Whichever way you slice it, the struggle of finding dependable freelance writing work is real.
You might have to take low-paying writing gigs on Upwork or Fiverr until you “build your skills”.
Counter advice like “Zzzz! No one reads your resume” - isn’t uncommon to hear either.
But often Marketing Managers and Publications ask you for your resume.
And, in a world where even Richard Morgan uses a resume, you should take freelance writer resume a lot more seriously!
"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."
Your goal is to showcase your value by combining your talent, ambition, and personality into a fantastic document that’s tailored to your audience.
What you’ll learn here?
- Go through 10 freelance writer resume section samples.
- What resume header additions can take your resume from “eh” to effective.
- How to create a professional summary that explains why they should hire you.
- What sort of working experience stands out to hiring professionals.
- How to effectively showcase your skills and certifications.
Looking for related resumes?
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.
A hybrid resume format might be a better way to balance your skills and working experience with your prospective employer’s job requirements.
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.
2 beginner freelance writer resume header samples
If you do it right, before the hiring manager gets past your resume header, you’ll have them hook, line, and sinker.
Should I include a resume summary or objective?
For freelance writers just breaking into the writing world, consider employing a resume summary. This requires you to balance your skills with the requested skills of prospective employers.
Did we mention that a resume summary 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
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.
"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?"
How should you frame your freelance writer resume experience?
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)
- Graduation year
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.”
How to include your certifications on your resume
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.
Other sections for your resume
There are more sections that you can consider adding to your resume
- Language skills
- Hobbies and interests
- Volunteer work
- LinkedIn on Resume
- Resume Awards
These sections allow you to be a bit more playful about your resume.
Cover Letter for a Freelance Writer resume
In case the job description says you need to provide a cover letter, do include yours. Otherwise, you can always leave it out.
Nowadays, job application forms include questions like “why do you want to work here”, or “explain why you’re the best fit for us”, which makes you wonder are cover letters really necessary?
Still, they help you tell your story in a way that, if written right, it’s captivating and engaging.
In any case, you should pay close attention to the following tips when a cover letter is a must:
- Make sure you go over a cover letter checklist, not to forget what your cover letter should say;
- Match the cover letter design with your resume’s;
- Address your cover letter properly;
- Keep an eye on your cover letter length;
- Use a proper cover letter ending;
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.