Looking for freelance writing jobs is an interesting thing. As I’ve said before, when you work as a freelancer, you are your own boss. When you apply for work, you aren’t applying for a job, exactly.
The person who hires you to work isn’t your employer; they are a client. You might work with a client on the different projects that you do, but you are your own boss. Some potential clients want to find out about a freelancer’s background and education before they hire them and may ask to see a resume.
Although I will provide a potential client with a resume on request, I am not altogether comfortable with it. If I was going to hire a contractor do to some work on my home, I would be asking how long the person has been in business as well as some questions about their level of experience with the type of work I need done. Would I ask for a resume before making up my mind? No, and I wouldn’t expect the person to offer to show me one.
Why are freelance writers preparing a resume, then? Are we still in the employer-employee mentality? Or are we having trouble explaining to potential clients why they should hire us?
I know freelance writers are very creative people, and there has to be a different way that we can present our credentials to potential clients. I also know that there have been many discussions in the blogosphere about how freelancer writers can command better rates for their work. I have a suspicion that one thing that holds freelance writers back from getting paid better for their work is the employer-employee mentality that some of us have. Once freelance writers start to see themselves as business owners and not job seekers, they will be more comfortable quoting the rates they deserve instead of taking what they can get.
Perhaps the answer is to prepare a one-page statement of accomplishments instead of a resume or write something that looks more like a brochure that you can share with a potential client. As a business owner, how would you tell a potential client about what you can do for them without using a resume?
One of my freelance photographer friends put together a high quality “portfolio book” through a POD website and prints them in batches of 10 for himself. He mails these to potential clients. Admittedly, it’s more expensive than business cards, but I like the idea because it’s so tangible. You’re not only creating a brochure of your company that shows off your clips AND your creative side, but you’re also creating something that has a perceived sense of value to it.
Besides, disposing of books is almost anathema. A random book coming through mail SCREAMS, “read me”. A brochure or letter? That says, “put me aside till you have a chance to look at it.”
I agree with you Jodee, I’ve put together a ‘writer’s resume’ that includes basic information about my background, outlines about my writing experience and lists who I’ve worked with. Also includes my contact information (email and phone # – no address) and a link to my web site.
Don’t like giving out too much personal info to people I don’t know much about so it definitely doesn’t include Social insurance number or a detailed list of previous employers.
Naomi Hamm says
I like this article. It really poses some great questions and suggestions.
Writers yet that we are ,are truly different why would we need a resume. We shouldn’t at all if we only list the sites we have written on, commented on and the blogs and websites we have created.
Those alone should stand on their two feet.