Freelance Resume – Do I need one?

When setting out as a freelance one thing which is often overlooked is a resume (or Curriculum Vitae, for the Brits!). Those of you going from working full time will more than likely already have a resume from previous job applications but even these will need some fine tuning if you want to attract good clients to your freelance business. As a freelance, your business is all about you as a person and your experience – and they best way to show this off is through a resume.

Work Experience

You’ll want to show that you have a good amount of experience in your field, so keep all your previous work experience from industry related jobs on your resume, but don’t bother with the Summer job you had at a burger restaurant. Having gaps on your resume as freelance won’t be a problem.


Education is an important part of any resume, but again keep it relative, and think about what kind of skill set your clients will be looking for. Higher level qualifications such as Degrees should be included from any subject, but stick to only relevant under-graduate level qualifications.

Work Examples

The most important part of a Freelancers resume is examples of your previous work. You will probably already have a website detailing your work, but also include the best examples on your CV. It may be that a marketing manager finds your website via a search engine but needs to get approval from their boss before hiring you, so will print a selection of resumes to show them before they make a decision. I would stick to four or five of the best examples of your work, and don’t be afraid to use images on colour if relevant.

A few additional benefits of having an online resume:

  • Search engines will pick up on word document of PDF files and will give you additional exposure to your clients
  • They can be downloaded by clients and kept for future reference
  • They show education and relevant previous work experience which is often overlooked when creating a portfolio website

Thinking of Going Freelanace?

Welcome to Going Freelance – A resource site to for freelancers discussing issues relating to freelancing across all industries.

If you are thinking of going freelance or have just started out freelancing check out the articles and resources on this site. We will cover everything from invoicing and accounting to self-motivation and how to best spend your cash!

Before making the switch from 9-5 to freelancing you should ask yourself the following questions:

1. Am I passionate about my work?

If you don’t have a passion for the work you will be doing, you won’t make it freelancing. When freelancing there is no one checking up on you so it’s easy to take time off to enjoy your hobbies or have an extra hour lay in. If you don’t enjoy the work you are doing you won’t be motivated to do it, and won’t be able to run a successful freelance business.

2. Am I willing to work long hours?

A common misconception people have is that working from home will allow them to have lots of time off or not work as hard. This for the most part isn’t true. There are many perks to working for yourself, but there are also lots of times when you will need to stay up all night working on a project for little or no immediate financial return. If you’re not willing to put in the hours you may find that you can’t sustain your business and personal financial needs.

3. Am I good enough at what I do?

There are going to be a lot of competitors when you start out, all of whom will have more experience than you so you will have to gain clients by either being very good at what you do and getting noticed, or undercutting your competitors on price while you built up a client base and reputation.

4. Can I manage the finances?

A big part of working for your self is learning to copy with a massively variable income. There will be months where you invoice out very little and end up with a bill to pay which means you have nothing left to pay yourself, but there will also be months when you finish a large project and take a deposit for a couple of new projects and have more money than you know what to do with! It’s important that you plan and budget your finances and keep something put by for those periods when you are working your hardest but invoicing out relatively little.

Christmas is often a time where you are working hardest to get projects ready for launch in ‘the new year’ and is also a time where most clients feel they don’t have to pay on time as “it’s Christmas”. If you haven’t been putting something aside during the year you may not have the cash spare for all the Christmas related expenses. You also won’t be getting the nice Christmas bonus you may have been used to receiving when working for someone else.

5. What am I bad at?

This may seem a strange one, but it’s important when freelancing to be able to recognise your faults so that you can improve yourself by learning new skills, or outsource some of your workload to others. For example if you know your spelling isn’t great always make sure your run your emails and promotional materials through a spell checker! Or if you’re a top notch designer and a client asks you to produce a leaflet including copy – know when to hire the services of a professional copywriter rather than attempting it yourself. Don’t forget to charge enough to cover your time managing the outsourcing too!

If you’re already freelancing, what kind of questions did you ask yourself before you made the switch?