How do I Prepare a Writer’s Resume?

Dear Jodee,

I’ve seen ads for freelance writers where the prospective client asks for a resume. How do I prepare a writer’s resume for freelance clients?

Confused Applicant

Dear Confused,

A writer’s resume isn’t some mysterious document; it’s just a resume for a writer. The idea of being a self-employed business owner and having to prepare a resume strikes me as being a bit unusual. If you were hiring someone to look after your lawn, fix your broken toilet or replace your roof, you wouldn’t ask to see a resume, so why would a freelance writer have to provide one?

Since clients can and do ask for a resume from a freelance writer, it’s a good idea to have one prepared. This is not something you should do once and then forget about; ideally you review it regularly and update it as you gain experience.

Where some people tend to get confused about preparing a writer’s resume is how to deal with their professional experience. You can list it on the document like any other professional experience but instead of including an employer’s name you can state that you are are a “Self-employed Freelance Writer (Editor, Blogger, Communications Consultant, etc.), along with the relevant dates.

Do you name your clients on your freelance writer resume? It depends. I would suggest naming names if the work is attributed to you. For ghostwriting clients, you may want to be more discreet and describe the type of work you have done rather than sharing who you have worked for.

Some people who use a writer’s resume prefer to use a functional format that focuses on their skills, as opposed to a chronological one. Whichever format you choose, make sure you proofread it carefully before submitting it to a prospective client. It’s also a good idea to have someone else go over your resume to check for typos and other errors you have have missed in your review.


4 responses
  1. Amudhan Avatar

    The author of the post has explained very well about using the name of the client. This I think is applicable for many type of writers, including those who write articles for SEO services.

  2. Killer Avatar

    What has worked very well for me is to introduce your skills first. Since I only have a high school degree, I’m sure not going to wow them with my education. Instead, I highlight my strongest skills and personality traits, especially the ones I see requested repeatedly in job ads. This resume has worked well for me:

    1. Keri Avatar

      Thanks for sharing your resume! It’s really hard to find examples of writer’s resumes. Most people want to talk about it without showing you anything!

    2. Alise Ramey Avatar

      I second that. Thank you for sharing.

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