How to Show You Are "Self Employed" On Your Resume

How to Show You Are "Self Employed" On Your Resume

Being self-employed is great, you are your own boss.

In addition to that, it lets you take your future into your own hands and gives you lots of important skills.

Self-employment can show your potential employer that you are self-driven and that you have entrepreneurial spirit.

But you have to know how to do it right.

Don’t downplay your experience and don’t sell yourself short.

Make sure your potential employer understands the value of your self-employment.

But how to play your cards right with this one?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we are going to go through all the important questions going through your head:

  • Should You Put Self-Employment on a Resume?
  • How to Put Self-Employed Work Experience on Your Resume?
  • How to Put Self-Employed in a Resume Summary?
  • How to Put Self-Employed Skills on Your Resume?
  • How to Put Self-Employed Projects on a Resume?

And, of course, we are going to leave you off with some great examples to get you going.

In case you have some more general wondering about your resume, check out How to Make Your Resume Stand Out.

But if you are ready to jump in the self-employment on your resume, stick around.

Should You Put Self-Employment on a Resume?

First things first – should you actually include self-employment on your resume?

The short answer is yes. You absolutely should.

Your self-employment is still a part of your work experience, and you should not omit it.

As long as it is relevant, it doesn’t matter if it is a full-time job, freelance, or self-employment.

What matters is your experience and the skills you gained in the process.

Furthermore, it is a great way to fill a work history gap and avoid potential red flags with your potential employer.

So don’t hesitate and display proudly your self-employed work experience.

How to Put Self-Employed Work Experience on Your Resume?

The most important section, that is an absolute must for your self-employment, is your Work Experience Section.

What you need to do here is list your self-employment like any other job.

You would want your resume to keep the same formatting all throughout.

But since it is not an ordinary job, there are some specifics we need to take care of.

First of all – the job title.

You would want to show that your experience is self-employed, but you need to avoid words like “self-employed” or “self-work”.

What you can do instead is use powerful words to describe it just as clearly, but in a more influential way.

The most commonly used ones are “Contractor”, “Consultant” or “Freelancer”.

Another way to go is to write President, CEO or Company Owner, but in that case you really need to have something to show.

Once you are done with that, you need to include a company name.

If you have created a company for your self-employment – it is easy, you just list its name.

But what to do, if you are a freelancer?

In that case, you should include the companies you have provided services for.

You should include the biggest names you have worked with in order to impress the hiring managers.

However, it is a good idea to make sure that these companies can acknowledge your services.

For your bullet list, make sure you list all your greatest work-related achievements, as you would do for any other job.

Last but not least, don’t forget to keep it relevant to the job position you are applying for.

No one would like to read work experience that is not relative, no matter how impressive it is.

How to Put Self-Employed in a Resume Summary?

The Resume Summary is the first thing hiring managers see after your name and contact information.

It is a key moment for you to make it as good as possible.

It is the Resume Summary that would decide if the hiring manager is going to keep reading or not.

If most of your experience is self-employed, you would want to include it right here.

And you would want to do it right.

But that part is actually not that difficult.

What you would want to do is write your Resume Summary the same as anyone else’s.

No matter if you are self-employed or have a career or full-time positions, the Resume Summary consists of the same components.

Your Resume Summary should include:

  • Your most prominent contracts
  • Projects
  • Accomplishments
  • Relative skills

Make sure you make it all relative, and don’t make it too long, as you may lose the hiring manager’s attention.

If you have any kind of portfolio, that might be a good place to include it.

How to Put Self-Employed Skills on Your Resume?

Your Skills Section can be crucially important on your resume.

Especially if you have chosen a Functional (Skill-Based) Resume Format.

So let’s make sure you do it right.

You probably want to list all the skills you have gained from all your different projects.

But if you do so, no one would even consider reading your resume.

No hiring manager would read more than a one-page resume, or a two-page resume if you have lots of work experience.

So what you need to do is pick out the best 10-15 skills for the position you are applying for.

Don’t forget to tailor your Skills Section according to every position you apply for.

How to Put Self-Employed Projects on a Resume?

If you have more of a project-based work experience, it would not be practical to list all projects under the Work Experience Section.

Instead, you can create an additional Projects Section on your resume

That’s where you should include all relevant projects that you have participated in.

Once again, keep in mind that your resume should stick to one page.

So don’t overdo it.

List only these projects which can really contribute to your resume.

Examples of Self-Employed on Resume

Now that we know how to put self-employed in all important sections, it’s time to see it in practice as well.

We promised you some examples, and we deliver.

So, let’s dive in, section by section.

In the Work Experience Section

As we said earlier, your self-employed work experience should not look any different from any other job position on your resume:

New York Public Library: 02.2019 – 02.2020

Independent Contractor – Web Programmer

  • Designed a new web page for the New York Public Library
  • Created an interactive list with all books in the New York Public Library
  • Integrated a booking system for users of the New York Public Library

In the Resume Summary

Make sure you make your Resume Summary catchy and make the hiring manager keep reading:

Highly capable and seasoned web programmer with solid background building interactive websites and tools within small businesses, large corporations and government institutions. Proven track record delivering high-class websites and tools which deliver greater success to the clients. Core strengths including great communication skills, understanding the client’s mindset and innovative programming thinking.

In the Skills Section

Include only the best and most relative skills into this section:

  • Time & Resource Management
  • Process Optimization
  • Team Leadership and Development
  • Great Communication Skills
  • Knowledge in a variety of programming languages (HTML&CSS, PHP, JavaScript, ReactJS, Python)
  • Result-oriented

Don’t forget to tailor them according to every position you apply for.

In the Projects Section

For this section, you can list every project you wish in the same formatting as in the Work Experience Section:

New York Public Library: 02.2019 – 02.2020

Independent Contractor – Web Programmer

  • Designed a new web page for the New York Public Library
  • Created an interactive list with all books in the New York Public Library
  • Integrated a booking system for users of the New York Public Library

Takeaways: Self-Employed on Resume?

We are all done.

Now you know why self-employed experience is important and how to include in the different sections of your resume.

You are now ready to list your self-employed experience and present yourself in the best possible light.

Take your time and think about which self-employed experience to list.

Don’t forget to make it all relevant to the job position you are applying for.

Keep our examples in mind and make your self-employed experience get you your next job in no time.