Whether you have extensive experience freelancing or you’ve been working on a couple of projects on the side, adding freelance work to your resume is a great way to show you have work experience and communicate to employers that you know how to manage your work effectively.
Additionally, if you’re working on a resume for a career change, or otherwise have no relevant work experience, including freelance work on your resume can help show employers that you’ve been developing the necessary skills for the industry you’re transitioning into.
Read on to learn how to highlight your freelance experience on your resume.
How to add freelance work to a resume
Adding freelance work to your resume is not that different from listing any other work experience. Here’s what to include when listing freelance work on your resume:
- Name of client
- Time period you worked with them
- Job title (“freelance”, followed by your position)
- 4-5 bullet points that highlight your skills and accomplishments
Example of freelance work on a resume
If you’re unsure what listing freelance work should look like, here’s an example of how to list freelance work on a resume:
Tips for listing freelance work on a resume
If you want to list freelance work on your resume, it’s important to make sure it looks professional. Take a look at these tips to learn out how to catch a hiring manager’s attention with your freelance work experience:
Choose the right resume format
Depending on your goals and the nature of the freelance work you’ve been doing, choose a chronological or a functional resume format.
A chronological resume lists your most recent work experience first. You should choose a chronological resume format if:
- You have a full-time job that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for and you’ve done some freelance work on the side
- You’ve worked on large freelance projects for a small number of clients on a long-term basis
On the other hand, if you’re looking to change careers or have employment gaps in your work history, a functional resume might be a better option. Rather than focusing on your employment history, it puts greater emphasis on your skills.
Choose a functional resume format if:
- Your full-time job is not relevant to the position you’re applying for, but your freelance projects are.
- You’ve worked on many small projects for a large number of clients
- You’ve worked part-time as a freelancer while in-between jobs
Explain what you’ve achieved
When you put together your list of freelance work, keep in mind that employers want to see what you’ve achieved while working on these projects.
Instead of covering every detail of every project, your resume should focus on your greatest accomplishments. A good way to showcase your achievements is by including hard numbers on your resume, for example:
“Developed a new marketing strategy for a travel agency, resulting in a 30% increase in monthly traffic”
“Wrote 5 1000-word blog posts/month on the topics of wellness and nutrition”
Reading a long list of duties that you were in charge of in your previous freelance job doesn’t help employers gain insight into what makes you a great employee. However, by quantifying your achievements you give them a better idea of how you can help them reach their goals.
Add a key projects section
Generally, you should treat your freelance work as you would any other work experience and list it in the work experience section of your resume. However, if there are several short-term projects you would like to highlight individually, list them in a separate resume section titled “Projects”.
Below is an example of how you can list freelance experience in the projects section of your resume.
Remember to focus on projects that have earned you skills relevant to the job you’re hoping to land. If you’re applying for a position as a restaurant manager, telling recruiters about your experience as a freelance writer probably won’t help you get the job.
Group smaller projects together
Listing every single client you’ve worked with can take up a lot of space. If you’ve worked on a lot of smaller freelance projects for numerous different clients, consider grouping them together rather than listing all of them individually.
Here’s an example of how you can group several smaller projects together in one bullet point on your resume:
“Designed marketing materials including posters, brochures and newsletters for 15+ clients”
However, you should always name-drop any notable clients you’ve worked for. Big name clients can help catch recruiters’ attention and add to your credibility.
Here’s an example of how to include mentions of notable clients:
“Wrote 200+ articles for clients in the technology and finance space, including for WIRED and Financial Times”
Link to your portfolio
If you have an online portfolio or a personal website, provide a link to it in the header of your resume. This is a good way to showcase projects and skills that you might not have the space to include in your work experience section.
In addition to giving hiring managers a quick and easy overview of the work you’ve done in the past, it’ll also help them get an idea of what you can do for them in the future.