The freelance writing job market is experiencing a boom. The number of writers who work for themselves has increased by about 50% since the recession of 2008, and it’s not slowing down. Why?
It’s simple: people are looking for ways to make money. And more than ever, they’re willing to do it on their terms.
The beauty of freelancing is that you can take as much or as little work as you want. There are no quotas or deadlines, so if you’re trying out freelancing for the first time, feel free to work part-time hours after graduation. Take your time and find out what works best for YOU—and if that means one or two clients at first? Great!
How to write a freelance writer’s resume
A freelance writer’s resume can be more complex than a traditional job resume. This is because the typical freelance writer performs many different tasks, and each one will differ from job to job.
When writing your resume for 2023, start by identifying your strengths as they relate to each job you’ve performed in the past. If you’ve written for several publications, list all the publications you’ve worked for and include them on your resume. Or, if you have experience writing for a specific type of publication, organize your list of accomplishments by publication type (e.g. newspapers).
Be sure to include any relevant work experience that doesn’t fall into one of these categories—for example: if you worked as an intern at a magazine or newspaper and didn’t write anything during that period, but helped edit other people’s articles, include this information on your resume! This will give hiring managers a clear idea of what skills and abilities they can expect from you in future jobs.
The best resume format: choose based on your strengths
There are three standard resume formats: chronological, functional, and hybrid.
- The traditional chronological format lists your work experience in reverse-chronological order, with your most recent position listed first.
- The functional format highlights your skills and achievements rather than listing your work experience and is best suited to early-career job seekers or those changing careers.
- The hybrid format combines elements of both the chronological and functional formats, allowing you to highlight your work history and skills.
Choosing the best resume format is about knowing what you’re good at and what’s important to employers.
Resume summary example: your pitch
A resume summary is a crucial part of your resume and an opportunity to sell yourself to potential employers. As the name implies, a resume summary is a brief overview of your skills and experience designed to grab the employer’s attention and persuade them to read on. To write a practical resume summary, start by outlining your most relevant skills and experience. Then, add a punchy sentence or two that sums up your unique selling points. Finally, finish with a call to action, inviting the employer to read on or get in touch.
A professional writer with over 10 years of experience. Have a broad knowledge of all aspects of writing, from grammar and style to content strategy and SEO. Quickly adapt to different types and deliver high-quality work on schedule.
Employment history sample: your career headlines
There are many different ways to write an employment history for freelance writers:
- Create a list of your previous employers and the jobs they hired you for. Include the name of each employer, the dates you worked there, and the position(s) they hired you for. For example, “November 1st, 2018 – Present: [Employer Name], Writing Assistant/Editor”.
- Create a list of all the skills and responsibilities associated with those positions. For example: “Researching articles using Google search bar and various internet sources” or “Using Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets.”
- Write a summary of each position’s responsibilities and skills required (see above). Then include this information at the end of each job description; it should look like this: “I have experience researching articles using Google search bar and various internet sources.”
Employment History Example
Freelance Writer, October 2015 to present
- Working with clients such as newspaper publications, magazines, websites, and blogs.
- Responsibilities include researching topics related to the client’s needs; writing articles and blog posts on deadline; maintaining contact with editors regarding story ideas; updating website content; and editing copy for accuracy.
Copywriter/Blogger at XYZ Agency, June 2008 – August 2015
- Worked in the creative department at a full-service marketing agency where I wrote blog posts, articles, and web copy for our clients.
- Responsible for researching clients’ target audiences and creating content tailored to their wants and needs.
- Wrote press releases announcing new products or services; assisted with social media campaigns; edited existing copy for accuracy; monitored analytics data to inform future strategies.
Top skills for your freelance writer resume
Here are some of the top skills on your freelance writer resume you should highlight:
- A strong command of the English language. This is a given for any freelance writer, but it’s imperative to highlight if you’re targeting businesses in the United States or other English-speaking countries.
- The ability to write for different audiences. As a freelance writer, you’ll likely be called upon to write for various other clients, each with its target audience. You should be able to adapt your writing style to fit the needs of each client.
- SEO skills. Understanding search engine optimization can be beneficial for landing new clients and ranking your articles higher in search engines.
- Social media skills. In today’s digital world, you must be active on social media to succeed as a freelance writer. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn can be great tools for connecting with potential clients and building your brand.
Freelance writer resume education section
While a traditional resume might list your education chronologically, a freelance writer’s resume should highlight the programs and courses relevant to your field. If you have a degree in English literature, highlight any writing-intensive practices, internships, and independent projects involving complex writing. You can also mention any awards or fellowships if you’re a recent graduate.
Bachelor of Arts in Communications, University of California, San Francisco, CA (2011-2015)
Studied various topics, including oral and written communication theory, public relations, intercultural communication, media studies, graphic design principles and practices, and professional writing and editing principles.
Resume layout and design: make it winning
The layout and design of your resume are just as important as the content. After all, if a potential employer can’t make sense of your resume, they will only spend a little time reading it. So how can you ensure that your resume is easy to read and makes a good impression?
- First, make sure there are no stray lines or stray words. Add extra space between sections and between paragraphs. If you need to add more content, consider using bullet points rather than prose to break up text into sections.
- Next, consider using different fonts for different sections of your resume: bolder fonts for sections that are longer or more important, like experience and education; smaller fonts for shorter sections, like interests and contact information; even smaller fonts for concise areas, like skills and awards.
- Finally, consider using images or graphics that match the theme of your resume (e.g., bright colors where you’re trying out for a content editor role at an agency).
Resume examples for freelance writers
Freelance bloggers, freelance copywriters, and freelance editors are all professionals who work in the same field—but they do so by working independently of one another.
A freelance copywriter is a professional writer who specializes in creating compelling, persuasive, and exciting marketing materials. Freelance copywriters typically work with ad agencies, businesses, and other organizations to produce high-quality content that can be used in various marketing campaigns.
A freelance editor provides editing services to clients on a contract basis. Freelance editors typically work with authors to improve the clarity, style, and organization of their writing. They may also work with businesses to help ensure that their documents are free of errors and consistent with their brand guidelines.
Freelance bloggers typically write on various topics and often have blogs where they share their thoughts and ideas with the world. In many cases, they are simply people who enjoy writing and are passionate about a particular subject or niche. However, they may also be professional writers who have decided to freelance to have more control over their work and career.