Preparing a freelance writer’s resume is a little different from writing one where your goal is to find a job. A functional resume, where you focus on your skills and achievements, is a style option that you may want to consider. Can you make the more traditional chronological style work for you? Sure you can.
The Challenge With a Chronological Format for Freelancers
The challenge (notice I didn’t say problem) with preparing a chronological resume when you are a freelancer is that you may be juggling multiple clients at once, do a few one-time-only assignments, and have some dry spells in between. If this sounds like your professional life; relax, it’s not uncommon.
You may be reluctant to list everyone you have done work for in chronological order because of the gaps in the time, or (gasp) because you only worked with the client on one project. Working freelance and having a series of assignments of different lengths is not an indication that you “can’t hold a job.” It’s the way that freelancers roll.
Listing Your Writing Experience on Your Resume
What you want to do with your resume is to tell the person reading it about your experience so that they can determine whether you would be a good fit for their project. My suggestion for listing your experience looks something like this:
Self-Employed Freelance Writer, Blogger, etc.
Provided freelance writing services to several clients [including….]
[You can name names or choose not to – your preference]
Assignments included [SEO articles, web copy, ebooks, blog posts….] on the following topics [list them here]
I have used this strategy on my resume, since it also lists the work I did before I started freelancing. The point where I started my business is listed like another employer – except the employer is me.
If you use a chronological resume, how do you set out your freelance writing experience?
Wow, Jodee, thank you so much for simplifying things for me. I think I’ve been making this way too difficult, and I haven’t seen anyone else lay out such a straight forward, sensible solution. Thanks!
Thank you. This solves a lot of problems for me!
I added your blog to bookmarks. And i’ll read your articles more often!
Jeanne Grunert says
Thanks for the tips. One thing to be careful of when listing clients is to make sure your clients are okay with being on your resume list. Check any contracts or agreements you have signed with them; some prefer to keep the fact that they hire freelancers quiet. I can think of several clients for whom I’ve written articles and web content that do not want it known that they hire out for that service and they would be upset to know I had their name on my resume (I don’t).
After more than 20 years, my chronological resume would include literally hundreds of projects, ranging from the tiny to the huge. What I’ve done, in the long run, is create a website in which I have a page for clients, a page for bio, and then individual pages for project types with links to samples. (www.lisarudy.com)
For instance, I’ve written over a dozen trade books — so I have a link from my front page to “trade books” and then I have links from images of the books with descriptions to the Amazon page where they’re sold.
I’ve written many grant proposals and other fundraising materials, so I have a link on the front page to “fundraising,” and then links to actual sample proposals on the “fundraising” page (along with a full description of my services and products.)
Actual resume is just one page, and very simple — and I describe my present job — writer/consultant — in a paragraph as my present employment. Of course I also include my website address on the resume, and mention it prominently in all my cover letters.
Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader.
Cheril Vernon says
I particularly like how you listed your writing experience – I think I will do mine this way in the future.