How To Create A Freelancer CV




  • September 26, 2015

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    Whether you’re a freelance copywriter, digital marketing consultant or graphic designer, it can be hard to know where to start when the time comes to put a CV together.


    The problem you’ve got is that, unlike everyone else who has been working for one employer on a permanent basis over the last year or so, you’ve got a shed-load of former employers (albeit temporary ones!) so you’ve got to make some pretty big decisions about who and what you should and shouldn’t include.


    To help you out, we’ve compiled some of the top Dos and Don’ts for your freelance CV:


    DO:


    Include The Specifics:


    When a recruiter or hiring manager needs to hire a freelancer, they look for freelance CVs which demonstrate the exact skills and services they’re looking for and the results they want to achieve from a certain campaign eg. increase brand engagement over social media, increase the number of inbound enquiries via their website etc. With that in mind; it’s worth including specific stats related to campaigns you’ve worked on in the past (freelance or in-house) so the hiring manager can see that you clearly have the capabilities that they’re looking for.


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    Keep It Short & Sweet:


    With a freelancer CV, it can be easy to get carried away, particularly if you’ve been working freelance for a while, because you’ve got lots of employers and projects you want to include – but you need to remember that an employer/recruiter hasn’t got hours to look through every CV, especially with temporary freelance roles. That said; you need to remember to keep it short and sweet and ensure that the info that you include ticks the boxes for the job that’s on offer. Just like a normal CV, a freelance CV should be no longer than two sides of A4 and should only really include the jobs you’ve done that are most relevant to the one you’re applying for.


    Include Links To Your Online Portfolio:


    If you’re applying for a freelance job in the digital industry, it’s always a good idea to include a link to your online portfolio (you know, the one you’ve been slowly updating throughout your freelance career so far!) so the employer/hiring manager can get a feel for your style and techniques and can assess whether you’re a good fit for their business. If you’ve mentioned a specific campaign (see point one), clarify where the employer can find examples of this in your online portfolio – and be sure to only include relevant links eg. if you’re a graphic designer, it’s probably not worth including links to your Twitter profile, whereas if you’re a copywriter, an employer probably won’t be that interested in Instagram account.


    Remember You’re Selling Your Services/Your Business:


    Unlike a normal in-house role, with a freelance role, the employer isn’t necessarily too fussed about how you’ll fit in with the team or what your personality is – because they’re not looking to take you on on a full-time basis – but they do want to know that they’ll get value for money and great service if they take you on. With that in mind; it’s worth framing your CV up slightly differently to a traditional CV and focusing on what services you can offer, rather than who you are as an individual.


    DON’T:


    Include Every Job/Company:


    As I mentioned before, a freelancer CV needs to take a slightly different format to a traditional CV – and this also applies to how you lay out your previous work history. As I said in a previous paragraph, with freelance CVs, you don’t have to include every job you’ve ever had – and you don’t even need to include the ones that you do want to include in a chronological order. Instead, focus on the skills and experience the employer is looking for – and just mention which clients you’ve utilised these skills for in the past and what results were achieved.


    Remember, it’s all about selling your business and the skills you have on offer, rather than yourself as an individual…


    Waste Space On Hobbies:


    OK, so following on from that last sentence, there’s really no point in including personal details on your freelance CV such as your hobbies or interests – because, as I said, the employer isn’t necessarily that interested in who you are as an individual and whether you have any interests in common – because they’re not looking to add you to their team on a permanent basis. By including hobbies, you’re just wasting space which could also be used up by including results of relevant campaigns which might help you to secure the job over another freelancer.


    Be Afraid To Take A Chance:


    The best freelance CVs are original and stand out from the crowd, especially for the more creative roles, so don’t be afraid to take a bit of a chance when putting your freelance CV together. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes and consider what would make you a hire a freelance designer, copywriter or UX consultant over another. Remember that whatever format you choose, some employers will love it but some will hate it – so consider which employers you definitely want to impress and create a CV which will suit them – and don’t worry about the rest.

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