Freelance Writers must have a stellar resume in order to entice the toughest of clients and the most prestigious of publications. This is a hard job in a difficult industry, so you need to make sure your resume is up to par.
The job of a Freelance writer is never boring! You may be writing blog posts, researching your next article, or outlining a sure-to-be bestseller as a ghost writer. There's an abundance of opportunities, and to catch the shiniest stars you need a stellar resume.
In this article, we’ll discuss
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The first step to drafting your resume is deciding which resume format to use. This depends on your career experience and skillset.
You have 3 main options for your resume:
Tip: only include jobs relevant to the position to which you’re applying, so leave out any former jobs that don’t fit. For example, do include previous work experiences as a Blog Writer, Content Writer, or Magazine Editor.
Tip: Read our advice on How to Explain Employment Gaps on a Resume.
Tip: When in doubt, choose the Reverse-Chronological resume format. For more details, check out our guide on How to Write Your Resume in Reverse-Chronological Order.
For a Freelance Writer, hiring managers want to glance at your resume and get a sense of the following:
The best format for a Freelance Writer depends on your amount of experience and if you've held any formal positions. Use a Reverse-Chronological resume format if, for example, you created, frequently contributed to, or managed a blog -- in addition to writing other things.
If you’ve written for a bunch of publications, then use a Functional resume format with headers like “Clients,” “Experience,” “Clips” and “Niches” or “Special Topics.” You’ll list your publications under the “Experience” tab while mentioning your types of content under “Niches” or “Special Topics” (e.g., science writing, writing about animals, food blogger, etc.).
Did you know that only 10% of job applications result in interview invites?
While this is certainly an optional section, your resume summary is one of the best ways to land that interview.
But first --- what is a resume summary?
A resume summary is one or two sentences at the top of your paper that summarizes your entire resume. It’s the punch line that gets the resume reviewer wanting to know more.
For a Freelance Writer career, include the following points in your summary
Here is an example of a bad resume summary:
Experienced Freelance Writer with publications covering a variety of topics.
This is a bad resume summary because it is incredibly vague. How many years of experience do you have? What kinds of topics do you write about? What makes you stand apart from countless other applicants?
Here is an example of a good resume summary:
Enthusiastic and dependable Freelance Writer with 6+ years of experience. Skilled in content writing and social media strategies. Author of New York Times best-selling YA novel and popular health food blog. Published in National Geographic and Cosmopolitan. Seeking full-time staff writing position.
This is a good resume summary because it gives a sense of who you are -- dependable and organized -- while listing your accomplishments and years of experience. Lastly, the summary includes a resume objective, telling the employer that you want a full-time staff writing position.
A Resume Objective tells the employer what kind of position you are seeking.
While this is certainly optional, it can help employers understand what you want from them and what you can offer. Put another way, a resume objective clarifies your intentions to employers. Plus, it can help to show why you are a good fit for the job.
For more information, checkout our guide on How to Write a Killer Resume Summary. Or, browse our Resume Summary Examples.
The next step to drafting your resume is to list your work experience. This includes the name of your position (See: The Right Way to List Job Titles on a Resume), the name of the location at which you worked, and the length of time in which you worked.
Your work experience should include the following:
Be sure to use strong action verbs in each of your bullet points. Here are a few to get you started:
Tip: Don’t start every bullet point with the same verb -- that will get old real quick! Instead, mix it up a bit. If you do use the same verb often (e.g., “wrote”) don’t put those bullet points next to each other.
You should also quantify your resume whenever possible. This means adding a number -- such as a dollar amount or percentage -- to your accomplishments. Quantifying your resume gives the hiring manager a more concrete idea of your workplace performance. For example, say that you “Wrote 3 articles a month for Science Daily,” “Developed and launched social media campaigns that increased fanbase by 24%,” or “Generated $30,000 in sales revenue from blog posts advertising the benefits of cotton shirts for athletes.”
Tip: One way to quantify your resume is by listing your accomplishments and awards. These can be awarded to you by your workplace (“Employee of the Month”) or from your industry (“Freelance Writer of the Year”).
For more information on how to format your work experience, check out our guide on How to Describe Work Experience.
Don’t have any work experience? We have a guide for Writing a Resume with No Work Experience!
Skills show the hiring manager what you can do for the company -- without taking up too much space in the “work experience” part of your resume.
There are two types of skills -- soft and hard. “Soft” skills are those that are not quantifiable and are more indicative of your personality. Examples include leadership, problem-solving, and communication. In contrast, “hard” skills are those that are learned through formal education. Examples include computer technology, programming languages, and certifications.
While Freelance Writers need to, of course, be good at writing, be sure to include a variety of other skills in order to show employers that you are a well-rounded and adaptable employee!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Relevant Soft Skills
Relevant Hard Skills
Tip: When completing this section on your resume, review the employers’ job requirements. Try to incorporate some of the language they use. For example, if the job description states they need someone who has “exceptional communication skills, good organizational skills, and the ability to work independently and within a team,” then be sure to include some of these keywords. List “Communication” and “Organization” under the skills section.
If you want a more complete list of skills, read our guide on 100+ Key Skills for a Resume in 2021 with Examples for any Job.
Freelance Writers don’t necessarily need a formal education. However, having a degree can help you stand out to employers.
When writing your education section, be sure to include:
Still uncertain on what to include in this section? Review our guide on How to List Education on Your Resume in 2021.
Certifications show employers that you’re expanding on your skills and diversifying your experiences. Not only are you more knowledgeable, but you’re also more employable.
While there aren’t certifications specific to Freelance Writing, there are plenty geared towards marketing that can help you land those kinds of jobs.
*Certification programs include:
For more information on certifications, check out our guide on How to Include Certifications on Your Resume the Right Way.
Now it’s time for the fun part -- picking the aesthetics of your resume!
Here at EasyResume, we offer several different templates.
Your resume template should reflect the job to which you’re applying. For a Freelance Writing career, almost any of these will work. We recommend our Professional or Creative templates!
If you want to create your own template, read how with our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Resume Template in Microsoft Word.
We’ve done it! Almost.
Now it’s time to get down to business -- actually creating the resume.
Here’s what you need to do:
Start from our resume example to save time.
Good luck and have fun writing your next piece!
*The certifications listed in this article were adapted from “Writing Thoughts”
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