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Freelance Writer Resume: Examples and Tips

A freelance writer undertakes writing assignments on a project-by-project basis with tasks including research, writing, editing and proofreading content, and in some cases, checking the work of other freelancers. To succeed in this position requires proficiency with different writing styles as well as being organized, goal-oriented and deadline-driven.

To create a freelance writer resume that gets you noticed and hired, use these expert tips and resume examples.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-class Freelance Writer Resume

  1. Summary Your summary should provide a quick scan of your best qualifications and work experience. Inform recruiters of specialized areas where you excel, such as subject areas like marketing, advertising or branding. For example: “Experienced freelance writer with five years of experience in content writing and marketing for print and internet media.”
  2. Skills Review the job description, and feature the skills you have that best describe what the job needs. Mention technical skills such as following quality assurance processes, or proficiency in SEO or content management systems, along with critical soft skills like effective communication and collaboration, or time management.
  3. Work history As a freelancer, emphasize your best projects, especially those which display your range and ability to varied clients. Make particular note of assignments that received recognition or resulted in major success for the organization. For example: “Wrote over 200 job search advice articles for website, gaining additional 1 million readers per month.” If you’re just beginning in freelancing, consider adding a portfolio or blog link.
  4. Education Apart from your degree in English, Communications or Journalism, mention professional writing certification and training you’ve undertaken, such as completing a MediaBistro course in Content Marketing, to add weight to your resume.

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Find the Right Template for Your Resume

Our resume templates will help you stand out from a sea of applicants.

Charismatic

Strong headers and dividing lines differentiate each section, making it easy to scan every vital piece of information on your resume.

Accentuate

The two-column layout effectively highlights your professional summary and work history alongside your top skills. The use of color in the head provides extra pop.

Remarkable

This template literally “connects the dots” of your career, with a dot-header design linking your professional summary to your skills and work history.

Choose from more free designs to create and customize your resume on our resume templates page.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • Do include soft skills as well as hard skills Intangible skills are crucial for a freelance position, as you will be counted on to work independently and efficiently. Be sure to mention abilities such as flexibility, a strong work ethic, effective time management, and the ability to take direction but also be proactive.
  • Do proofread your resume For employers, few things look worse than a freelance writer resume that contains typos and grammatical errors. Make sure you present yourself as a writer who cares about accuracy and attention to detail by applying the same standards to your document, and double-checking your work.
  • Treat your summary like an “elevator pitch” Your summary is the first thing employers will read on your resume — make sure you grab their attention from the get-go by making it an elevator pitch. Keep it to a few short, sweet sentences, and describe your best qualities, your background, and your career experience so far. Look at the employer’s job description to determine what their prime needs are, and gear your summary to address their needs. For example, if the employer needs someone who can write on spec, you could write: “Diligent freelance writer experienced in technical writing on spec. Well-versed in handling assignments for large corporations and boutique firms.”
  • Don’t use the same resume for different job opportunities No freelance writing job is quite the same as another, and your resume should reflect that. Create different versions of your resume by adjusting your summary, skills and work history to best meet the requirements of each job. For example, if the job calls for creating content that performs well on social media, update your work history to feature projects where you’ve successfully done so.
  • Don’t use flashy designs What might be eye-catching to one person is another person’s eyesore. Don’t gamble on unusual fonts or resume layouts for your document; stick to a clean layout that isn’t cluttered up with graphics or dense text. Concentrate on presenting your skills, experience, and education in succinct fashion.
  • Don’t use passive language to describe your achievements Use strong action verbs to frame your accomplishments, such as “managed,” “oversaw” or “assigned,” rather than passive phrases such as “was responsible for.” Action verbs help present you as a proactive employee who takes the initiative.

Freelance Writer Resume FAQs

1. What are the skills you should emphasize for this specific job?

The following technical and soft skills are worth mentioning in your resume:

Technical skills:Soft skills:
Content management systems (CMS)Ability to work productively under deadline
Interviewing skillsTeam player
Excellent writing and proofreading skillsPrompt and dedicated to work
Research abilitiesKeen learner
Project managementExcellent communication and interpersonal skills
Drafting user manualsPersistence
Managing article databasesTime management
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Utilizing social media
Ability to use different citation styles
Specialty in specific subject matter (e.g., technical writing, grant writing)
Technical skills:
Content management systems (CMS)
Interviewing skills
Excellent writing and proofreading skills
Research abilities
Project management
Drafting user manuals
Managing article databases
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Utilizing social media
Ability to use different citation styles
Specialty in specific subject matter (e.g., technical writing, grant writing)
Soft skills:
Ability to work productively under deadline
Team player
Prompt and dedicated to work
Keen learner
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Persistence
Time management

2. How should you format your resume?

The amount of job experience you have will determine your format. A combination resume is best for applicants who can show steady progression in freelance writing over a number of jobs and projects, while a functional resume is ideal for those with limited work experience, as it focuses more on the skills you already have. Whatever your format, be sure to include links to portfolio sites or noteworthy writing examples, under a “Credits” category, as well as any recognition you’ve received for your work (e.g. contributing content to a site that won a Webby Award).

3. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in English literature, Communications or Journalism, look to add professional writing certifications as well as courses in areas that can help you in your professional career, such as digital marketing, SEO tools or even a foreign language. The more range and background you have in certain areas, the more attractive your resume will be.

4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?

Add these experiences and qualifications to your resume:

  • Projects that demonstrate your ability to turn in quality work in a variety of different fields, on time
  • Projects where you take a leading role in content ideation and execution
  • Opportunities to create content strategies to meet different goals
  • Professional memberships (e.g., membership in the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) that give you more opportunities for networking
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