The Importance of an Effective Freelancer Resume

How to make a freelancer resume

Having a resume as a freelancer is important because it helps potential clients understand your background knowledge and competencies. In the absence of a corporate job title, a well-crafted resume lets your client know exactly what you bring to the table. When potential clients can see your skills on paper, they’ll have more confidence in deciding to hire you.

Freelancing resumes for applications and for marketing

Freelancer resumes are crucial when applying for long-term contracts or projects posted on job boards. They’re also useful to have when marketing yourself and trying to get short-term gigs from individual clients. Here are a few reasons a freelancer resume is a must for independent professionals.

Fulfills client requirements

Some clients won’t hire you if you don’t have a resume. A resume is a professional tool that summarizes your qualifications as a freelancer, just like those who apply for traditional jobs. Many people who work with freelancers want to know they’re spending their money wisely and hiring someone who can get the job done.

Showcases previous experience

A freelancer resume allows you to exhibit all of your relevant experience and accomplishments in one place. You’ll have a record of past projects when you need to show someone what you’ve done and be able to prove to potential clients that you’re an authority in your field.

Brings cohesion to a varied career

Freelancing can sometimes lead people down varied and unexpected professional roads. A freelancer resume can lend a sense of cohesion to your career and demonstrate your transferable skills.

Although you may have worked on many different types of projects, your resume can help you bring it all together in a single professional profile potential clients can understand and relate to.

Let your skills and experience shine

Highlighting your skills in a freelancer resume is very important. For one thing, it shows prospective clients that you have a good work ethic and take your career seriously. It also shows them what you’ve accomplished for others, giving them more confidence that you can do the same for them.

When learning how to write a resume as a freelancer, it’s essential to take time to identify your core competencies and areas of specialization.

For example, you may be great at writing scripts for educational videos that garner lots of views on social media but less adept at ghostwriting novels that keep readers wanting more. Knowing your core competencies will help you market your services to the right clients and land more jobs.

Once you can articulate your core skills and specialties, make sure to display them prominently at the beginning of your resume.

If you’re using any resume templates, customize this section with your professional details. Doing so will not only strengthen your resume as a marketing tool but also help potential clients easily evaluate whether you’re a good fit for the specific role or project they’re considering hiring you for. 

Expert Tip:

To discover your core competencies as a freelancer, consider which niche most of your experience is in, evaluate the feedback you’ve gotten from clients, and identify what you’re most passionate about. Your core competencies can usually be found where those three elements of your career intersect.

Showcase your portfolio and body of work

As numerous resume articles point out, those looking to hire freelancers will want to see the outcomes of your past projects and work. One of the best ways to show them off is through a portfolio. Here are three key things to keep in mind as you begin crafting a portfolio to accompany your freelancer resume.

If you haven’t already, consider building an online portfolio. You can do this through a dedicated portfolio-building tool, a customized website, or a professional social media profile such as LinkedIn.

It’s important to be able to show potential clients examples of finished projects so they understand the kind of work you’re capable of producing and what they can expect when they work with you.

Once you’ve created your online portfolio, include a link to it in your resume and cover letter to let clients view your work.

Highlight your achievements

Your freelancer portfolio is also a way to underscore specific achievements. If any of your work has won awards or been featured in publications, make sure to mention that fact. You can also include any positive ROI your clients have shared with you, such as a marketing campaign that increased sales or a video that garnered thousands of views.

"In the absence of a corporate job title, a well-crafted resume lets your client know exactly what you bring to the table."

Center on adaptability and flexibility

Businesses and individuals hire freelancers because of their adaptability and flexibility. With that in mind, your resume needs to show prospective clients that you can offer them these benefits.

Demonstrate that you can work independently

While most resume and cover letter articles discuss the importance of showing that you can fit in with corporate culture, freelancers should instead include content emphasizing an ability to work without supervision. This might include information about the percentage of projects you’ve turned in on time and to client specifications.

Include instances of managing multiple projects

Even if you only work for one company, most freelancers work on more than one project at a time. Customize the language in your resume and cover letter templates to indicate how many projects per month or year you typically manage so clients will know you can handle multiple assignments without dropping the ball.

Explain how you adapt to changing client needs

Communicate to clients how well you implement changes after receiving feedback (this is especially important if such changes have increased client ROI). If any of your client testimonials include comments of this nature, you can put them in your resume.

Personal branding

Freelancers don’t have an employer brand to fall back on. As a self-employed professional, you must create your own professional brand to stand out from the competition.

The good news is you can customize your resume to reflect your unique personality, style, and skill set while maintaining a professional tone and format.

Update your contact information

It’s important to ensure that all of your professional information is up to date, including phone numbers, email addresses, website addresses, and URLs to your social media accounts.

You can customize all of these things to reflect the name of your business or personal brand. If possible, make your email addresses and social media handles the same or similar so your brand is consistent across platforms.

Leverage your professional summary 

Your professional summary is the perfect place to convey your personal style and flair as a freelancer.

Use language and tones that accurately reflect how you want to come across to potential clients, but avoid going overboard with humor and maintain a high level of professionalism. Include relevant information about your background, experience, and accomplishments to let clients know who you are and why they should work with you.

Make sure you have a polished portfolio

Your prospective clients want to know that you’re a detail-oriented professional who does quality work. As such, it’s important to ensure that all links to your portfolio are working and that the pieces you include in it are your best.

Whether you’re using a website or social media profile, double-check that it’s well-organized and easy to navigate so clients can easily find what they’re looking for. Also, make it a point to include a link to your professional portfolio in any resume or cover letter examples you draw on.

Craft a freelancer resume that showcases your creativity and professionalism

A strong resume is a great asset for all freelancers because it helps potential clients assess your capabilities and fit for a given project. It can also bring a sense of cohesion to what’s likely a varied professional background.

As you build your resume, focus on highlighting your core skills and specialization at the outset. Use language that emphasizes your adaptability and flexibility throughout, and don’t forget to add elements of your personal brand in your contact information, professional summary, and portfolio.

It’s always a good idea to use freelancer resume examples if you’re unsure how to build one from the ground up. Studying examples of successful resumes can help you create one that’s professional, compelling, and engaging and does justice to your accomplishments.

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