How to Put Freelance Work on Your Resume—From Amateur to Master

how-to-put-freelance-work-on-resume
How to Put Freelance Work on Your Resume

Nowadays, it is no longer uncommon for an individual to be an expert in their field while simultaneously working a 9 to 5 job at the office and outside personal projects as a freelancer. Therefore, the need to skillfully put freelance work on a resume is gradually gaining popularity among talented freelancers. Whether you're a graphic designer who has shaped brand identities or a writer who has crafted compelling stories, each freelance project is a chapter in your career story. When you know how to tailor freelance work items and include them in an attractive way on your resume, it makes you an irresistible prospect to potential employers.

What is a Freelancing Resume?

Many employees engage themselves in freelance work at various points in their careers. Whether it's a strategic career change, filling a gap between jobs, or simply pursuing a side hustle, freelancing has become a ubiquitous part of many professional journeys. But when it comes to representing this experience on a resume, many are left wondering how to effectively showcase these freelance endeavors. This is where a freelancing resume comes into play.

A freelancing resume is not just a list of experience; it is a carefully crafted document that highlights your diverse skill set, adaptability, and professional growth. Unlike a traditional resume, which typically focuses on long-term employment in specific roles, a freelancing resume provides a platform to showcase the varied experiences and unique skills you've gained through freelance work.

Putting freelance work on your resume is pivotal for several reasons:

  • Highlight Diverse Skills: Freelance projects often require a jack-of-all-trades mentality. Whether you're a writer, designer, consultant, or any other type of freelancer, you've likely worn multiple hats and developed a broad skill set. This diversity is showcasing your ability to adapt and excel in various roles.
  • Showing Adaptability: The world of freelancing work is unpredictable and demands a high level of adaptability. By demonstrating how you've successfully navigated the challenges of freelance work, you're also showing potential employers your resilience and flexibility. These are highly sought-after traits in today's ever-changing work environment.
  • Demonstrate Professional Growth: Freelancing often involves continuously learning and evolving to meet the demands of different projects and clients. This ongoing professional development is a testament to your commitment to growth and can be highly appealing to employers looking for self-motivated and progressive candidates.

As you structure your freelancing resume, remember to keep these points in mind. By doing so, you'll not only illustrate your rich, varied experience but also demonstrate how these experiences make you an invaluable asset to potential employers.

📚 Further reading: How to Set Career Goals Effectively [Plus 120+ Career Goal Examples]

How to Write a Freelance Resume?

Creating a freelance resume that effectively showcases your skills and experiences requires understanding its structure and components. Unlike traditional resumes, a freelance resume emphasizes varied skills and independent project experiences. Let's break down the essential sections and how to optimize them.

Contact Information and Header

This section is your introduction. It should include your name, phone number, email, and professional website or LinkedIn profile. It is crucial to make this information easily accessible, but remember to leave out personal details like gender, age, or home address for privacy and relevance.

Professional Summary/Profile

While optional, a professional summary can be a powerful tool. It’s a brief statement that puts your key freelance achievements and skills at work. Incorporate relevant keywords to enhance visibility and alignment with the roles you're targeting. 

Skills Section

In a freelancing resume, the skills section is paramount. Here, list the relevant skills you've honed through your freelance work. Think broadly – include technical skills, soft skills, and any specialized knowledge pertinent to your field. This section is your opportunity to showcase the unique abilities you bring to the table.

Work Experience

Structure your freelance work experience clearly and effectively. Follow this format:

  • Title: Start with "Freelance [Your Profession]" 
  • Timeframe: Specify the duration 
  • Nature of Freelancing: Briefly describe your freelance niche 
  • Notable Clients or Key Achievement: Highlight any high-profile clients or significant projects.

Example:

  • Title: Freelance Graphic Designer
  • Timeframe: June 2020 - Present
  • Nature: Specializing in digital marketing and brand identity design.
  • Key Achievement: Designed a successful social media campaign for ABC Tech, leading to a 20% increase in their online engagement within three months.

How to List Freelance Work on your Resume?

For professionals who are not full-time freelancers but have engaged in freelance work, incorporating this experience into a standard resume can greatly enhance your job application. The structure for listing freelance work is similar to what's used in a dedicated freelance resume, with a focus on relevance and impact.

Firstly, it's essential to select freelance work that is relevant to the job you're applying for. Unless the job description calls for a wide array of skills, prioritize freelance experiences that align with the specific role or industry. This strategic selection demonstrates your applicable skills and experiences directly to potential employers.

Here are some practical tips to effectively put freelance work on your resume:

Tip 1: Add a Key Projects Section

If you have multiple freelance projects, consider creating a 'Key Projects' section. This can be a part of your work experience section or stand alone. Here, highlight significant projects that showcase your skills and achievements relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Tip 2: Group Similar Freelance Projects Together

Gather the projects you have worked on by similar nature and categorize them in groups.

For example, if you have worked on many small projects related to Business Development Associate, you can put them on your resume as "Business Development Associate - Projects (2021-2023)". 

You can list the smaller projects as bullet points and add some outstanding descriptions. The most important thing is that you can show your achievements such as sales or KPIs results. If any, the new skills you learned from that project are also a factor that will make your resume stand out by putting in those freelance work.

Tip 3: Link to Your Portfolio

Create a portfolio of freelance work you've done and add a link to it on your resume. Providing a link will make it easier for employers or people interested in your work to access your experience more directly and intuitively. This is especially useful when you do work related to media and content creation. Published content such as content, articles, images and videos are vivid evidence that reflects your skills. You can also refer to some more detailed instructions on creating a freelance portfolio here.

how-to-put-freelance-work-on-resume
A link to a portfolio will provide the employers more information to evaluate your freelancing experience.

💡 Pro tips: Remember to tailor your resume to each job application, putting the freelance work that best aligns with the job requirements. By following these tips, you can effectively showcase your freelance experience on a traditional resume, demonstrating the diverse skills and adaptability you bring to potential employers.

Freelance Resume Sample

Creating an impactful freelance resume is key to showcasing your skills and experiences. Below is a sample resume for a “Freelance Graphic Designer”, illustrating how to effectively incorporate freelance work.

how-to-put-freelance-work-on-resume
Through this sample, you can refer to additional information related to Skills, Key Projects and Achievements based on the nature of your freelance work

Conclusion

Effectively putting freelance work on your resume is a powerful way to showcase your diverse skills and adaptability in today's dynamic job landscape. We've covered the essentials, from understanding the importance of a freelancing resume to structuring it with precision. Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or blending freelance projects with traditional roles, the key is to tell your professional story compellingly.

For more tips on resume crafting and career development, don't forget to explore CakeResume. We offer a wealth of resources that can guide you further in your career journey. Remember, your freelance experience is more than just work; it's a narrative of your growth and capabilities. Let your resume reflect that story, and step confidently into your next career opportunity.

CakeResume is a free resume maker and portfolio builder that provides hundreds of resume templates (free download) and various job resume examples to help showcase the best you. Landing your dream job will be a piece of cake!

— Originally Written by Andrea Do —

Resume Builder

Build your resume only in minutes!

More Articles you might be interested in

Latest relevant articles
Resume & CV
May 17th 2024

What to Write in an Email When Sending a Resume [+ Examples & Tips]

Looking for guidance on writing an effective email to send resume? Discover expert tips and email examples to maximize your chances of landing that dream job!