Freelance Resume: How to List Freelance Work on Your CV

29.08.2018

For people who hold down a 9-5 job, creating a CV is a fairly straightforward process. However, if you’ve been freelancing for a while, you may start to despair at how to list the multiple projects and jobs you’ve taken on in a manageable order to impress future employers.

Many freelancers are frequently looking for new work, and your CV therefore needs to be constantly up-to-date and an excellent showcase of your skills and experience as a freelancer.

If you’ve been struggling to list your freelance work in a way that truly showcases what you can do, follow our tips here to really get your CV in shape.

 

Do you need a freelance resume?

If you have been freelancing alongside a full-time job, you may be tempted to leave your freelance work out of your resume altogether. 

However, you should only do this if you have ​notgained additional skills and experience in your role as a freelancer. If you have widened your skillset by freelancing, you may be shutting the door to potential opportunities by not letting employers know that via your CV. 

On the other hand, if you have only been freelancing as your main source of income, you should definitely be listing this work on your CV. Not listing your freelance projects will look like an employment gap on your CV, which never looks good to potential employers. 

Whether you’re staying in the freelance world long-term or are now looking to get back into the workforce, it is always beneficial to show potential employers what you have been doing up to this point.

 

Hint: Create multiple resumes

Many freelancers do more than just one specific type of freelance work. For example, you may have experience in both web development and web design.

In these cases, it may be worthwhile to create multiple CVs tailored towards the type of work you are applying for, e.g. development work, or design work.

Each CV should highlight your most significant experience in this niche and be tailored toward the type of employer to whom you are sending your CV. You can then include any other experience as a freelancer, but be sure to look more experienced and more suitable for the specific role you are applying for rather than appearing to be a little all over the place with your work.

Creating multiple resumes is a time-consuming process, but it can really pay off if you want to target different freelance niches and boost your chances of success in each field.

 

 

How to list your freelance work on your resume

There are a few different ways you can effectively list your freelance work on your resume, and this is often dependent on your previous experience and how long you have been freelancing.

A few options you might like to consider:

Chronologically

It is always a good idea to list your most recent experience at the top of your ‘Work’ section on your resume. You should include the company, the dates you worked for them, and a brief outline of your role and the responsibilities you had.

A chronological CV will list your experience in reverse-chronological order (from most recent to oldest). Formatting your CV this way is great if you have been working as a freelancer for several years and have held more long-term client contracts in a particular skill rather than picking up one-off projects here and there and for multiple types of work.

Skillset

Less experienced freelancers may prefer to format their resume according to skillset. This is also applicable if you have done a lot of different types of freelance work such as social media, SEO, copywriting, web design etc. 

If you list your freelance work according to skill, it might look something like:

  • Social Media

List your freelance experience in social media, including the client name, dates worked, and key responsibilities.

  • Copywriting

List your experience, client name, dates worked, responsibilities, and link to work if relevant.

If your freelance work is a little all over the place with projects showcasing a range of skills, ordering your resume this way will showcase all of your experience as a freelancer without confusing potential employers as to what you can actually offer as a freelancer.

Combination

Finally, it can be a good idea to list your freelance work as a combination of work experience and skills.

In this case, you would list your work experience in reverse-chronological order (most recent first), and then include a separate ‘Skills’ section to highlight other types of work you have done in the past. This is probably the most common, but it is all dependent on your resume’s specific needs.

 

Tips for creating a killer CV as a freelancer

Be ruthless 

Many freelancers, when first starting out, will take on lower-paying jobs in order to get a foot on the ladder. When listing your freelance work on your CV, it’s important to be ruthless and exclude any work that does not really showcase your skills as a freelancer.

This also applies to work you may have done in the beginning for free for family or friends. While this kind of work is great to put in your portfolio and on your resume when you are a new freelancer, you may want to remove this work from your CV once you have paying clients to replace it.

Show your work

As a freelancer, your work must speak for itself. Always include a link to your portfolio in your resume, directing potential employers to a showcase of your best work. 

While having an excellent CV is important, having a strong portfolio that demonstrates your skills as a freelance should be your top priority when trying to find more work. The CV is the icing of the cake: important, but not the foundation to a successful freelance career.

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