This begs the question - if you’re searching for a new job or a project, how do you stand out on your freelancer resume?
Does it look any different from your run-of-the-mill resume? Are there any specifics you need to be aware of?
And this is what we’re here to help you with.
Here is what you can expect from our complete guide:
- How to choose a format for your freelancer resume when starting from scratch
- Which resume layouts are better suited for clients. And which ones are preferred by recruiters.
- How to display your work even if you’re just doing it on the side
- How to shape your resume so that it doesn’t look scattered
- What other items you can add to supplement your work experience
General rules to follow when building your freelancer resume
You need to lay some groundwork before you start writing. As with any other resume, you have to make sure you know who’s going to read it.
Typically, you will send your resume either to a hiring manager or to the client.
If your target audience is hiring managers - use the standard resume format is the way to go.
But if you’re pitching directly to a potential client, you’re better off sending a service proposal.
Once you have that, your next task is to check if the position is open only to freelancers.
Why does it matter?
Your competition will be different.
There are two cases:
- Anyone can apply - the offered position fits into a traditional company setting. As such, you’re dealing with recruiters, expecting the resume + cover letter combo.
- Freelancers only - the job ad poster is searching for a consultant-type freelancer. Here is where the service proposal is, again, more appropriate.
In the first case, the employer can’t catch up on some of the company’s backlog and needs help clearing it up.
To that end, you will have to fit within the company’s established culture and workflow. Sometimes, these freelance gigs can turn into a long-term job position.
In the second case, the client is searching for a solution to a particular problem. It may not be a recurring issue, so there isn’t a need for a permanent job position offer.
Here is where your role as a consultant is much more valuable. Your best approach will be the service proposal.
Because it directly addresses how you can solve their problem.
Once you’re certain you’re going with a freelancer resume, it’s time to consider formats and substance.
These depend largely on the type of services you offer and your work experience. If you’re a graphic designer or a web developer, you will also have to update your portfolio.
Let’s go back to the intended reader for a bit.
Recruiters prefer the reverse-chronological format. It’s easier to skim and pick up on important pieces of information.
But, if you’re pitching your skills to a client, use the functional and hybrid layouts.
These templates give you enough space to reference relevant projects. Ultimately, their main purpose is to highlight your extensive set of skills.