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The unexpected ways a resume brings freelancers more business

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Let’s face it – most freelancers neglect their resumes, if they even have a resume at all. After all, you’re running a business with a great website, portfolio, and dribbble account.

Isn’t a resume simply unnecessary? Maybe.

But if you answer yes to any of these questions, having an updated resume might benefit your bottom line.

You'll also enjoy this episode of our new podcast...

Would you like to freelance for a design agency?

Working as a freelancer for a design agency can be the best of both worlds:

  • You don’t have to work directly with the client
  • Your client (i.e. the design agency) is generally design-savvy, so there’s little teaching involved

Design agencies know what they’re looking for in subcontractors, and they often ask for resumes (in addition to portfolios) when searching for go-to freelancers.

Are you interested in temporary contract positions?

Many large companies (think Nike, HP, Intel, etc.) seek contract designers for temporary projects. They almost always use staffing companies to find contractors, which means that your resume, complete with awesome keywords, is the ticket to an interview.

Contract positions can be great ways to boost your income for a 3-, 6-, or 12-month period of time because they’re generally high-paying jobs since they’re not supplying benefits.

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Are your potential clients typically baby-boomers or older?

If you often work with older generations, you may find they are more comfortable with traditional resumes rather than digital media (how many times have you heard someone your mom’s age reference a telephone book?).

Having a resume when you meet with these potential clients brings all of your information together on one (or two) pieces of paper rather than forcing them to locate and then remember what they read on the internet.

Do you present yourself as an “I?”

Especially if you’re just starting out and/or use your name as your business name, a resume might be an excellent way for you to summarize your capabilities.

Businesses who prefer to work with “a real person” rather than “an office” might appreciate your presentation of yourself as a person rather than a company.

Just make sure your resume invokes the emotions you want it to – personable, approachable, and professional are three great ones that come to mind.

When you meet with a potential client, do leave anything behind?

Most people leave behind a business card, but leaving behind a resume is a quick reference for your client of your capabilities and knowledge as a freelancer that they can easily share with their boss or decision-maker.

But don’t just leave them with a flat piece of paper – get creative!

Example: Fold your resume into an origami swan with your business card stuck in it. (Better yet, learn how to fold it quickly in front of them.)

When was the last time you updated your resume?

Last year? Last job? Share your thoughts on keeping your resume updated with the rest of us.

Need help with creating a resume? Tell us what you find most difficult. If there’s enough interest, we’ll gladly post on developing an awesome resume.

Comments here.

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About April Greer

April is the Director of Projects at Reliable PSD, a design-to-code company for designers, by designers. She’s the glue keeping everything together, organized, and right on time, and giving everyone a fantastic experience while she does it.


Leave a Comment



  1. Hi,
    your hard copy idea of resume is excellent. old timers dont want to use internet.

  2. I try to updated it whenever I have learned something new that adds to my skill set, or when I update my LinkedIn profile. It’s always a good idea to put a line in the water so to speak. Though I love freelancing, you may land an amazing job if the right person happens upon your resume, of if you send it out to a job listings from time to time.

    • BRich,

      Couldn’t agree more – it’s easy to forget accomplishments or resume-enhancing projects once they’re finished. If and when you’re asked for a resume, you don’t want to spend a day updating it; you want to send it off.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. Does LinkedIn count? 🙂

    • LinkedIn is definitely a must-have. When someone asks for a resume, though, you want to have one prepared (rather than spend the day creating one). Especially as designers, our resumes can’t be a quickly thrown together Word document. Ours need to show our talent as well as tell (i.e. they need to look well designed).

  4. I think having a link to linkedIn is a good way for anyone to check on ones background and resume.

  5. I am definitely guilty of this. I have not updated my resume since I got my current job =/ It would be definitely good to dust that off and have it available for future potential clients!


  6. I have always linked a resume with a scenario where I am not happy with my current job and am looking for a new one!!

    Never thought it could help my business too.

    Thanks April this post has few insights which could be beneficial. 🙂


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