It may seem a bit strange that a freelancer, who is running a business, is preparing a resume to present him or herself to a client, much like someone who is applying for a job would do. While freelance writers and other professionals do bill by the word, hour, or project, and don’t get paid a salary like an employee, clients do need to have a way to evaluate whether someone would be a good fit for a particular project.
Presenting a resume is one way to introduce yourself to a client and let them know something about yourself and the types of projects you have worked on previously. Some clients ask to see a resume and writing samples, and should make a point of updating your freelance writer resume often so that it’s ready when needed.
How can you make sure that it will present you in the best possible light? Since no one looks forward to updating their resume, here are some tips to help you the next time you tackle this task.
1. Your resume should not be more than two pages in length.
If you are a recent grad, you may be wondering how someone could fill in a single page of a resume, much less two pages. People who have been working for a few years start to find it challenging to cut their resume down to fit it into the two-page limit and make everything fit.
When you start freelancing and getting work from multiple clients, things get really interesting. Rather than thinking of each client as an employer on your resume, list yourself as an independent contractor or freelancer and then tell a potential client who reviews the document about the type of work you have been doing.
2. Focus on a short list of what you can offer a client now.
If you excelled at a project several years ago but no longer offer that service or have decided that you no longer enjoy that type of work, don’t focus on it on your resume. Only choose to highlight things that are relevant to your story today.
Jobs that you held several years ago can be included, but listed with the name of the employer and the dates of employment only. That way, you have covered them as part of your work history but not giving them as much attention as more recent events.
3. Clients are more interested in topics or types of projects than name dropping.
As a self-employed businessperson, you will earn the respect of your clients if you provide some basic information about the type of work you have done rather than get into specifics. Anyone who wishes to hire you will appreciate it if you explain that you have a strict policy of keeping all client information strictly confidential, and that continues after the project is completed. They will know that they can expect the same level of integrity from you as well.
4. Show, don’t tell, about your accomplishments.
When you are setting out your accomplishments in your resume, be as specific as possible when you include them on your resume. If you have written content that has boosted traffic to a client’s website or helped to boost a client’s ranking for specific keywords and you can point to examples where a site has increased its traffic by a certain percentage or increased its ranking by a certain number of places, include these kinds of examples on your resume. When you use measurable examples, it helps give you credibility.
5. Be honest about your level of experience with projects.
Admitting that you have limited experience with certain types of projects is fine on your resume. Since this supposed to be a living document that you will be updating as you gain experience, it will change over time. Some clients don’t mind that a freelance writer doesn’t have a lot of experience about a particular topic, as long as he or she is prepared to conduct some research and do whatever is required to get the work done.
6. Review and update your resume regularly.
It may not be your favorite thing to do and it’s easy to let this task slide when you get busy with projects, but this is an important tip for freelance writers. Your resume is an important marketing tool, and you should have it ready to share with potential clients at any time.
Here are some more tips on how to write a freelance writer resume, and here are some additional resources we’ve found online:
19 Reasons Why This is an Excellent Resume
John Soares says
Very good advice here Jodee. I especially appreciate you pointing out that it’s OK to have a two-page resume. Too many people are hung up on one page, which leads to crowded text and/or an inability to present all the truly important information.
A question- What is a good example of my writing capabilities to put on a resume, if I have not done any particular projects? Would undergraduate college assignments be satisfactory?
Jodee Redmond says
If you are looking for your first writing gig, list your undergraduate degree, since a number of clients are looking for writers who have a particular educational background. List your employment since graduation and any writing you have done in your work – Have you had to do reports or summarize anything? Is clear communication and following instructions closely a job requirement?
I would suggest that you those questions in your descriptions and include your undergraduate assignments as samples to accompany your resume. You can also write your own “dummy” samples on topics of your choice to submit to prospective clients. No one will ask whether you got paid for them. You can publish them to WordPress site as your portfolio and send links when someone wants samples.
I am planning to start working as a freelancer. Therefore, I was looking for some resume tips before starting with my resume preparation.I came across this blog, where I got many ideas.
anusha wadhwa says
Amazing! I liked -> Do not tell but show your achievements.