How to List Freelance Work on Your Resume: Tips & Samples for Success

how to list freelance work on resume

Most freelancers don’t care too much about their resumes, but a resume is essential. A quality resume not only helps you show off your skills, find new clients, but it also lets you understand your achievements and shortcomings.

However, to get better results from your resume, it is necessary that you get the attention of employers and hiring managers. Most freelancers don’t know, but adding their freelance work on a resume can bring a lot of new opportunities for them.

If you’re wondering how to list freelance work on your resume, read this post until the end. However, before that, let’s find out why should you add your freelance work to your resume.

Do I need to add freelance work to my resume?

The short answer to this question is yes!

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Remember, long-term freelance jobs are similar to you holding a position with any other company. Therefore, you can list this type of work as you would any other regular work.

In fact, it is an excellent addition to your resume, especially if you’re one of those who are dealing with employment gaps in their work history.

According to a report, alone in the United States, around 56.7 million people work as a freelancer. You can guarantee that most of them update their resumes with their freelance work.

Keep in mind that the experience and skills you learn as a freelancer are as valid as the ones you learn in a traditional workplace. As long as the freelance work you do has relevance to the job you’re applying for, you should always list your freelance work on your resume.

However, a big question remains; how to list freelance work on a resume?

The basic layout for listing your freelance work on your resume

Organizing your freelance work on your resume is straightforward. If you’re writing a functional resume that focuses on your experiences, skills, and abilities rather than your chronological work history, you can definitely get good results.

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Here is how to list freelance work on a resume.

Make a note of your specific roles & accomplishments

Before you list freelance work on resume, you should make an inventory of your specific roles & accomplishments. It will help you explain your freelance work better. You should know:

  • How long you have been freelancing?
  • Would it be worth mentioning your past work in your resume?
  • Is it related to the area of your expertise?
  • Are you comfortable demonstrating the work you did in the past?
  • Would your previous clients speak positively about you and your work?

Although there are some exceptions to this rule, in general – the shorter, the better when it comes to resumes. The best resumes are short and to the point.

If you’re competing against a bunch of other freelancers for a project, keeping things brief will make you stand out.

What to include in your resume

Your profile

This is a short statement about who you are and what you do. This is where you make it clear what you can offer to the client. If you’re marketing to a specific client, you can tailor your profile to their needs.

Your list of skills

You may break this down into a manageable list. Again, if your potential client is looking for specific skills, add them to your resume. Until you are looking at a complex project, you should not add more than 5 to 10 capabilities.

A list of completed projects & your achievements

It is quite crucial. Employers are not as interested in what you have done, but what you can do for them. Regardless of the freelance work you do, you must understand the value you create.

Don’t hesitate to ask your clients whether they are getting good results from your work or not.

In this section, you can mention the projects you completed successfully along with your achievements.

It is a good idea to use graphics to highlight what you have done in the past and what you can do. It will make it easier for your client or employer to understand your strengths.

Career history

Once you have explained to your clients what you can do, you don’t need to write a 10-page history of every job you have done. However, you may show any relevant experience you gained.

In most cases, a company name and job title are adequate to explain this. Still, you may provide a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Contact details

At last, you need to provide your contact details. Try to keep these minimal. After all, clients are buying your services, not your home. In most cases, an email address and phone number are enough.

Choosing the right title for your freelance work

Being a freelancer does not mean you can’t give yourself a title. Treat your freelance work experience as other independent contractors would on their resumes.

As a freelancer, you’re an expert in your field, whether it is video editing, graphic designing, writing, or something else.

However, when someone asks for your title, what do you say? CEO? Founder? Freelancer?

Let’s get to know what to use for your title as a freelancer.

As a freelancer, you must handle yourself professionally. Your title should tell people what you do in an easy to understand way. Since you’re your own boss, it does not mean you can pick any title you want. It should be professional.

Choosing a professional title

A professional title is ideal for most freelancers. The title should show what you do. If you run a registered company, you can call yourself a CEO or President. However, it is not descriptive enough.

So, what you can do is highlight your primary niche or area of expertise — for example, a freelance developer, freelance writer, or something else.

Be specific on job title

Give yourself a title reflecting the type of work you do. Remember that the job title should be easy to recognize by others. It should mention your capabilities.

Look for title options that come across better to your potential employers or clients. You may use the following job titles:

  • Consultant
  • Self-employed
  • Independent contractor
  • Freelance designer, developer, writer, or any job you do

Create your company name for consistency

If you’re working for multiple clients as a freelancer, it is time to choose a formal business name. When you register a business name, it projects professionalism as well as establishes authenticity.

Bear in mind, customers and clients are more likely to trust a business that gives an authentic brand image.

how to list freelance work on resume - choosing your title

Organizing your work experience

When it comes to listing your freelance work experience, always start with your current clients, and then move to less recent clients. In short, it should be in reverse-chronological order. This kind of listing works best when you do freelancing continuously for a small number of regular clients.

It is considered that this way, you put your best foot forward. After all, your most recent job gets the most attention. Make every entry clear and legible.

At the top of your job descriptions, clearly mention your job title and company/client name you worked for.

It is unusual for freelancers to have different kinds of experience. However, it is essential to show that you can wear many hats.

Hiring managers prefer to choose a candidate who can multitask as they see things from different perspectives. But make sure you present it in the right way.

One good way to show the variety of your abilities while still maintaining an organized narrative is to break your experience descriptions in headings. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, your resume can include headings for writing, copyediting, and editorial management.

Show off your skills

This is an important section of this ‘how to list freelance work on your resume’ guide. Remember, the primary aim of your freelance resume is to express what you can do for your potential employer or client. Therefore, it is advisable to add a separate section for listing your skills and certifications.

Take a look at other job listings for similar positions to get an idea about the most sought-after skills. If possible, check the skill sets of other people who already have your dream job.

You may go to their LinkedIn profiles to find out what type of skills are listed on their online resumes. You can add them as well to your resume, but strictly avoid adding the skills that everyone has, for example, proficiency in Microsoft Office, internet literacy, and so on.

Also, don’t claim familiarity with something you’re not aware of.

To show your skills explicitly on your resume, you can use a reverse-chronological resume format with a more skill-oriented layout. This resume format highlights your skills as you cluster your responsibilities from past jobs as bullet points in your experience section.

In addition to this, you can give your skills a plug in your resume summary. For those who don’t know, a resume summary is a necessary addition to a resume that displays your career progress and highlights your skills.

Another great way to showcase your freelance work

If you want to take one step further to impress your clients, consider creating a video resume. Video resumes have become exceptionally popular over the last few years. And why not? They are interesting.

Hiring managers love video resumes as they function like a pre-interview and help them better know the applicant face to face. A survey reveals, around 89% of employers watch video resumes when submitted to them. So, it is a good idea to list your freelance work on your video resume, as well.

Below are a few tips for creating a video resume.

Be professional

Most freelancers make this mistake; they often shoot their resume wearing casual attire. You should dress as you would for your regular interview and maintain professional behavior.

Also, pay attention to the background. Make sure it looks neat and clean.

Prepare a script

Don’t advertise your skills aggressively. Create a script that explains your freelance work experience precisely and in the right order.

Use visuals

Use visuals to demonstrate what you’re saying in the video script.

Keep it brief

Remember, the length of your video resume should be between 10 to 12 minutes. Anything longer than that is unlikely to be watched.

Video resume do not’s 

  • Do not mix your personal life with your professional one. If you have information on your Twitter or Facebook, don’t link your video resume to any of these pages.
  • Remember, a video resume is not to replace your traditional resume. One primary reason for the same is, not all employers are interested in a video resume.
  • Although not everyone is on board for video resumes, they can be an excellent medium for freelancers to list their work and impress their potential clients.

how to list freelance work on resume - tips

Some quick tips for creating your freelance resume

  • Customize your resume to fit the job you’re looking for. To gain the attention of recruiters, include skills and experiences relevant to what the job needs.
  • Mention any relevant educational degrees, courses, and certification that you have completed. It will show recruiters how long you have gained skills in the field.
  • Most hiring managers like to see whether your work produces a measurable result, so try to include actual statistics as much as possible.
  • You may add links to your website & online profiles, which include relevant work.
  • Add relevant keywords to your resume. After all, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a crucial component that might help your resume become more visible on the internet.

Sample for showing your freelance work on your resume

Now let’s take a look at a sample for how to list freelance work on resume.

Addison Anderson

13th Main Street, New York 10003
(123) 444-2345
[email protected]

CAREER OBJECTIVE

A results-driven freelancer/contract manager, with a variety of professional experiences from creating a blog to heading an award-winning team of realtors looking for a part-time or permanent position with a top firm.

CORE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Managed a successful social media campaign that helped a beverage company double its sales within 6 months.
  • Organized and led a real estate sales team that almost doubled its client base within a year.
  • Founded and run a tech blog and managed a staff of 15 freelancers.
  • Having sound interpersonal skills; able to harmonize and manage personnel in a variety of business positions, both online and offline.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

1. XYZ MARKETING, Albany, New York

Social Media Campaign Manager [https://twitter.com/xyzMarketing] August 2015-Present

Managed to secure a blue verified badge for the company’s Twitter feed by creating engaging, targeted, retweetable, tweets in support of its renowned “Who’s that?” ad campaign.

2. ABC REAL ESTATE, New Jersey

Sales Manager [https://www.abc.properties.com] May 2010-August 2015

Headed a team of ten agents to record-breaking sales every year for continuously five years.

Researched for new marketing opportunities that helped to boost client base by 8% in the 1st year, 19% in 2nd, 31% in 3rd, and 51% in both the 4th and 5th years.

Titled with “Agent of the Year” in 2012 and 2013.

3. Blog Founder/Writer/Editor [https://www.topitinfoblog.com] May 2009-Present

Founded renowned technology blog, which was named “Blog of the Year” by The Blog Engage community.

Manage a staff of up to 17 contributors, editing, proofing, and perfecting a variety of columns and features.

EDUCATION

Master of Arts in English (May 2008); GPA 4

Columbia University, New York City, New York

Dean’s List; Graduated Volkan Bilezikci

Final thoughts

You can be more liberal when writing a freelance resume. However, your aim should be explaining what you have done and what you’re capable of doing. Don’t focus on describing unnecessary things like where you went to college or whether or not your profession is progressing in an orderly fashion.

Remember, your potential employer or client will hire you to make something happen. Therefore, your goal should be demonstrating what you can do.

According to a study conducted by The Ladders, most hiring managers spend around 6 seconds looking at a resume before putting it to the “yes” or “no” pile. It means you should focus on customizing your resume as per the company or client you’re hoping to impress.

Take everything out of your resume you find is not related to the job. Only list the things that prove your key skills.

Undoubtedly, it is not easy to make multiple resumes for multiple jobs, but it is advantageous at the end. When you create a targeted resume, it shows clients only what you want them to see.

It will make a good impression if you can take the time to produce a version that speaks to their requirements. Hopefully, this post helps you create a quality freelance resume and secure the job you want.


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