By some estimates, as much as half of the American workforce will be engaged in freelance work within the next twelve years. That trend has been going on for some time now, and has only accelerated in recent years. The changing nature of the economy has left many workers with few other options. Unfortunately, freelance work can often represent a real challenge for freelancers who eventually decide to seek traditional employment. Many freelancers struggle to figure out how they should include that work in their resumes. If you’re experiencing that challenge, we have the answers. A common question people have is “Does freelancing experience count on a resume?”
In this post, we’ll show you how to highlight freelance work in your resume, and provide an example you can use as a guide.
First, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone. The economy has evolved since the days when freelance work was restricted to handyman jobs, writers, and similar fields. Today, you can find freelancers in almost any industry.
There are freelance computer programmers, designers, landscapers, and more. For some, freelancing represents an opportunity to be their own boss and enjoy greater flexibility. Others started freelancing due to job loss, changing life circumstances, or other factors.
Of course, the natural question is this: why would a freelancer choose to rejoin the traditional workforce and work for someone else? There are a variety of answers to that question, but a few stand out.
Sometimes, you may simply see an opportunity that you cannot enjoy as a freelancer. In other instances, a freelancer may simply miss the stability that they previously enjoyed working for someone else.
Still others want to take advantage of the benefits many corporate workers enjoy – benefits that are rarely available to freelance workers.
Absolutely! Freelance work counts as experience to most recruiters and hiring managers. Just make sure that it’s relevant to the position you’re targeting.
For example – You would include freelance graphic design work on your resume if you were applying for a graphic designer job.
If you’re going for an accounting position – it wouldn’t be relevant so it’s better left off.
Regardless of the reasons, moving back into the workforce will require you to know how to highlight freelance work in your resume. We have the tops you need to accomplish that goal.
One thing that you should decide on before you try to highlight freelance work in your resume is a company name. Think of it this way: if you were self-employed in the traditional way, you would have a business name to list.
Well, you should create a company name to use for your freelance work as well. And no, you don’t need to go through the process of setting up a formal company to do that. Simply craft a company name and use it in descriptions of your freelance work.
To properly highlight freelance work in your resume, you need to focus like a laser on your accomplishments. Every detail should be crafted to document the value you provided for your clients.
Those details all combine to create the narrative that you need to demonstrate your value as an employee. Today’s employers care less about who you worked for and more about how your work impacted those company’s bottom line.
This cannot be overemphasized: always tailor your resume to fit the job you’re seeking. That’s actually easier to do with freelance work, as counter-intuitive as that might seem. When you work for companies, your role is typically defined in a somewhat rigid way. Freelancing requires you to exercise skills in a different way.
Moreover, you typically have opportunities to exercise skills that are far outside your general area of expertise. That should give you plenty of fodder as you work to convince the employer that you can provide him or her with real value.
You should always highlight your skills when you’re trying to highlight freelance work in your resume. Craft a separate section for those skills and focus on those talents most critical to the job at hand. Just be sure that you don’t get carried away or exaggerate your talents.
Before we close, let’s look at an example of how a freelancer might highlight freelance work in a resume. You can use this as a template guide to help you create your own resume narrative.
That’s just one listing, of course, but you can easily customize it and apply its techniques to other freelance work that you’ve done. You should then include that work within the body of your resume, just as you include details about companies that you’ve worked for in the past.
Hiring Managers are Becoming More Comfortable with the Trend
Finally, don’t worry about hiring managers being put off by your freelance history. Most hiring managers are now comfortable with the freelance economy.
Generally, they will be eager to interview any candidate who can demonstrate potential value. If you properly highlight freelance work in a way that demonstrates that value, your phone will be ringing with interview calls in no time at all.