Monday, August 25, 2014

*UPDATE* The Perfect Freelance Writers Resume That'll Bring All The Clients To The Yard

*UPDATE* The FCCO Forum Discusses Freelance Writing Resumes

Hey freelancers! If you haven't joined the forum yet, get on over there and "Ask for an Invite". We're at about 40 members and the discussions are starting to update daily. With your input and questions, we'll be well on our way to becoming one of the best freelance writing forums on the Web. 

Here is a perfect example of the helpful things we're talking about over in the forum. This one was so relevant and useful, I had to update this freelance writer's resume post with the information. Check out the member advice and then don't forget to join the forum:

Iva Asked: "I have issues with resumes and maybe some of you can help. I have read from a few freelance writing gurus that you should never have to submit a resume when applying for a freelance writing gig but most of the jobs I come across ask for resumes. One of my issues is that I DON'T have a resume for writing as I am just breaking into the freelance writing field. How would I even make up a resume for these jobs? My other question is how many of you DO have resumes, what do they look like and can someone help??..:)~ Thanx guys!"

The community answers were just awesome. Here's a few:


Sandy Answered:  "I have seen some jobs that want a resume and others that do not. I would suggest that you do two things:

First, I know you haven't written much because you're new to writing, but write something and join one of the free portfolio sites to post it on. Write an article about one of your passions, and post it in your portfolio as a writing example. There are  free portfolio sites that you can check out and you can follow this link to more sites:  http://www.sessions.edu/notes-on-design/top-8-portfolio-sites-for-2014.. I use Pressfolio.com for my portfolio. Once you have a portfolio site, you can give the client the link and let them check it out. You can also refer them back to your LinkedIn portfolio as I know many writers do that.

Secondly, if the company/client wants a resume, then they want a resume. Write one up and gear it towards the position they're offering. Vivian is absolutely right when she says to list your skills--communication, organizational, supervisory, etc., Hiring managers usually look for other things besides writing. So, if you worked somewhere and saved that company $57K in some type of budget analysis, that's important and put it down! That shows initiative, attention to detail, you can work the numbers, and more. I hope that helps. My background is HR and I write resumes."

Vivian Answered: "As I have followed this post about resumes,  I thought about what I had written about a descriptive narrative and the similarities to a resume.  A resume is a description of your work history, your skills and knowledge, and your professionalism among other things.  This was a new thought process for me because I typically have thought about resumes as a required necessity---I had never thought about a resume as painting a picture of myself for people who don't know me.  The cover letter is an additional opportunity to add to specific details to my description.  I was  thinking about how use this insight to help me land a job.  One of the things I am considering is developing a checklist of things I want in my picture; then reviewing my resume to see if it paints the descriptive picture I want.

Some of the things I am considering for my generic descriptive checklist are:

- Stability
- Results Oriented
- Self Starter
- People Person
- Big Picture
- Creative

These are all things that are typically common to the types of jobs I am seeking regardless of the functional title of a particular job. This was just a new way for me to rethink my resume and I thought I would share it with you for what it is worth."

There's more conversations and discussions like this over at the freelance writing for profit's forum. All freelancers are welcome to join our small but growing family! Come on over and get to know everyone!


*END UPDATE*


I’ve spent a lot of time on ad sites like ProBlogger querying potential clients and applying to freelance writing jobs. There is the potential to make some good money and even land full-time employment through these sites. Most of the ads I see ask for a resume along with samples and a query letter. But how do you create a resume as a freelance writer? Do you include your work history even though it may not be associated with writing? How do you showcase skills and knowledge acquired through means other than on-the-job experience? These questions have been turning hairs gray for years. However, there is a relatively simple answer: the skills resume.

The skills resume essentially flips the script on the old chronological resume. Instead of focusing on your work history, you take that obscure little box containing ‘Other Experience’ and make it the main feature. This is an acceptable alternative to a chronological resume, especially as a freelance writer. Let’s look at the basic anatomy of a skills resume.


1.       Contact Information
a.       As with any resume, list how employers can reach you.
b.      As a freelance writer, be sure to include your personal website or blog.
2.       Objectives
a.       The obligatory objectives section isn’t necessary on a skills resume. However, if you do choose to include one, be sure to keep it short and sweet. A couple lines will work.
3.       Qualifications
a.       This is the main portion of a skills resume. Using a targeted title for this section is a good idea. For example, Editing Qualifications if you’re applying for an editorial position.
b.      This is the section that you’ll change for each job. If the employer asks for specific skills, include them here along with your writing experience.
c.       For most internet-based, content creation jobs, it’s a good idea to include your familiarity with SEO tactics and keyword optimization.
4.       Work History
a.       To include or to not include, that is the question. The easy answer is ‘it ain’t gonna hurt’. Even if your work history has nothing to do with writing, put it in there. Just don’t make it the focus.
b.      If your past employment involved anything writing related, no matter how obscure, be sure to include it. Even if it is something as simple as ‘contributed to company newsletter’.
c.       Be sure to keep this section short. Include job title, dates of employment, supervisors name and contact information. Summarize the position in 2 lines or less. If you received achievements or promotions, list those as well.
d.      Don’t put reasons for leaving or anything negative about previous employment.
5.       Education
a.       As with a chronological resume, it’s important to include an area to list your educational achievements.
b.      If you have a college degree, you don’t have to include your high-school information.
c.       Be sure to list any continuing or alternative education that is relevant to the job for which you’re applying. This can be vocational, on-the-job or even online courses.
d.      A lot of editorial or writing employers require a college degree. The thing is, most will take experience in lieu of a degree, so don’t let this deter you from applying.
d. The great part about freelance writing is that anyone can do it as long as they have a moderate grasp of grammar and a knack for writing. Having little to know education won't hold you back unless you let it. I only have a GED and a few semesters of college, but I'm still able to earn a respectable living from writing online.
6.       Awards, Memberships and Certifications
a.       Be sure anything that is listed here is related to writing.
b.      If your website has won any significant awards, list them as well.
7.       Personal Information
a.       Back in the day, it was considered acceptable to include information about yourself such as hobbies and pastimes. Unless they’re relevant to writing or the job you’re applying for, feel free to leave this section out.
b.      You may consider including alternative information so employers can get a feel for who you are, such as your LinkedIn or Facebook profile.

In addition to the freelance writers resume, it’s important to include a list of your best published work. This can be either print or digital publications. Double space the title of each article with where and when it was published and include URLs if appropriate. Keep both your resume and publication list to one page each unless you have extensive relevant experience.


Creating a good, targeted skills resume will help you land the freelance writing job of your dreams. Using this alternative resume will showcase your qualifications and experience better than traditional methods. There are numerous resources online to download free templates. Just include the information listed here, and you should be on your way to landing a great freelance writing job. 

9 comments :

Kara Howell said...

Ahh! This is what I've been looking for, thanks for sharing your link from linkedin :) I will be able to write a writer's resume now, and I will also be stalking your blog for more info lol

Michael Davis said...

Lol! Glad it helped and feel free to stalk away!

Kalepherion said...

Thanks for the useful information. I will be putting it to good use.

Michael Davis said...

Great! Hope it helps and I wish you freelance success!

Rama lingam said...

Very thoughtful and useful tips for preparing a freelancer resume.

Anonymous said...

Great tips indeed for preparing and creating a Freelance Writing Resume. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information!

Michael Davis said...

I sincerely hope it was helpful. I added a forum to the site. It's pretty bare right now, but I'd like to invite everyone to join and ask questions or tell your story. Hopefully, we can build a little community of writers so that we can trade ideas and talk shop. Good luck to everyone and I wish you all success.

Iva Ursano said...

I finally did it even better than the last one!!..This resume writing thing will be the death of me!! LOL. I took all your advice and just spent the entire evening revamping it again! She's finally done now and I'm ready to rock! Thanx again Mikey. :))

Michael Davis said...

SWEET IVA!!! That's a big hurdle to get over. Awesome that you jumped it. Took me a long time to get around to making mine, but it is really important! I'm so stoked for you!!! Now you're gonna start raking in the fat cat clients! GO IVA!!!