“A good writer will do his or her research about your organization to try to determine what type of writing you need and talk in depth about their relevant (and specific) experience to convince you that he or she is right for you.”
How to write the best freelance writer resume guide
When you build a freelance writing resume, try to see if the organization you’re applying to requires someone deep into the niche, or is it fine otherwise.
Niche freelance writing jobs require your resume to:
Display a deep subject matter expertise about the subject you’ll be writing on
Years of months of writing experience within that niche
Display if you’ve worked with a brand or recognizable name
Give a sense of autonomous work and ease of collaboration
Show Niche association memberships and awards
But, if you’re applying to a generic freelance writing gig, the following may help your freelance writer resume look good too:
Association and experience of writing for any brand
Display of working with a wide variety of clients or companies
Working across different types of content (newsletters, blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, etc)
Journalistic memberships and awards
Imagine you are applying as a freelance writer to OpenAI with your credentials of your freelance writing experience for Casino - surely, you’ll be rejected!
Once you know what type of freelance writing role you’re applying to, it’s time to transform your writing portfolio in an easy to scan resume.
Make your resume easy to scan with the right resume format
Have you been working with a wide variety of clients over the last few years? You can still use a reverse-chronological resume, but make sure that you show what you’re able to do instead of solely discussing when you did it.
Ahybrid resume format might be a better way to balance your skills and working experience with your prospective employer’s job requirements.
The top digital marketing director resume sections
Soft and technical skills
Don’t overlook your resume header
Name, location, email, title, and you’re done, right? Not exactly!
As a writer, choosing the perfect words and providing accurate information should come naturally.
Within a single line, gain the attention of hiring managers by exceeding their expectations.
Leverage your copy skills to go beyond the norm and customize everything(including the title).
In the example below, see how adding “Marketing Freelance Writer” to your title instead of “freelance writer” makes a huge difference.
Applying a more descriptive title ensures that their desired position is immediately understood.
If you do it right, before the hiring manager gets past your resume header, you’ll have them hook, line, and sinker.
PRO TIPIn this competitive industry, adding a personal website and/or certification shows that you’re ahead of other applicants.
Should I include a resume summary or objective?
For freelance writers just breaking into the writing world, consider employing a resume objective. This requires you to balance your skills with the requested skills of prospective employers.
Did we mention that a resume objective needs to be 1-2 sentences long? Not to worry: As a writer, you’ve got the exact words to do it!
So how are you going to get your freelance writer resume to the top of the pile?
Freelance writer resume summary samples
Freelance copywriterwith 5 years’ experience in the cosmetics industry seeking position at Ulta Beauty to increase conversions and traffic via content marketing campaigns.
I’m an experienced freelance copywriter who is seeking a position at a B2C cosmetics company.
In the first example, you can clearly spot the length of experience and what kind of value you intend to provide
How to write a freelance writer resume objective
For writers with a broader range of experience, a resume objective is probably a better fit.
These 4-6 sentences can extend to previous experience, certifications, and any other information that’s relevant to the job offer.
Just like your resume summary, it’s vital to include pieces of quantifiable experience. Think about ROIs, organic traffic rates, membership rates, and more.
Seasoned SEO copywriter with 5 years’ experience at multiple online cosmetics retailers. Researched and utilized keyword research (e.g. Ubersuggest, Keyword Planner) to produce 40 pieces of content each month.
I’m an SEO copywriter with multiple online cosmetics companies. Over 5 years, I was responsible for producing original content and advertisements to boost organic traffic at Ulta Beauty.
“Make sure you answer everything employers ask for—if you can't follow these simple instructions, how can you follow instructions for a basic writing assignment?”
- Syed Farhan Raza, CEO,The Inbound Crew
How should you frame your freelance writer resume experience?
Freelance writer resume experience samples
06/2014 - 06/2019
New York City
Contributing writer authored 30+ content pieces for Forbes on Career and Coaching
Freelance writing lead for Alphabet, responsible for managing Webby award winning daily column features
Exclusive feature writer for Inc. Magazine from last 2 years
PRO TIPStart your bullet points with action verbs like “curated” and “assisted” and “spearheaded” to catch attention.
06/2014 - 06/2019
New York City
Responsible for hiring managing a team of 4
Wrote 30 pieces of great content each month
Holiday 2018 newsletter was the most successful company article of 2018
For prospective employers, skills and values should be as measurable for both the applicant and the employer’s side.
The “wrong” section isn’t clear about the employee’s successes – anyone can write “great content”, but not everyone can prove it.
See what kind of a difference metrics can make?
What to do - freelance writer no experience resume?
If you are a freelance writer, trying hard to make it big, tweak your resume to focus more on the writing work you did as a part of your portfolio.
Make sure that you’ve got relevant portfolio pieces highlighted with your resume to cover for the lack of experience.
To compensate for the lack of brand name association, try to list the business outcomes of your work instead. Things like virality, recognitions, etc cover well when you lack in experience.
Does your freelance writer resume need an education section?
Well, that depends.
Companies don’t hire copywriter based solely on their literature degree, but having a relevant background in specific fields might help push your resume over the edge (especially true if your alma mater is well-known).
We’d recommend keeping things simple and removing extracurriculars, your GPA, or anything extraneous.
Your education section should include:
University/college name plus its location
Degree type, plus your major and any related minor(s)
Which skills should I include?
Before you start planning your resume, you should have already created a list of your many skills. This will allow you to create the best bespoke freelance writer resumes with ease.
Some of the most basic skills include “excellent grammar” or “ability to stick to deadlines.” As a SEO or technical copywriter, however, you’ll need a lot more details than that.
Be careful: Claiming to be an expert in too many fields can make you sound “too good to be true.”
11 Soft skills to include on a freelance writer resume
SEO (e.g. writing, editing, optimization)
6 freelance writer technical skills
Coding languages: HTML/CSS/JS
CMS Tools like WordPress, WIX, Magento
Keyword research tools: Semrush, Ubersuggest, Keyword Planner, Ahrefs
Though your resume should mostly depend on your on-the-job experience, certifications are excellent ways to illustrate your skillsets while showing prospective employers that you’re the best candidate.
If you only hold a few certifications that are relevant to a specific job advertisement, consider placing them in your resume header instead.
PRO TIPNotice that job advertisements keep citing specific certifications? Consider studying them if you lack experience!
5 Certifications for a freelance writer resume
Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP)
Content Marketing Institute Online Certification
Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer
Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification
Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC)
Do I need to include a cover letter with my writing resume?
If you’re a freelance writer, you already know that cover letters are almost always required to land an interview.
In only a few paragraphs, it’s crucial to show that you’ve taken the time to understand the position, outline your related skills, and share your portfolio (if possible).
Treat each cover letter like a writing assignment and you’ll do great!
How to create the best freelance writer resume
Always look at your resume from the hiring manager’s perspective: What do they want? How can you make yourself the best choice?
Create a bespoke writer resume for every application.
In your resume summary or objective, apply quantifiable metrics wherever possible.
Use certifications to boost your strength in areas outside of your core expertise.
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.