require specialised knowledge and may need writers to have educational qualifications or work experience in specific fields. For instance, an employer might prefer someone with a law degree or professional legal experience to write legal content.

Some employers may be willing to overlook experience or educational qualifications if the writer demonstrates the ability to grasp complex topics and has an impressive portfolio of well-written and relevant writing samples.

Related: 10 Content Writer Interview Questions and Answers

Frequently asked questions about writing work

Here are some FAQs to help you further understand writing as a career:

What does a writer do?

A writer creates text content that is readable, engaging and may have a specific purpose. The purpose shapes the type of content that a writer produces. For instance, for marketing purposes, a writer may produce long-form content for articles, blogs, research papers, user manuals and news stories. They may create short-form content for social media posts, advertisements and web copy. If the content requires in-depth research, the writer may communicate with or interview relevant experts to gain the necessary information.

After writing the content, the writer generally edits and proofreads it and may work with editors to make necessary changes and improvements. They may also work with graphic artists, photographers, programmers, publishers, printers and marketers to publish and distribute the writing work.

Related: How to Become a Technical Writer: A Complete Guide

Who are the typical employers of writers?

Writers typically work for newspapers, magazines, TV studios, film studios, radio stations, book publishers, game developers, animation studios, advertising studios, art museums, medical health organisations, research institutes, software companies, manufacturing companies, logistics companies and government agencies. Any organisation or business that requires written content for any reason can employ writers. If a writer wants to work in a specific industry, they can research it thoroughly and understand its requirements. They can create relevant writing samples, network with industry professionals and contact key figures for employment purposes.

What is the work environment for writers?

The work environment for writers can vary depending on the type of work they are engaged to do. Some writers may work full-time or on contract in office settings, while others may undertake full-time, part-time contract or freelance work from their homes. They may also be self-employed and produce informative, insightful or entertaining content for their followers and fans. Those in academia may undertake teaching roles. Writers may work regular office hours or work for longer hours and on weekends to complete writing projects.

What is the average salary of writers?

The average salaries can vary for writers of different experiences and skill levels in various industries. The entry-level positions may have low pay, but it is possible to make a good earning in mid-level and senior writer roles. Writers who work in publishing, information technology, film and TV can have high annual incomes.

Writer job roles

Explore these various positions you may hold as a writer:

1. Content writer

National average salary: ₹2,32,951 per year

Primary duties: A content writer writes relevant, informative, educational, promotional and entertainment content for companies for publication on various print and digital media. Content writers may receive detailed writing briefs from the client or employer, or they may have more leeway to produce original writing concepts to attract the company's target audience. They may undertake online and offline research and interview people for their writing work. For marketing purposes, they may optimise the content for search engines and include SEO keywords and phrases in it.

2. Medical writer

National average salary: ₹2,93,593 per year

Primary duties: Medical writers created well-structured, well-researched and detailed content to explain, describe, inform and educate readers about health conditions, medical treatments, medical procedures, medical products, medical equipment and medical research. They write accurate and up-to-date content for articles, blogs, research papers, brochures, manuals and books. For this, medical writers work closely with doctors, scientists, researchers and other health care professionals. Generally, medical writers require a science or medical degree or at least extensive experience in the scientific or medical fields.

3. Proposal writer

National average salary: ₹4,78,741 per year

Primary duties: Proposal writing involves creating persuasive content that describes a business project and its goals and convinces readers of the benefits of supporting it or participating in it. Proposal writers generally work for businesses, non-profit organisations and government agencies. For writing the business proposals, the proposal writers may conduct research, gather and analyse relevant information and follow the company's policy and style guidelines. They have to be factual, detail-oriented, consistent and deadline-driven. After writing the proposal, they may send the proposal to a manager for feedback and approval.

4. Technical writer

National average salary: ₹5,48,748 per year

Primary duties: The main task of a technical writer is to research and communicate complex technical information accurately and in an easy-to-understand manner for technical and non-technical readers. They may write various technical documentation, manuals, brochures, guides, research papers, books, articles and blogs. For writing these, technical writers may interview and gather information from engineers, programmers, mechanics, researchers, scientists, manufacturers, designers and other industry professionals. Technical writers may work in the software, information technology, manufacturing, medical and scientific fields.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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