Suggestions for Creating a Freelancing Resume
12 September, 2018 in Resumes & Cover Letters

Tired of being stuck in an office? Searching for a job that provides you with freedom and flexibility? You certainly aren't alone. According to a recent report by Forbes, 35% of the US workforce is comprised of freelancers and the number seeking a freelance position will only continue to grow. Think that freelance work might just be the answer for you too? This article offers suggestions for creating a freelancing resume that can help you find freelance jobs that are perfect for you. 

While working as, say, a freelance writer has the benefits of being able to set your own hours and even work from a cafe, the downside is the lack of the long-term stability that a traditional job provides. Indeed, once you finish a freelance project, you are constantly needing to search for the next one. Finding one job is hard enough, so imagine the skills and luck required to find the best freelance jobs to fill up your calendar. 

Whether you are searching for a traditional 9-5 job or freelancing work, you need to write a resume. An effective freelancing resume markets you as a talented, responsible worker who is up to the task. In this sense, it does not differ much from the resumes you would send out if you were looking for an office job. Just be aware of some of the subtle differences as you design your resume for clients who are looking for freelancers. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for creating a top resume.

Making a Resume

There is no universal way to create the perfect resume. For example, some forgo traditional resume writing and opt for creative alternatives such as brochures that detail their skills, successfully completed projects and education background. While this can be effective for attracting clients who are advertising online jobs, keep in mind that a lot of them prefer resumes that follow a more conventional format. But if you feel that your freelancer resume needs to stand out a bit from the rest, you should nonetheless create either a chronological resume or a functional resume.

Option 1: Chronological Resume

This type of the resume divides all of the essential information into three or four sections: summary, relevant work experience, educational background, and any additional information demonstrates your work-related skills and qualities. As the name of this resume indicates, you should list everything according to date, starting with your most recent freelance job. You could also include any notable clients in a subsection under experience. 

Option 2: Functional Resume

If you are highly experienced and possess a lot of skills, this type of freelancing resume might be more appropriate. It  organizes your abilities into easy to read sections. Rather than listing every single job, you would group them together according to similarity. For example, if you have completed several freelance marketing projects, you would lump them together. Same with if you did freelance IT work. Following this list you would then mention the names of the clients/companies, dates and job title. 

Independent Contractor or Freelancer?

One of the common questions that freelancers ask is whether they should be describing themselves as an independent contractor or freelancer. The truth is, you shouldn't describe yourself as either. Instead, you should pick the position that is most relevant to the task. For instance, if you were hired to help launch a company's product, it is entirely appropriate to label yourself a marketing manager for that particular task. Were you hired to lead an IT project? There is nothing inappropriate with calling yourself a Lead Technician. Obvious you wouldn't want to embellish or otherwise mischaracterize your work clients would be inclined to terminate the agreement. Thus you could indicate in parentheses "Contract" following your job title. 

Where should I list my projects?

What to you put in a resume? Keep in mind that when you choose to work as a freelancer, you are no longer regarded as a team member or employee in the proper sense. Instead, you are something like a brand and your skills as a worker are what you are selling. Since most clients are going to assume you meet the qualifications to meet the entry-level criteria, there's no need to include every skill and ability. Instead, in a sentence or two describe the nature of the work, the dates of the project and the results. Each project should be separated depending on the type. 

My resume should include an objective statement, right?

One of the most important resume tips that any HR person will tell you is that you should never put an objective statement in your resume. They are awkward and seem canned, and as a result could actually count against you. Instead, summarize your career or include a biography based on your professional experience. These should be around six sentences per paragraph. Choose the achievements and contributions that you regard as both relevant to the specific freelancing project opportunity and for which you achieved the best results. You can also discuss any important hard or soft skills that would serve you well for the freelance job you are applying for. 

Finally, you should also find alternative ways to market your abilities beyond the resume. You should think of yourself as the product that another clients need. While marketing yourself via Facebook and Twitter are fine, there are limitations to what these social media platforms can do for you. Instead, focus on sites that are specifically geared towards job seeking. For example, LinkedIn can help get your name out there. Using Pinterest and Instagram are also good social media platforms along with the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter. Buffer and Hootsuite offer free services that allow you to post information on all of your various social media accounts at once. This sure beats the tedious process of posting one-by-one!  Finally, create a professional blog or website that promotes your freelancing skills. Web hosting companies Squarespace and Wix offer both free and paid services for this.

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