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How to write a perfect freelance resume

James Clift | November 11, 2015

how-to-write-freelance-resume

Written by the VCV Marketing Team

We live in a world where working as a freelancer is easier than ever. An Internet connection alone makes it possible for an artist to land a gig designing a logo for a company on the other side of the planet or a writer producing marketing copy from a coffee shop. While consistency is not the easiest thing for freelancers to obtain, the vast experience gained by working numerous gigs with a variety of clients can easily outweigh the benefits of consistent work. This can be especially true for future employers looking for workers with a diverse background.

A Changing Landscape

Freelancers that are looking for a full-time job often worry that inconsistencies on their CV can be detrimental to their chances of landing a steady job. Having a dozen short-term gigs instead of years spent in one place doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, when presented the right way it will make the candidate shine as someone who is not only multi-talented but able to accomplish a wide array of different tasks. More than ever, companies are seeking workers who live and think outside the box.

Even freelancers who are seeking more freelancing gigs struggle to find the right way to compile their experience on one CV. The freelancer CV, when compiling a list of every gig and experience, can be large and confusing to prospective employers. There is no need to list everything, and when it comes to a great freelancer CV, less is more. This is especially true when less means focusing on the skills and experience that are specific to each and every potential gig.

Traditionally, a great CV had no gaps with a focus on one specific area. This is no longer something that should leave job seekers worried. Technological advances have completely revolutionized the job market and how workers fit in the marketplace. Today, freelance workers can perform a wide variety of different roles across many industries. Gone are the days of freelancer roles being reserved for artists and other creative workers.

List What Counts

Consider listing all of your relevant freelancing experience in one section. You want to portray your past work and experiences as if you were running your own company specializing in your field. Portray your freelancing experience as if you were the boss and employee of the month. Explain your business in a concise, engaging way that touches on the highlights of your freelance work.

Remember, not everything you have ever done needs to go on your CV. Picking what is im- portant for the job you are applying for is what really matters. If you have worked a lot of freelancing gigs, focus on the ones that honed your skills in areas that will apply to the job position you are hoping to fill. Go through job descriptions carefully. Do your research and figure out what the position entails, not just with the company that you are hoping to join. If you have a thorough understanding of the position you are looking to fill, you can craft your CV to be specific to the position while culling the best attributes from your past.

Use Your Past to Guide You

But be careful how you list your freelancing experience. If you had a gig that lasted a very short period of time, only mention it on your CV if the experience was highly relevant to the new position. Likewise, if you had a gig that lasted longer but was not relevant to the new job, you should leave it off and focus on the gigs that make you seem like a stronger, more suitable fit. Highlight some of the clients you worked with in the past. You can really impress your soon-to-be new employer by displaying the names of satisfied clients, especially if some of them are well respected companies.

Forbes said it best when talking about the dilemma of whether or not to add freelancing to a CV.

Freelancing shows that you’re a self-starter, so it’s important you highlight that quality. Depending on the length of your freelance work, you can either list each assignment separately or put all your freelance jobs under one title (tip: if you have several clients, create a company name for yourself and list all freelance work under it).

Make Yourself Stand Out

Showing that you are not only willing but able to accomplish things that most others can’t separates you from the rest of the applicants. It isn’t easy surviving as a freelancer. It takes perseverance, commitment, and a drive to succeed. These are all qualities that prospective employees are looking for in their candidates.

Freelancers carry with them an arsenal of valuable skills accumulated over years of experience in the field. These skills, when showcased the right way for the right position, far outweigh the CV you are going up against that might have one or two jobs that required a limited skill set.

You need to make sure you understand what job you are applying to fulfill. If it is a full-time job and you are looking to leave freelancing in your past, make it clear that you are seeking that change. You want your prospective employer to know that you are going to focus on the new position and that freelancing won’t interfere with the new job.

However, if your freelancing career is going to continue on the side and it relates to the job you are looking to fulfill, let them know how that can benefit the company. For instance, if you freelance as a logo designer and you are seeking a full-time job with a design agency, moonlighting as a designer could potentially bring your new clients to the new company. In the eyes of your potential employer, your freelancing will make you more valuable, and the chances of you landing the job will go up.

Freelancers Rejoice

Freelancers should rejoice knowing that they too can lock down interviews and great job opportunities with the right CV. With the changing marketplace and the emphasis on skilled workers with a wealth of experience, freelancers are more desirable than ever.

Don’t forget that there is no such thing as the perfect CV. There is no exact template just waiting for you to fill. It simply doesn’t exist. There is, however, the perfect CV for you. But in order to put together your perfect CV, you need to customize it to the job you are seeking using only the most applicable bits and pieces from your past.

Freelancers working with the growing micro-gig economy are considered trailblazers. They are heading down new roads and creating careers for themselves while following their passions.

While there is a lot of debate out there whether or not workers in the micro-gig marketplace are being taken advantage of due to the lack of benefits and security, the experience gained can turn a CV into a force to be reckoned with when going after a new full-time job. You can be one of these trailblazers.

If you focus on creating a custom CV for each job opportunity while filling it with the most important aspects of your freelance experience, you will boost your chances of landing the job of your dreams.

Blost post author James Clift

About the author

James Clift

James is the CEO of VisualCV. He has spent the last 10 years building businesses, from window cleaning to software. His passion is helping individuals create the careers they want.

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