As a freelancer, your resume is your primary marketing tool. It highlights your skills, experiences, and accomplishments to potential clients and helps you stand out from other freelancers in the industry.
A professional resume is a document that summarizes your educational background, work experience, soft skills, and achievements. You can use a resume when applying for a job or pitch your services to clients who may need your services.
This article uncovers how you can leverage your resume to get more clients as you grow in your freelance career. We will demonstrate how you can format your resume, some common mistakes you must avoid, and a few resume templates to guide you.
Why Do You Need a Resume?
Whether you’re applying for a job or seeking new freelance clients, a well-crafted resume is essential. It’s the first impression you make on potential employers or clients, and it can determine whether you get the job or project. It’s a way to introduce yourself to potential clients and demonstrate why you are the best person for the job.
Here’s why you need a resume as a freelancer:
- Attract new clients: A well-crafted resume can help attract new clients by showcasing your skills and the client you’ve already worked with. It’s often the first thing a potential client looks for, so making an excellent first impression is essential.
- Establish credibility: A resume helps establish your credibility as a freelancer. It shows that you take your work seriously and have the experience and skills to deliver quality freelance work.
- Demonstrate your value: Your resume is a chance to demonstrate the value you can bring to a client’s project. By highlighting your achievements and accomplishments, you can show that you have a track record of success and are a valuable asset to any project.
- Stand out from the competition: You can demonstrate why you are the best candidate by showcasing your unique skills and accomplishments.
How to Highlight Your Freelance Experience on a Resume
Your work experience is unique and often different from that of traditional employees. Here are some tips to highlight your freelance experience on your resume.
1. Use a clear and concise title
Your job title should clearly state that you are a freelancer, such as “Freelance Writer” or “Freelance Graphic Designer.” This will immediately indicate your experience working independently and managing your projects.
Avoid using ambiguous or generic titles, such as “Marketing Professional” or “Creative Specialist,” which could refer to someone who works in-house for a company. Your title should clearly state that you are a freelancer.
2. List your freelance work under a separate section
Create a separate experience section on your resume for your freelance work rather than mixing it in with your traditional employment history. This will allow potential clients to easily see your experience and the types of projects you’ve worked on.
Include the name of your freelance business, the dates of your freelance work, and a brief description of the projects you’ve accomplished. This will allow potential clients to easily see your experience and the types of projects you’ve worked on.
3. Showcase your achievements and accomplishments
Highlight your successes as a freelancer, such as completing projects on time or winning awards. This will show potential clients that you are a reliable and successful freelancer.
For example, instead of simply stating that you’ve worked on a project, you could say “Completed a complex website redesign project for a high-profile client within the deadline and under budget.” This emphasizes your ability to manage projects and meet client expectations.
4. Emphasize your skills
As a freelancer, you have developed a range of skills that are valuable to potential clients. Make sure to emphasize these skills, such as project management, using social media platforms, and time management.
As such, if you’re a freelance writer, highlight your research, writing, and editing skills. If you’re a freelance graphic designer, you might emphasize your skills in visual design, branding, and user experience.
5. Quantify your results
Include data or numbers that show the impact of your freelance work, such as the number of projects completed, the amount of revenue generated, or the percentage of clients who gave you repeat business.
Quantifying your results can help potential clients understand the value you can bring to their projects. For example, you might say, “Increased website traffic by 50% through a successful social media marketing campaign.”
Your portfolio showcases your best work and gives potential clients a sense of your style and abilities. Include a link to your portfolio on your resume so that potential clients can easily access it.
Ensure your portfolio is up-to-date and relevant to the projects you’re applying for. If you specialize in multiple areas, consider creating separate portfolios for each expertise.
7. Tailor your resume to the job
As with any resume, tailor your freelance resume to the job or project you’re applying for. Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job and customize your language to match the job description.
For example, suppose you’re applying for a freelance writing gig focused on technical writing. In that case, you might emphasize your specialized documentation experience and knowledge of industry-specific terminologies and concepts.
Tips for Formatting a Freelance Resume
In addition to highlighting your freelance experience, the formatting of your resume can also make a big difference in how it is perceived. Check out some helpful tips for a winning resume format.
1. Use clear headings
Use bold headings to separate different sections of your resume, such as “Work Experience” or “Skills.” This will make it easier for potential clients to find the information they want quickly.
2. Choose an appropriate font
Stick to a professional font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Avoid using decorative fonts or ones that are difficult to read.
3. Use bullet points
Break up long paragraphs by using bullet points. This makes your resume easier to scan.
4. Be mindful of white space
Use plenty of white space on your resume to make it look clean and organized. This can also draw attention to essential information.
5. Keep it concise
Keep your resume to up to two pages by focusing on the most critical information. Avoid overwhelming potential clients with too much detail.
6. Use a consistent format or resume layout
Be consistent in your formatting throughout your resume, using the same font, style, and spacing. This can help make your resume look polished and professional.
7. Consider using color or graphics
If appropriate for your industry, consider using color or graphics to make your resume stand out. Just keep it professional and avoid anything that looks too flashy or distracting.
Examples of Successful Freelance Resume
If you’re ready to make your resume stand out, here are some freelancers’ resume samples.
Sample 1: A straightforward, professional resume
WHY IT’S GREAT: The freelancer’s resume is supplemented with a graphical representation of her skills. The resume is also clean and concise. Source
Sample 2: A creative resume and cover letter
WHY IT’S GREAT: This resume and cover letter template allows you to highlight your work experience, skills and educational background. This is perfect for freelancers who are new in the industry. Source
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Freelance Resume
- Being too generic
Being too generic can make your resume blend in with the rest, causing you to miss out on potential opportunities. Instead, customize your resume for each job application. Use the job posting as a guide and tailor your skills and experience to the client’s specific needs.
Also, focus on highlighting your unique experiences and skills. For example, rather than simply stating that you’re a “creative writer,” you could underline your experience writing for a specific niche or industry, your ability to create compelling storytelling, or your success in generating client results.
This will help to differentiate you from other freelancers and make your resume more memorable.
- Overloading your resume with information
While it’s essential to include relevant details about your experience and skills, too much information can make your resume overwhelming and challenging to read. Stick to the most important information and focus on presenting it clearly and concisely.
Use bullet points so clients can scan your resume easily. Remember that your goal is to make it easy for clients to see why you’re a good fit for their project, so keep your resume focused and to the point.
- Not highlighting your unique skills
Identify the top skills that make you a valuable freelancer and emphasize them in your resume. This could include project management, communication, or specialized technical skills.
Use concrete examples from your past work to demonstrate how these skills have contributed to your success as a freelancer. By highlighting your unique talents, you are in a better position to stand out from other candidates and win the project you’re applying for.
- Failing to include a portfolio or work samples
Your portfolio is one of the most important components of your freelance resume. With samples of your work, potential clients may be able to gauge the quality of your work and may move on to someone else. Include links to your portfolio or work samples in your resume.
Choose a few examples of your best work that showcase your skills and expertise. Tailor your samples to the specific project or job you’re applying for to demonstrate your understanding of the client’s needs. By including a portfolio, you’ll help potential clients see your work’s quality and give them confidence in your abilities.
- Not proofreading your resume
Even the most qualified freelancers can be passed over if their resume contains spelling and grammar errors. Failing to proofread your resume can make you appear unprofessional and careless.
Take the time to carefully review your resume for errors and ask a friend or colleague to review it. Check for spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and formatting issues. Don’t forget to fact-check your resume as well.
- Focusing too much on your personal life
While including a few personal details on your resume can help to humanize you and make you more relatable to potential clients, it’s important not to overdo it. Focusing too much on your personal life can make you appear unprofessional and detract from the important information about your skills and experience.
Stick to details that are relevant to your work as a freelancer, such as your location or any relevant hobbies or interests. Some personal information is critical in your resume–such as your contact information or where you earned your bachelor’s degree–but adding in experiences that aren’t related to your experience or expertise may only do your resume more harm than good.
- Including irrelevant work experience
Irrelevant work experience can make it harder for potential clients to see the value and expertise you can bring to their projects. It can also make your resume unnecessarily long and cluttered, which can be off-putting to busy clients who are reviewing multiple resumes.
One of the best ways to avoid including irrelevant work experience is to create a targeted resume for each job or project you apply for. Customize your resume to emphasize the skills and knowledge that are most relevant to that particular job or project.
Bonus: Supplement Your Resume with a Cover Letter
Resumes and cover letters often go hand-in-hand. Both resumes and cover letters are essential documents typically submitted when applying for a job or freelance project. While a resume concisely summarizes your work experience, skills, and qualifications, a cover letter allows you to showcase your personality, enthusiasm, and interest in the position.
A well-crafted cover letter can complement your resume by providing additional context about your background and why you’re a good fit for the job. It allows you to connect personally with the hiring manager or client and help you stand out from other applicants.
The cover letter highlights all your relevant skills and experience and explains why you are interested in the job or project. It should also demonstrate your writing skills and attention to detail, as it will be one of the first things the hiring manager or client sees.
Creating a well-crafted resume is crucial for freelancers looking to establish their credibility and attract potential clients. Your resume should be tailored to showcase your unique skills, highlight your accomplishments, and provide examples of your best work.
While crafting a strong freelance resume is essential, it’s not the only thing you must consider when building your freelance career. Beppo offers a range of features that can help you establish yourself as a professional freelancer–from sending automated invoices to clients to complying with tax requirements.
Here are the features you will enjoy using the Beppo App:
- Track your income and expenses
- Send client invoices via SMS, Viber or email
- Set limits and automate your budget
- Get estimates of your taxes
- Connect and engage with other freelancers
- Get assistance when filing your taxes