I’ve got a confession: even after 4 years of out-earning my full-time salary as a freelancer, sometimes I dream about what it would be like to transition out of freelancing and apply for a job. One with a generous technology budget, funny and talented co-workers and a year-long maternity leave policy.
But, like most freelancers, I’ve filled my time with what might seem like a haphazard array of projects: long-term monthly engagements for medium-sized companies, small ad hoc assignments for various agencies and enormous yet one-time projects for big brands. In my time as a freelancer, I’ve become exponentially more employable… but it’s harder than ever to organize my freelance resume.
If your next career challenge is taking you away from working for yourself and back into the job market, here are four can’t-miss freelance resume writing tips from HRBartender’s hiring expert Sharlyn Lauby:
1. Highlight your expertise
While you should also highlight your ability to complete work as part of a team, don’t shy away from highlighting what you’re really good at: “Freelancers are highly desirable when departments need a specialized skill,” explains Lauby. “Companies hire freelancers because they want a result, so your freelance resume should reflect your accomplishments, not simply what you’ve been responsible for.”
2. Quantify your accomplishments
This is one piece of advice that’s the same for every resume: use specific numbers and examples to illustrate what you can bring to a full-time position: “Both candidates and freelancers need to demonstrate their ability to get stuff done, and they need to quantify it,” says Lauby. “Whether you’re a candidate or consultant, there’s a big difference in saying ‘I helped to reduce turnover.’ And ‘In my first year, I helped reduce turnover by more than 50 percent.’
3. Win with whitespace
When you think your freelance resume has all the information it needs, take a bird’s eye look at it for whitespace: “I’m a firm believer in the value of white space,” explains Lauby. “Think about readability and be strategic about what’s on your resume – include bullet points, numbers, etc. to draw readers to the words on your resume.”
4. Review your freelance resume backward
While most hiring managers scan resumes from the top down, some don’t: “My ‘trick’ for reading resumes is to read them from the bottom up,” says Lauby. “Resist the urge to junk up your resume with a bunch of trivial information at the end to fill space. Make sure you sound as interesting at the bottom as you do at the top.”
If you’re thinking about making the transition out of freelancing, don’t be afraid of your resume. Use these tips to create a freelance resume that summarizes your solo work and emphasizes all the talents you’ll bring to a team.