Preparing a freelance writer resume is something that independent contractors can struggle with. It’s a different exercise than writing a resume for a brick and mortar job, since freelancers are dealing with clients, not employers.
The process does not have to be an intimidating one, though. Consider your unique history so that you can decide how to present yourself to clients.
Start with a Branding Statement
When you are preparing your writer resume, including an old school objective statement about the type of “job” you are looking for is not appropriate. You aren’t looking for one. Instead, you are presenting yourself to a client as a skilled professional. The resume is a way to demonstrate that you have the skills and abilities to complete the project you would like to be considered for.
The branding statement is a summary of what you bring to the table. Think of it as your tag line. You could put an actual sentence or three or four bullet points that tell the client what sets you apart from other freelance writers. You could cover:
- Number of articles written this year/in your career
- Your writing specialties (article writing, copy writing, editing, travel writing, book writing, etc.)
- Topics you particularly like to write about
- Awards you have won during your career
Putting this information at the top of your resume will encourage the client to want to know more about you and continue reading through to the work experience part of your resume.
Freelance Work Experience: The Chronological Approach
When writing a freelance writer resume, the part where many people seem to get bogged down is when they need to write the part of the resume setting out their work experience. Freelance writers work for many clients during their career, and a gig may end up being a short-term one. You may not be able to reveal that you worked on a project for confidentiality reasons or because of personal preference.
How can you share your experience with a potential client on a chronological resume? You list all of your other work experience, as usual. When you get to the part of your resume where you will be listing your freelance work, list yourself as the employer. It would look something like this:>Self-employed Freelance Writer/Editor [dates]
You can also substitute the name of your business if you operate under a business name. Once you have yourself listed as the “employer,” you can describe the projects you have worked on during that time. You don’t have to list client names, but can describe the type of work you have been doing. The person reading the resume does not need to know whether any particular project lasted one day or six months unless you decide you want to reveal the information.
Freelance Work Experience: The Functional Approach
You aren’t limited by the chronological approach when preparing your freelance writer resume. If you are new to freelancing or want to transition to a different type of freelancing work, you may want to consider using a functional resume instead of a chronological one. This style focuses on your relevant experience and skills.
Consider using this style if you have a background in a specific industry and want to use it to attract freelance writing clients. For example, if you have experience working as a nurse, lawyer, interior designer, dental technician, skilled tradesperson, or other area where you can bring your credentials to the table, present your knowledge as a reason the client should hire you.
You’ll also need to show examples of where you were able to communicate clearly, follow instructions properly, and complete projects on time. It doesn’t matter that you may have little (or even no) experience applying them to freelance writing projects. The idea of using this type of resume is to list your skills, not necessarily show exactly where you have used them.
Update Your Resume Regularly
No matter which approach you choose for your resume, it is a living document. Don’t let it grow stale by letting it sit for more than six months or so without updating it. As you build your freelance writing career and take on new projects, you will want to add your new experiences to your freelance writer resume.
Do you need some help writing your resume? Check out these online resources:
Resumizer – a free resume creator
Skills-based Resume Guide – help if you want to write a functional resume
Tips for Creating a Good Resume
photo credit: The CV Inn via photopin cc
photo credit: johnantoni via photopin cc
Abdul Jawula says
This was an incredibly useful article. Thanks for posting!