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

Choosing The Right Name for Your Freelance Business

One of the hardest things to decide when starting out freelancing is what to call yourself. The biggest decision will be if you want to use your own name or setup a trading name. This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of each, and provide tips on finding a good domain name for your business.

Using your own name

The first and most obvious option when freelancing is to use your own name. A web presence is a necessity for almost everyone who wants to be a successful freelancer, and critical for those in the online design or development industry – so first of all check that you can get a good domain name for yourself. If your name is John Smith you should be looking for domains along the lines of, so that you can be easily found.

If you are looking to be a bit more creative try playing around with country specific domain names – for example Matt Mullenweg (Founding developer of WordPress) uses for his personal website. A freelance writer friend Alastaire Allday uses for his freelance copywriting business ‘Alastaire Allday – Creative Communication’.

You could also try getting your industry name into your domain name and business title – for example a lot of photographers opt to use something along the lines of – this instantly tells your visitors what you do and will help your search engine rankings.

There are a few things to avoid when choosing a good domain name:

  • Avoid hyphenation unless there is no alternative – these make saying your domain name tricky and lead to confusion.
  • Avoid second-level domain extensions such as “” – stick with the extensions your customers will be most familiar with and get the .com if available.
  • Avoid hard to spell words or names – for example if you spell your first name in an unusual way it might be best to stick with your initial and surname so you don’t have to spell out your domain name
  • Make sure your chosen domain name can not be mis-read – the popular could have an entirely different meaning without the hyphen! (Perhaps there is a good reason to hyphenate your domain after all!).

Remember that your will probably be using your domain name as part of your email address too – if your customers can’t easily remember or spell your domain – you could miss a new lead or upset your existing clients if you don’t receive their emails.

Before deciding to use your own name for business, have a search on Google for your own name – there may well be others with the same name as you in your industry – which could cause confusion for both your clients and theirs.

Using a trading name

Many freelancers opt to use a trading name rather than their own name, and there are some good reasons for this – It will make you look like a larger business, and some businesses prefer not to use freelancers, so you may be able to get work in from larger companies. This is specific to your area of work, so do some research within your industry. Look at what others are doing and talk to your potential customers before making a firm decision.

Another advantage of using a trading name is that you may one day want to expand the business into a Limited company, or sell the business on to peruse other ventures. While both of these are possible if you use your own name – using a trading name makes the business seem less personal to your and will make it more attractive to purchasers as they will not have to rebrand.

Consider the following when choosing a trading name for your business:

  • Ensure that a good domain name is available
  • Check to see if anyone else is already using the name you have chosen – a Google search would be a good place to start, or your government should have a list of registered companies (e.g. Companies House if you are in the UK)
  • Although this is not so common on the internet, a lot of offline directories will list companies in alphabetical order – ‘A1 Photography’ will usually be seen before ‘ZX80 Computer Services’
  • Consider appending a description of your services to your company name – look for something which will describe what you do such as ‘XZY Creative’ if you are a designer, or ‘ABC Photographic’ for you photography studio.
  • Location – If your business is location specific and you want to attract clients from your area you may want to include your location in your name – e.g. ‘London Photography’ or ‘New York Design’. Think about what your clients may be searching for when looking for your business, so if you live in a small village go for the name of the nearest large town or City.

Be consistent

Your company name, whatever your choose it to be, will form part of your brand identity – so make sure that whenever it is used it is consistently capitalised and spaced. Also consider how it will look as part of your domain name and if it could be used to form part of your logo.

Think you’ve come up with a good name?

Post up in the comments section and let others know who you are, just make sure you’ve registered the .com before telling too many people about your new idea!