Captain of the ship, calling the shots, charting your own course. Whatever you call it, you’re a freelancer. And whether you do it part-time, full-time, or some of the time, freelance work is work, and that work is something you want to put on your resume.
Putting freelance work on your resume has benefits, so check out these tips and tricks to help you out.
Choose Your Resume Wisely
Before you worry about how to put self-employment on your resume, first figure out what kind of resume is best for your situation. While you’re probably most familiar with the chronological resume (a list of your jobs in date order, starting with the most recent job and working backward to the first one), there are other resume styles that may work better for your specific situation.
A functional resume groups your skills into categories (like graphic design, writing, administrative, etc.), and within each group, you highlight your accomplishments. A hybrid resume is part chronological resume, part functional resume.
Though each resume has pros and cons to consider, it is surprisingly easy to include your freelance work on each of these resumes. Simply treat your freelance work like you would any other position on your resume and incorporate it accordingly. Here are some samples:
Make It Match
If you’re using your resume to apply for open positions, you should customize every resume you send out. That means customizing your freelance information, too.
Read through the job posting and identify the important keywords. As you rewrite your resume, incorporate these keywords.
There are more ways to customize your resume (and cover letter, too). However, when it comes to figuring out how to put freelance work on your resume, you may need to take a few more steps to customize that experience to ensure your resume is a perfect fit.
It may be tempting to invent a title that encompasses everything you do as a freelancer, but use a job title that accurately reflects what you do and is easily recognizable to many: writer, designer, programmer. While it may not reflect all that you do as a freelancer, narrowing your job title down to the “meat” of what you do makes it easier for people to understand what jobs you are most suited for.
Like any position you include on your resume, you want to summarize the key experiences you have and the essential things you do. That said, just like the job title, you don’t want to necessarily include everything that you have done. Consider cutting back on your freelance experiences and include only the things that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for.
For example, if you’re applying for a writing position, you’ll want to list your writing and editing skills, since these are related to the job. And you might want to include your research experience and SEO experience since those might be relevant to the position as well (or position you as more qualified than other applicants).
Highlight Your Skills
Though you don’t want to include your unrelated or irrelevant experience, you could include it in the skills section if it helps demonstrate some of the “softer” skills that employers want in all employees.
Add a Portfolio
Include a link to your digital portfolio or personal website with your resume. This is a place for you to gather all of your professional accomplishments, highlights, and samples of your work and client references and recommendations. It’s also a strong personal branding opportunity.
In addition to a personal website, you can also use LinkedIn. You can collect references and recommendations, add samples of your work, and have a static (but recent) copy of your resume in one handy place.
Showcasing Your Freelance Experience
Your freelance work is something you should be proud of and something that deserves a spot on your resume.
Resume writing is part art and part science. And sometimes, a second set of experienced eyes is exactly what you need to find the right balance on yours. We offer resume reviews to members at a discounted price. Not a member? Learn about the benefits of FlexJobs today!