If you’re a freelance writer, you’ll be asked about what you’ve written in the past. In this post, we give you eight ways to improve your freelance writing resume.
8 Ways To Improve Your Freelance Writing Resume
In a world where virtual has become the new norm, freelance writers have new competition! So how do you buff up your resume so that you stand out?
#1 – Find Your Niche
Let’s pretend that you are pregnant. That means you need a doctor. However, you wouldn’t hire an ophthalmologist when you need an obstetrician! It is the same for freelancers.
First, you need to figure out what kind of jobs you want. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you an expert in a specific subject?
- Does your background and education relate to the job?
- What experience do you have that is similar?
Decide on your specialty and then tailor your resume! Show employers why YOU are the person they need to turn to for content.
#2 – Pick Your Title
How about a technical writer or a grant writer? Do you focus on short form or long form content? Figure out your talent.
The employer is looking for an expert. Being a jack of all trades does you no good. Focus on one or two main strengths that tie together.
These terms will serve as your official title. Place them directly under your name at the top of the page.
#3 – Get Creative!
Many freelancers work remotely. Therefore, the interview will be likely be virtual as well. Therefore, you need to show a bit more personality on your resume.
Don’t wait to get creative halfway through the page. You are a WRITER! This is the perfect instance for you to flaunt your skill set.
Summarise your top projects and focus on similar work. Highlight your background in the subject. Mention jobs that you have done with related companies in the field.
If you can make a resume sparkle, then imagine what you can do for them as a content creator! Treat this as if you were writing a book. You want them to keep reading from the moment they pick up the page.
#4 – Keep Your Formatting Structure The Same
Never just list jobs out. Whether your previous work lasted three months or three years, keep the formatting the same. Make sure to include the company, your title and your job duties.
The most important thing is to specify the type of work. Was it a contract position, freelance work, or a regular job? Clarify these details to ensure that the hiring manager understands the role.
If you exclude these details, your work ethic can be misconstrued. Knowledge is power. Choosing to leave out key information can ruin a job opportunity.
#5 – Consider Two Pages
As a freelance writer, your resume can tend to get to be a bit long. The worst thing you can do is to stuff your resume so full of content that it becomes hard to read.
Do you have enough experience to fill over a page and a half? If so, then spread it out! If a recruiter can’t skim your resume, they are likely to throw it away.
In fact, resume studies have found that employers are more than twice as likely to hire someone with a two page resume versus a single sheet! Conversely, you will seem green if you don’t have enough contract work. Hiring managers, like myself, want someone that can get the job done with little training or fuss.
#6 – Modify Your Skills For The Job
Your goal is to focus on things that make you stand out. Avoid adding skills that you should clearly possess like ‘writing’ or ‘blogging’. Hiring managers want to know how you are going to help them.
Can you bring new content to the company? Will you increase viewers on their page? Do you know how to raise their rank on Google?
Do you understand search engine optimization? Do you know how to use key words and internal and outbound links? Will you apply headings and subheadings to allow for an easy read?
List these skills to help increase your chances of landing more freelance jobs! Also, don’t forget soft skills. These are all important traits that companies want to see!
- Do you have a quick turnaround time?
- Can you solve problems when they come up?
- Do you know how to use platforms like WordPress?
#7 – Add In Client Reviews
The proof is in the pudding! Add reviews to give the recruiter an outside perspective. This allows them to learn about your skill set and work ethic.
This also saves them the trouble of having to call and ask about you!
#8 – Put Together A Collection Of Your Work
If you can’t prove it, then how do we know you can really do it? This thought process seems to span from the playground all the way to the workplace. Create a portfolio to show your experience in this field.
The best way to accomplish this is to put all of your work on a simple web page. Writing samples, social media posts and video clips should be used. Put your work into categories.
Don’t have work to display? Take small jobs to get the ball rolling and go from there! Once you have work to exhibit, put a link to your portfolio at the top of your resume.
[Tip: If you want to improve your business writing, explore our Business Writing Workbooks]
by McLean Mills. McLean is a career coach and resume writer who covers career topics. He used to be a career advisor for University of Florida. He is a regular contributor to Monster.com and Business2Community. Follow him on Twitter @mcleanmills7
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