Our own Susan Gunelius wrote a very thoughtful post entitled, 10 Skills Freelance Writers Must Have if They Want to Succeed. I want to expand on her idea and address the subject of people who have work experience in other areas but who aren’t sure that it can be transferred to freelance writing work.
The following list of skills formed part of a recent ad for a freelance writer:
- Computer use
- Continuous learning
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
- Document use
- Finding information
- Job task planning and organizing
- Oral communication
- Problem solving
- Reading text
- Significant use of memory
- Working with others
This list of skills apply to a number of other jobs that a person who is interested in freelance writing may have held in the past. When you are creating a writing resume and you are looking for ways to describe your previous employment, accenting these types of duties is a way to show the prospective client that you are a good fit for the freelance writing gig.
You can also accent these skills in your cover letter when applying for a freelance writing gig. Just because you are working remotely, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to show that you work well with others, and the ability to solve problems may be even more important in this type of work arrangement. The client is relying on you to remember the instructions you have been given and to use good judgment when implementing them.
You also need to be able to demonstrate that you can use a computer properly and that you have good communication skills. Being organized and able to prioritize tasks is another skill that successful freelance writers have.
To translate your previous jobs into skills that will benefit you as a freelance writer, start by breaking down each one into tasks that you performed on the job. Then consider how each one relates to the kinds of things you will need to do as a freelance writer.
This type of work involves a lot more than composition, and if you keep that fact in mind, you will be able to present yourself to a prospective client more effectively.