With so many equally talented writers in the industry today, it can be difficult to find work in the freelance writing arena. If you are like most freelancers you more than likely have a regular “no-frills” 9-5 day job. Not that this is a bad thing. It just means that you probably lack the sort of relevant job history that will endear you to potential employers seeking writing professionals.
However, that doesn’t mean you should just give up on your craft and find something more practical to pursue. There is a lot of money to be made in the freelance writing arena. The key is to create a killer writing resume; a CV that will blow your employers away and paint you in the right light.
Although not every freelance writing job requires you to submit a resume, many high-paying jobs do. Employers look at resumes at face value; they help screen potential job applicants and narrow down their selections. To increase your chances of getting hired for a freelance writing job, you’ll need to put your writing skills to work and craft an exceptional resume. Therefore, you must be very careful about what you include on your writing resume. At the very least, your resume should include the 5 following categories:
- Key Selling Points
Before you apply for a freelance writing job, you need to ask yourself what sets you apart from everyone else. Why should your potential employer select you for the assignment in question over others who have applied? What makes you the most qualified candidate in the race?
Using the answers to these questions, craft a bulleted list of your key selling points and include them your resume. Ultimately your key points should sell your abilities and convince your employer that you are actually the only logical choice for the job at hand.
- Related Experience
Every freelance writing resume must include a section on one’s job history. Your employer needs to know that you have experience working in fields and executing tasks similar to the ones you will carry out if you were hired.
Freelance writers have a tendency to approach this section from a very broad angle by listing every job they have ever done. This may be problematic because most freelance writers spend a lot of time working outside the freelance writing arena. Potential employers do not need to know every single job you have ever had. Rather, you need to focus on providing information regarding work experience relevant to the field for which you are applying. Focus only on work experience that paints you as the best possible candidate for the assignment at hand.
- Publication List/Work Samples
Your freelance writing resume isn’t quite complete without a publication list. This is a list of all the published content you have written. If you’re an inexperienced writer you can just include your unpublished works.
Publication lists give potential employers a glimpse into the nature of your skills. However, don’t overdo it. Drowning potential employers with a stack of work samples is not always a good thing. Just include your best work. Remember, less is more.
While the ‘Education Background’ section of your resume is generally very important, authors should prioritize the ‘Qualifications’ section. This is where you list every skill you have which qualifies you for the position you’re applying for.
Even with a limited (or non-existent) educational background, you can garner the right attention if you have a stellar qualifications section. Employers care more about what you can actually do than the certificates you have accrued over the years.
While potential employers do not always make their decisions based on a candidate’s educational background, this section still matters and it must appear in every freelance writing CV. Highlight your most recent degrees. Information about your high school education doesn’t matter as much these days, and neither do Adult Education Courses.
*Your Online Presence. Some employers appreciate one’s social media presence. Here, you can include your website (with a field-specific profile, portfolio, etc.) and other social media accounts that you may have (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest).
*References. Along with a few testimonials, include the names and email addresses of two or three of your regular clients.
With all of the writing competition out there, it isn’t enough to simply emulate the best freelance writing resumes you can find. Rather, you have to cater each resume to the job you are applying for. The key is to set yourself apart and paint your picture as that of the best possible candidate who is capable of getting the job done.