One of the best parts of working as a freelance writer is you’re free from the yoke of having to submit resumes, or at least that’s what you’d think. Even as a freelancer, you’re expected to submit a resume for some jobs, which means you need to keep yours up to date.
As a freelance writer, your resume might not look like most people’s. Your work history will look completely different than someone with a traditional job, as will your qualifications. Knowing how to tackle these elements is key to putting together a resume that makes you look professional.
In this article, we’ll talk about what you should include in your freelance writing resume and go over some examples of resumes done right (which you can copy from!). Let’s get that resume ready!
Do You Need a Resume as a Freelance Writer?
For the most part, you can get away with only having a portfolio as a freelance writer. It’s not all that common for people to ask to see your resume, but it all depends on what type of freelance writing jobs you’re applying to.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re applying for more ‘general’ writing jobs, resumes usually never come up in the conversation. For technical, legal, and medical writing, however, you will have to whip out that resume often.
More specialized writing jobs tend to pay a lot better. However, the barrier to entry for those types of gigs is also high. To deter people without the proper qualifications from applying, employers often require you to submit a resume.
Unless you’ve never had a traditional job, you know submitting a resume doesn’t need to be something scary. Most of us have one and all we do is update it from time to time.
Once you start looking at other people’s resumes, you’ll quickly notice most of them suck. People in general often have no idea what they should include in theirs or how to format them. If you know how to do both those things well, your resume will stand out not only among other freelancers, but in general, and that’s never a bad thing.
What to Include in a Freelance Writing Resume
Generally speaking, the same rules apply to freelance writing profiles as with ‘regular’ ones. There are three elements that you can’t miss:
- Contact information. You can include your business address here and your email should be front and center. If you communicate with clients via phone, put it down here as well.
- Work history. As freelance writers, we’re prone to jump from job to job. When someone asks me what my work history is, I focus on long-term projects I’ve worked on lately and make sure to mention standout articles I’m proud of. Do the same with your resume (I’ll show you a couple of examples later!).
- A link to your portfolio. This should be right below or alongside your email, so employers can visit your portfolio right away.
- What your strengths as a freelancer are. Are you a top-tier researcher or do you specialize in a specific type of content? This is the section to include that information in, preferably in list format.
All of this stuff is pretty straightforward. One thing you want to keep an eye out for, however, are gaps in your employment history. Since you can’t include every little gig you’ve worked on during the last few years, write something more generic to avoid gaps, such as “Freelance Writer” or “Freelancer” such as in this example:
Now that you know what to look out for, let’s check out some concrete examples you can copy from to update or put together your own resume.
2 Examples of Freelance Writing Resumes You Can Copy From
For this section, we’re going to take a look at a couple of freelance writing resume templates you can use. I’ve chosen these examples, in particular, because they showcase the kind of style you should aim for, as well as the elements you want to include. Let’s take a look!
If you’re still rocking a resume without a single splash of color, throw it away. It’s 2020 and there’s no excuse for resumes to look boring.
With that in mind, there are two things this resume example does great. The first one is including a dedicated section for featured projects. That’s where you can talk about your best articles and share links to them.
Secondly, the resume includes a separate list of your skills. That’s where you tell potential employers you’re an expert writing about web development, legal stuff, medical marijuana, you name it. You want all that information in a separate section so it’s easy to find and to skim. The sad truth is, most people only skim resumes, so you want to ensure the layout you use adapts to that.
Although this example isn’t as colorful, I like it because it includes a dedicated section for you to write a little bit about yourself. That’s something I and most freelance writers do in our portfolios. It gives clients an idea of who they’re dealing with.
The only thing missing here is a link to your portfolio. When it comes to freelance writing resumes, you can also skip the education section sometimes. If your degree isn’t relevant to your skill set as a freelance writer, there’s no need to add it.
As a rule of thumb, your resume should be lean and mean, so employers don’t get bored halfway through. If there’s anything that’s not relevant to your skills as a writer, cut it.
Putting together a resume scares a lot of people. However, it all comes down to being picky about the elements you include and proper presentation. If you get those two things right, you’ll stand out from the rest of the applicants, whether it’s a freelance job or not.
Do you have any questions about how to put together a freelance writing resume? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!