The Freelancer Resume

Joe Szynkowski |

Yes, it’s getting easier than ever to freelance. Elance, oDesk, People Per Hour, Fiverr, Freelancer and many more – the list of online job portals have made finding freelance work easier than ever. This overloaded marketplace has also made it the most competitive time in the history of contract work.

And it doesn’t look to be clearing up anytime soon.

But what does this mean for the resume of the freelancer?

Is it a dinosaur, stumbling around the online job board world all extinct and stuff? Or is it more important than ever, helping you land those dream gigs like the T-Rex you are?

Prehistoric puns aside, the importance of the freelancer resume in 2015 is probably somewhere in the middle.

Here’s why it is still relevant:

  • No matter how digitized the job market has become (online portfolios, personal websites, social media), many recruiters still prefer the traditional resume when sourcing candidates. It helps them keep organized records of their applicants and makes life easier on them since you’re the one submitting information compared to them searching for it online.
  • A resume is a marketing document, selling your skills and key specialties. As businesses are looking for more and more “Just In Time” workers to complete special projects, it’s important to show recruiters specific examples of how you’ve completed similar initiatives in the past. The resume is customizable on every submission, unlike your static website.

Unless you have a crystal ball…

You may be content in your freelance role today. Taking on referral work and building your business slowly but surely. But what happens if you get an offer to come back to the (gasp) corporate world? The first thing a recruiter will ask for is your resume.

I know. You hardly have enough time to shower, finish your work and play with the kids. How are you supposed to fit updating your resume on your jam-packed calendar?

Here’s the trick.

You have to mix the process into your other “administrative” functions. As freelancers, we should be spending about 30 minutes a week on our financials – updating our profit & loss statement, moving money into our tax accounts to stay on the IRS’ good side.

This is also the perfect time to add to our resumes. Think of it as just another piece of boring, yet necessary work for your self-run business. Nobody wants to do it, but you really have to if you want to stay on top of things.

My next post covers the actual content within a freelancer resume. What sections rule the rest? What should you omit? Stay tuned.

Joe Szynkowski is a Certified Professional Resume Writer with 1,000+ happy clients across the world. Find me here or @JoeSzynkowski.


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