Writing a great resume is one of the key skills for climbing the professional ladder. No matter your industry or current rank, if you want to move forward, you need to master how to write a resume. This is especially the case with freelancers who change employers often, from project to project. In addition, freelancers have a difficult task summing up all the projects they’ve worked on and showing off their best skills.
This is why we’ve prepared a guide with the 8 best tips on how to write a freelancer’s resume. Just keep reading for all the details.
Do Your Research
As a freelancer, you’ll need a resume more often than a regular employee may be needing one. This is because you change projects and employers regularly or work on several projects simultaneously.
Still, you won’t be able to use one and the same resume for all the job openings and applications. Instead, you’ll need to adjust it for each specific offer. To do so, you’ll need to do your research:
- learn about the employer
- explore their company
- read the job description carefully
- understand what they’re looking for
Once you finish your research, you’ll be able to write your resume with the specific job description in mind.
Choose Your Projects
Next, you’ll need to choose which former projects to showcase in your resume to match the employer’s search. The best way to do so is to think about the projects you have that imply similar tasks and skills as in the given job you’re applying for.
If you’re keeping track of your former clients and projects, browse it to find the best matches. Some platforms, like Upwork, will keep this record for you so all you’ll need to do is list it through your profile.
Here’s what we suggest you choose:
- long-term projects
- projects you were in a leading position on
- projects where you used your strongest skills
Once you make your selection, prioritize which experiences to share first and make it a part of your resume draft.
Find or Create a Resume Template
Now that you know what you’ll focus on in your resume outline, it’s time to work on a template. You need a resume examples that will have all the necessary information and allow you to modify it according to the needs of a specific job.
Why? Because 24% of recruiters spend less than 30 seconds looking at resumes and you need to impress quickly.
You can either find a template online or create one from scratch. Either way, make sure it covers the most important sections:
- personal statement section
- personal & contact information
- job experiences
Your template will help you ensure that the future employer knows precisely who you are and how much you’re worth.
Prepare the Personal Statement
Your statement is at the very beginning of your resume. It should summarize your professional expertise and your desire to win the chance of proving yourself in the new position.
As a freelancer, you need to be careful when writing it, and emphasize that you’re all in for this project. You don’t want to make the employer feel like you’re juggling dozens of projects at the same time.
Also, write a sentence or two about why you’re applying and how you feel will contribute to the project or company hiring you.
Cover Your Experiences
The previous projects you’ve chosen need to be properly described and well-written. For each featured experience, you should:
- describe what your duties were
- list the skills you acquired, improved, and used extensively
- explain what you learned
It would be great to have some of your previous employers write you a letter of recommendation, to further strengthen your position and improve your chances of winning an interview. You could add these letters in a separate document.
Share Your Portfolio
Since freelancers do most of their work online, you’re likely to have a strong portfolio to link to. This way, recruiters and potential employers can have a closer look at what you’ve done so far, and get to know you even better. Building your freelancer portfolio is one of the most important professional assets you can invest in right now. It helps you advance your career and display your skills, creativity and experience to potential clients.
So, leave a link to your portfolio and give them a chance to further research your work, if they’d like.
Carefully Choose the Skills
The skills section is super important for a resume since it is your chance to show off your professional abilities and impress. It’s important that you’re being both creative and realistic in this section. Avoid writing fluff skills such as:
- team player
- highly motivated
- ready to learn
Instead, be as specific and factual as possible. Write the skills that will speak for you and separate you from the rest. Here are some examples:
- critical thinking
- team management
Rewrite Every Time
Now that you have a strong resume that covers all the key information about your professional self, be prepared to write a resume that is slightly different for every single new project you apply to. Most of the information will remain the same, but the structure and featured experiences must change.
Every time you finish rewriting your resume, try reading it with the eyes of your employer. Make sure you’ve understood their perspective and changed the details that will make you one of their top choices.
Writing a resume for a freelancer can be tricky if you don’t prepare it in advance. You need to find the best way to choose and present your expertise, making sure the right projects are showcased the right way. Plus, you need to convince the employer that you’ll be a great addition to their team.
Hopefully, the 8 tips we’ve shared above will help you write a resume for a freelancer and win job interviews wherever you apply.
Donald Fomby is a freelance copywriter and a blogger. He specializes in the freelance marketplace and loves helping fellow freelancers build their careers. He’s also an editor at Trust My Paper and a writer contributor at many popular media sites.