11 Tips for Crafting a Freelancer Resume

Creating a resume as a freelancer doesn't have to be tough.

As a freelancer or consultant, crafting a strong resume is important. This is because many freelancers/consultants will have many jobs, but for shorter spans of time. However, it can be tricky to create a resume when gigs last for a short amount of time.

Below are 11 tips to consider when crafting a resume as a freelancer or consultant.

Follow traditional resume writing rules.

woman using cell phone and laptop
svetikd/Getty Images

This is a simple tip. Just because you don’t have a traditional employment background doesn’t mean your resume needs to be a never-seen-before creative display.

  • Avoid writing in the first person. Traditional resume formatting is the third person. A resume is not about you as a person, it’s about your skills helping a company.

  • Hiring managers need to know what they are looking at. If you’re a creative, don’t follow design principles that take away from clarity.

Any good designer will tell you: a design that makes a product hard to use or understand is a bad one.

Consider using a “skills-based” resume format.

Rather than creating a chronological resume, you can create a resume that showcases your skills. Those hiring freelancers are looking to solve projects with a person’s specific skills and abilities.

Customize your resume to fit the job you want.

Recruiters and hiring managers often sift through hundreds of resumes to fill a single position. One way to be excluded from the final round is to have a resume that is general and does not acknowledge the company's needs.

To gain attention, make sure that your resume includes experience and skills that are relevant to what the job requires.

Include any relevant education or courses.

Include any relevant degrees, courses or certifications that you have completed.

Important note: there is no reason to include your GPA if the job that you’re applying for isn’t your first one.

Unless, of course, your GPA is very impressive (definitely if it’s perfect).

Quantify your achievements as much as possible.

Potential employers like to see that your work produced a measurable result; so try to include statistics where possible.

This can be more difficult to show when working with a wide range of companies/clients.

An example would be:

  • “Homepage redesign lead to a 25% increase in conversion rates”

However, you don’t need to list every project you’ve ever worked on that saw results. Instead, be selective. Only showcase your most impressive work.  

Include links to your website and online profiles.

It may not be necessary to include every social media network you are active on.

Nonetheless, every freelancer should include their website, LinkedIn, and any industry-specific profiles that they have (such as Dribble or Github).

Always include keywords in your resume.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important component of most things we do online, and your resume is no exception.

Nowadays, many companies use automated software that screens submitted resumes and searches for relevant keywords.

It is always best practice to include keywords from the job description in your resume. If the job listing is vague, use key terms that you think the job would require.

Don’t be a cookie-cutter: include “you” on your resume.

Most forward-thinking companies (the kind you want to work for) are looking for people who fit not only the job listing but also the company culture.

Add any information that you think could be relevant to the given position, including:

  • Information about your side business

  • Your personal art portfolio

  • The eBook that you wrote

Don’t be modest.

If you’ve worked with major companies or big clients, mention them in your resume. (Unless you’ve signed some kind of Non-Disclosure Agreement specifying otherwise.)

Hiring managers love to see reputable and recognizable names. It demonstrates that you can provide a level of service that major clients expect.

Also, when applying for positions, your resume (and cover letter) is your opportunity to shine. Don’t be afraid to show off your talents.

Being too humble or modest will not convey confidence in your own work.

Remember: recruiters spend very little time reading your resume.

For this reason, design your resume so that it has a clear visual hierarchy: use clear headings and keep descriptions short.

Recruiters make a decision on your resume within six seconds. Make sure they have a reason to go over it in detail with a good visual design and by using short, strong job descriptions.

Include a call to action (CTA).

Never assume that hiring managers will look at any of the resources that you provide.

Include a request in your resume to view your website, check your references, or ask for more information if they need it. (Whichever is the most important given the circumstance: never have multiple CTAs.)


Crafting a powerful resume is key when it comes to landing those desirable jobs. So the next time you're applying to a position -- full-time or part-time -- make sure to incorporate these 11 tips for a standout resume.