When you’re juggling multiple jobs and projects as a freelancer, it can be difficult to know how to create a resume. How can you present the work you’ve done on a freelance or contract basis in a positive light? In this article, we’ll explore the freelancer resume and how to best package your skills and experience up in a way that recruiters will understand.
1. Find a Format That Works
Unlike most job seekers, you’ll most likely be hopping from project to project in a given year. Therefore, the traditional chronological resume, which displays your most recent work experience and education first, may not be the best option for you.
Instead, opt for the skills-based or functional resume, which emphasizes your skills and achievements. As the companies hiring freelancers are looking for specific skill sets, they're less likely to be concerned about the time spent working for a given company.
To write an effective skills-based resume, pick out 5-6 skills from the job description and then provide examples of projects where you used these skills.
2. Play it Safe with the Layout and Design
When it comes to the layout and design of your resume, clarity should trump creativity. Even if you work in a creative field, that’s no excuse to go wild with colors or fonts. Your resume needs to clearly communicate your value proposition to recruiters and bright or flashy colors can detract from that.
To err on the side of caution, opt for a clean and minimalist look with neutral colors (blacks, blues, and greys) with plenty of white space and use your portfolio to show off your creativity.
If you’re short of time or need a helping hand, then it’s worth using an online tool like a resume builder, which can take the guesswork out. With most resume builders, the different sections are already in place with example resumes to get you started, leaving you to focus on the content.
3. Market Yourself
In addition to your personal information, you’ll also want to include links to your LinkedIn account and your website or portfolio. As a freelancer, you need to be able to market yourself and the best way to do this is by building an online presence, which allows recruiters to get a sense of who you are and what you offer.
If you’ve turned your self-employment into a business, you can also add your business name to your resume.
4. Impress with a Snappy Personal Statement
Your personal statement or profile is the first thing recruiters will read on your resume. Therefore, it needs to effectively sell your skills and services.
Consider it your sales pitch. What makes you stand out from other freelancers? A good way to frame your experience and achievements is by describing how your work has helped clients, backed up by quantifiable results:
I’m a copywriter with 5+ years’ experience, specializing in helping online course creators and coaches with their digital marketing, email sequences, landing page copy, and sales pages.
My current clients include LinkedIn, Udemy, and the London Design Agency. In the past year, I have increased blog traffic to 100,000 visitors within 3 months with SEO techniques and boosted landing page conversions by 25% in 6 months.
5. Highlight Your Skills
As a freelancer, you’ll need a variety of skills to market your services effectively, manage your time and money and deliver top-quality work. Without these soft skills, you may find yourself struggling to get business.
Clients also want to know that you’re reliable and that you won’t let your business struggles affect your ability to deliver on time. Include a mix of hard and soft skills to show recruiters that you have what it takes to run a business:
- SEO: Increased 100,000 visitors within 3 months with SEO techniques.
- Project management: Simultaneously working on two website redesign projects with 100 pages in total.
- Account management: Managing expenses, taxes, and invoices for my own business.
6. Only mention your best work
In your work experience section, you can list your freelance jobs as any other job on a resume, but by adding the word ‘Freelancer’, ‘Contract’ or ‘Consultant’ to that title.
Only mention the projects or roles which demonstrate the skills required by your next client – they don’t need to know about every project you’ve ever worked on. Where possible, use statistics to highlight your achievements. If you’re a creative, you can link to articles, your website, or your portfolio:
Nov 2021 Freelance Copywriter, London Design Agency
- Increased traffic to 100,00 visitors within 3 months, for HR and L&D blog, through on-page and off-page SEO.
- Optimized course descriptions for 15 instructors to help them sell their courses better.
7. List relevant degrees or qualifications
If you have a lot of work experience, your educational background won’t be as important as the projects you’ve worked on.
Nevertheless, if you hold a degree related to your freelance work or have completed any other professional qualifications, it’s worth mentioning them here as evidence of your skills.
8. Show That You’re Always Learning
To keep up with industry demands and increase earnings, it’s important to always be upgrading your skills as a freelancer.
Recruiters also want to know that you’re up to speed with new technologies. By listing your certifications and courses on your resume, you show that you really do know your stuff.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when writing a freelancer resume. As a freelancer, it is worth creating a master resume to keep track of all your freelance projects, other work experience and skills.
This will save you a lot of time when creating a tailored resume for each job that you apply for.