The Ultimate Guide to Freelance Resume Examples for 2019 [Expert samples from over 100,000 users]

Top 10 tactics to create the best Freelance resume

As a freelancer, your experience doesn’t fit neatly into a traditional resume. As such, your resume challenges require a unique set of tips to address. Based on our studies or tens of thousands of resumes (and personal experience) these are the main tactics you’ll want to use to make your resume stand above the rest.
  • Tailor your resume for each job (this is particularly important for freelancers)
  • Show your impact with concrete numbers that demonstrate your (Return on Investment) ROI for clients
  • Show that you work well with feedback and collaboration and that you’re generally easy to work with
  • Be sure to mention when projects have been completed early or on time
  • Make sure your resume is the right length
  • Match the tone of the company you’re applying for
  • Demonstrate you have the skills and attributes asked for in the job description
  • Mention clients you’ve worked with who the person reading your resume will be familiar with
  • More broadly, consider who will read your resume and what you can do to make your resume fit them as an audience
  • Wherever possible, show things instead of telling about them
Taken together, these tips show what makes or breaks a freelancer resume: tailoring it. A good freelancer can be many things to many people, so a general resume isn’t ideal for them.
Different clients are going to want different things from you so be ready to show that you’re the ideal pick for them. Below, we’ll break down how to do this in more detail.

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Best Freelance resume examples by users who got hired

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How to write a freelancer resume

Begin by putting yourself in their shoes

Before you write the first word of your freelancer resume, start by considering the job(s) you want to get with the resume. This can mean deciding on a particular type of freelance job or on a more specific job from a single client.
Just be sure to carefully consider your clients’ needs before writing a resume that shows how you can meet them. This shows that you will be a good freelancer by demonstrating your focus on the client above yourself.
Tied in with this is making sure your resume matches the job description as closely as possible. Your goal is for the client to see your resume and think “this person is just who we’re looking for.”

Focus on impact

As a freelancer, many clients hire you to come in and make a difference on a project. That’s why you need to demonstrate that you’ll do more than the bare minimum. So instead of listing that you “provided X service to Y client” say that you “Increased Z metric by N% by providing X service to Y client”. This is going to make a far stronger impression on a potential client.

Show a bit of personality and culture

One of the biggest challenges when bringing on freelancers is making them work smoothly with your existing team and culture. For that reason, demonstrating your personality and how you work (IE, what programs you’re comfortable using) can make it much easier for a potential client to know how you will fit in with their existing team. So, mention what companies inspire you, what books guide you, what your personal philosophy is, etc.

Go ahead, name drop a little

If you’ve worked with some impressive clients in the past, now is the time to bring them up. Doing so helps build your credibility and make a strong first impression. If it’s someone that you do not believe is known, you may use this opportunity to reframe it by focusing on a key attribute that makes that client stand out. Examples of that include:
“AAA, who are the biggest player in the XXX industry.”
Alternatively, you may phrase it as “AAA who’ve grown 25% YoY for the last 5 years”.

Focus on what makes you a team player

As a freelancer, you need to demonstrate that you can work well with clients and, occasionally, on teams. It makes sense to emphasize these attributes wherever possible in your resume. This could be sharing credit for accomplishments or just including references from previous clients.

8 things recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in a freelance resume

Obviously with all the variation amongst freelancers you’re going to end up using all kinds of sections, but these are the ones we’ve found most effective.
1. Experience
2. Most Proud Of
3. Skills
4. Projects
5. Languages
6. Achievements
7. Technologies
8. Education and Courses

1. Experience

This is generally going to be the core of your freelance resume. It’s best to list your experience in reverse-chronological order (starting with your most recent experience at the top). In the bullets below your experience, focus on demonstrating your impact in concrete terms as detailed above.

Freelancer resume experience section

2. Most Proud Of

This section is one of the best places to really show your personality and passions. It’s also good for freelancers who do multiple types of work. Here you can break down how you divide your time between all the things you do.

Freelance resume most proud of section

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3. Skills

Often, a job description will mention the skills required. This section is ideal for listing the skills you possess which match what the client is looking for. This makes it easy for either an ATS or human to see that you have what’s required for the job. Just be sure to back up your skills elsewhere in your resume if possible. Giving an example of why you have a skill is always more effective than simply stating that you have it.

Freelance resume skills section

4. Projects

If you have too many freelance projects to comfortably fit into an experience section (or would like to put your formal jobs in one place and freelance work elsewhere) this is the ideal section. Similar to your experience section, try and focus on showing your impact and what you achieved in each project.

Freelance resume projects section

5. Languages

While this section may not seem relevant everywhere, speaking multiple languages actually increases your likelihood of getting hired. Why? It shows your ability to learn, focus, think critically, and consider other perspectives. Needless to say, these are valuable traits for any freelancer.

Freelance resume language section example

6. Achievements

If you’re a real star in your field, adding relevant achievements says a lot in a very small space. That’s why this section is a no-brainer for anyone with the right achievements to show off.

Freelance resume achievements

7. Technologies

Similar to skills above, this is a convenient place to list all the tech you’re comfortable with. This is especially important when the job has specific requirements. Just be sure you’re mentioning the technologies the job offer asked for and not unrelated ones.

Freelance resume technologies section example

8. Education and Courses

Plenty of freelancers aren’t doing what they originally studied to do, but if you have any relevant coursework it makes sense to include it. This could be a non-academic class which taught you some skills which you apply to the work you do. Just consider what will be informative for the client evaluating your resume.

Freelance resume education section example

How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the Freelance role you want

In most cases, the most effective thing you can do to improve your chances of getting hired is to get referred to a position. Referred employees are hired 60% of the time compared to everyone else who make it to an interview just 2% of the time. Needless to say, investing in the kind of personal connections and networks you need to get such a referral is invaluable.
So before you start applying, be sure to check your 1st and 2nd degree contacts in both LinkedIn and in any other relevant groups you may belong to. If you don’t have strong connections in the industry you’re looking to establish yourself in, start making them now!

Check out our guide on getting referrals for any job you’re applying for.

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