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How to Use Freelancing To Build An Impressive Resume
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You might be worried that in your job search, your work experience and accolades won’t be enough to impress a potential employer. Here’s how you can use freelance work to beat a more traditional resume and impress prospective clients and employers alike.
As the job market becomes more competitive, it’s inevitable that people’s resumes are becoming more impressive. While previously a well thought out cover letter and relevant experience was all you needed, nowadays everything will be considered, including your social media accounts, online portfolio, and all of your work history. While of course, you need to list freelance work, it can positively impact all of the other aspects too.
How a freelance artist scored her dream job
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Social
Don’t be afraid to use social media platforms like LinkedIn to highlight your freelance work. Almost every hiring manager or HR team will look at something like your LinkedIn account along with checking that your Facebook and other accounts don’t feature anything embarrassing.
Consider LinkedIn and other professional websites as an extension of your resume – if you’ve completed a freelance project that you’re particularly proud of, check that whoever you completed the work for is happy for you to post it. Generally, the answer is always yes since it’s a bit of free publicity for them too! Especially if you’ve worked for a small business or a charity, point that out.
Something along the lines of “I was thrilled to work with CompanyX, a truly incredible charity that assists the homeless” shows potential employers and potential clients that you’re dedicated to helping charities, local businesses or small businesses. This can be hard to show in a resume because it’s not uncommon for hiring managers to give resume’s a peremptory glance, and most certainly won’t be doing in-depth research into every company you’ve done freelance work for, so social media accounts can be a great way to cut through the selection process by highlighting your work in a more natural environment than a resume.
Of hiring managers will check social media accounts as part of the recruitment process
Of hiring managers won’t offer an interview if they can’t find an applicant on social media
Consider Your Job Title
When you list your current employment, it can be difficult to list if you’re a freelance writer or if you complete freelance work at the same time as another job. Usually, though, a chronological resume would list full-time employment first and then any freelance jobs. Consider what the company name for your job is.
For example, a company might employ freelancers as an “independent contractor” or “freelance designer”. Provided your job is comparable, use that same language so that the hiring manager can put that in their own framework, which will make them more comfortable hiring you.
Whatever job title you use, it looks good if you can build it into a suitable resume format. Check out these free resume templates to get an idea about how you can complete a freelance resume or resume that highlights your freelancing gigs.
Use Freelancing to Build a Strong Skill Set
If you feel like traditional employment has left you short on a few in-demand specific skills like copywriting and SEO knowledge, completing freelance jobs can help you plug those holes. Once you’ve completed the work, on your resume when you list freelance work, make sure to include which specific skills it has given you that will assist you in your new job, which proves to your potential employer that you have the required skill set.
If you’ve completed freelance work while also holding down a full-time position, it proves your time management abilities. Freelance projects also prove that you can self-motivate and are an independent thinker, along with a huge number of other talents that can be a real resume builder. The importance of soft skills is on the rise, and are sought out by employers. Freelancing is a great way to develop these skills and are very useful in highlighting on a resume.
Of employers say that soft skills are just as important as hard skills
Regardless of how much freelance work you’ve done, or what the nature of the work is, it can help build your resume in every environment from corporate America to small charities in third world countries, because of what it proves about your abilities.
Use social media and professional networking sites to highlight what you can’t on your more functional resume, make sure you consider how your job title will be perceived by employers, and highlight both your specific skills learned through freelancing as well as soft skills you’ve picked up along the way.
Use your freelancing to take some of the stress out of resume writing!
Need to whip up an impressive resume?
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Resumes
for templates, examples and more.
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