Listing freelance work on a resume can be a point of contention.
You’re probably wondering if it will help you or hurt you when you search for new jobs.
Ultimately, it depends on your current position, the position you’re applying for, and your title.
But listing work as a freelancer is a little different than listing office jobs. You need to include additional information and decide if you want to list each individual contractor or create a functional skills list.
Adding freelance work to your resume can be beneficial in many scenarios. If you don’t list freelance experience, it may leave an unappealing gap on your resume.
If you’re looking for more freelance work, you’re missing valuable opportunities if you omit your past experience.
When Should You List Freelance Experience on Your Resume?
You should list freelance experience on your resume in most scenarios. Many freelancers think it’s only relevant if they’re applying for more freelance work, but it can help with typical nine-to-five positions, too
If you have a lot of in-depth experience freelancing, you’re selling yourself short if you don’t include it on your resume. High-profile clients and successful projects can be a great way to highlight your skills, whether you’re applying for more traditional joba or another freelance gig.
They’re especially important if you’re seeking additional freelance work.
If a potential client sees your experience freelancing, they’ll have more faith hiring you. It tells them you have the time management skills and self-discipline to work as an independent contractor.
When Shouldn’t You List Freelance Experience on Your Resume?
Don’t list freelance experience if it isn’t recent or it isn’t related to the job you’re applying for. Simply put, if it’s just taking up precious real estate on your resume, omit it.
For example, listing copywriting experience from two decades ago may not be as relevant as the office job you left two years ago. Basically, if you don’t have recent experience, an employer might not think it’s relevant.
If it isn’t relevant to the field you’re applying for, you may find a better way to fill the space. An engineering job wants to know more about your engineering background than your social media marketing background, for example.
How to List Freelance Work on a Resume
To make freelance work really shine on your resume, you need to feature it the right way. If you don’t include the right information, potential employers may not truly understand your value as a team member.
- Don’t exaggerate your results. It’s very easy for potential clients to speak to the clients you mention on your resume, confirming your performance as a team member.
- Emphasize results-driven data. Anyone can say they are a team player, adhere to strict guidelines, and have an eye for detail. Results-driven data helps candidates stand out from the crowd, especially as freelancers. If the ebook you helped with got 500 subscribers in a month, talk about it on your resume!
- Include your relevant skills. Mentioning high-profile clients is a no-brainer, but what relevant skills do you bring to the table? If you’re a graphic designer, which software do you know how to use? If you’re a programmer, what languages do you know? Make it clear on your resume.
- Mention your most high-profile clients. If you designed the logo for a well-known company or wrote content for a recognizable brand, let your potential clients know! If they know a recognizable brand trusts your work, it’ll give you brownie points during hiring time.
Adding freelance work to a resume can be confusing at first, but it’s a good idea to include it. If a potential employer or client sees your freelance experience on a resume, it can help you land more jobs with higher-paying clients.
Do you add your freelance experience to your resume? If so, when and why? Do you have any tips for adding freelance contracts to a resume? Please let us know in the comments below!