As a freelance writer, you've got a website, blog and a boatload of business cards. What more do you need?
You need a freelance writer resume.
Why Do You Need a Freelance Writer Resume?
I always prefer to have my clients come to me, either because they found my website, my blog or an ad I've placed. That's the easiest for me - no digging through the want ads, fighting my way to the top over other qualified candidates. My clients will find my online portfolio and that's usually enough to convince them. But even still, I keep a working resume handy.
You need a freelance writer resume:
- in case a potential client requests it
- when you are searching the want ads
- when you're trying to score a major contract with a large, established company
- so you can keep track of everything you've done
- to highlight things that don't belong in your portfolio (like the fact you have a BA in psych or that you ghostwrote a series of books, articles or blogs)
What a Freelance Writer Resume MUST Contain
A freelance writer resume has to be flexible, on point and reflective of your best work.
At minimum, a solid freelance writer resume contains:
- your name and contact information
- a flexible objective statement that can be changed
- a summary of your qualifications
- a summary of your freelance writing experience
- your education level, if applicable
Every resume you send out to a prospective client, just like with regular brick-and-mortar jobs, has to be targeted to please that particular client.
The objective statement tells your potential client why, exactly, you're sending them a resume - and it should reflect the job you're trying to get. It can't just say "I wanna write for you!" If you're applying to a job posting that asks for someone with SEO and Internet press release experience, your objective statement should let them know the resume they're about to read fits what they're looking for.
Same with your qualifications. If you're a gardening expert who wants to write for a parenting blog, your 63 articles about gardening won't impress them as much as the 9 blog posts you wrote about parenting.
Your freelance writing experience section should show your relevant experience. Generally, people looking for a press release writer want to know where you've been published - so make sure to highlight your success in having press releases published by news outlets.
Your education is important when it's applicable to the job. If you have a BA in journalism, English, creative writing... you always need that on your resume. Trying to write for a medical journal, and you're a doctor? That's more applicable than anything else in the education department - so make sure it's on there.
Saving and Sending Your Freelance Writer Resume
You don't have to post your resume on your blog, website or other online venue, but you do need to keep a copy handy on your hard drive. When the occasion presents itself, it'll be ready. Each time you have a new business accomplishment, consider adding it.
Save it as a template so you can create different versions (like I said, targeting your resume to each potential client will get you farther than a generic one).
Some potential clients will need a hard copy - like the ones you meet face-to-face. Others (like the ones advertising all those telecommuting jobs) just need a Word document or .pdf.
Do you have a freelance writing resume? Do you use it? What other tips can you offer writers working on their own resumes?
I really want to thank fellow journalist and blogger Bridget "The Bridge" for asking me what I thought about freelance writing resumes. When you have a minute, read The Bridge Beat and share her sense of humor as she navigates everyday situations.
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© Angie Papple Johnston 2011.
Don't steal from me or I'll come getcha. Really... I've got that kind of time.