As the gig economy continues to grow, more and more people are opting to work as freelancers. While freelancing can be an attractive option for those who want to work on their own terms, it can be challenging to market yourself effectively — with or without a traditional resume.
For me, I choose to keep my traditional resume updated and good to go, but I’ve never needed to give it to a prospective client. Instead, I focus on my website and my blog to show my experience.
But the question of whether freelancers need a resume is a valid one, and the answer is not a simple yes or no. Let’s discuss when having a resume as a freelancer might be useful and other ways to market yourself if you choose not to have or don’t need one.
3 Reasons A Freelancer Might Have a Resume
As you know, your resume is a solid marketing tool to summarize your education, work experience, certifications, and skills. While it is most typically used to apply for traditional jobs, it can also be useful for freelancers.
It may be the case that these benefit beginning freelancers or those without a website more than more experienced ones.
1. To showcase your skills and experience
As a freelancer, you are your own brand. You need to be able to communicate your skills and experience effectively to potential clients to secure new projects.
A resume can help you do that by highlighting your previous work experience, education, and any relevant certifications or training you’ve completed. This information can give potential clients a better understanding of your background and the value you can bring to their projects.
2. To establish credibility
Having a well-crafted resume can help establish your credibility as a professional freelancer. It shows that you take your work seriously and have put in the time and effort to build a strong foundation for your business.
A resume can also demonstrate your attention to detail and professionalism, which can be appealing to potential clients who are looking for someone reliable to work with.
3. To differentiate yourself from other freelancers
With so many freelancers in the market, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd.
Having a nicely-formatted resume that highlights your unique skills and experience can help differentiate you from other freelancers and make you more appealing to prospective clients.
3 Alternatives to a Traditional Resume
Traditional resumes are often geared toward full-time jobs, and they may not fully capture the more unique nature of freelance work. Plus, some freelancers may not have a traditional employment history or formal education, making it even more difficult to create a traditional resume.
If you choose not to have a traditional resume, there are alternative ways to market yourself as a freelancer. Personally, these are 3 things I’ve done to market myself and find new clients.
Create a blog or portfolio
One of the best ways to showcase your skills and experience as a freelancer is to build a blog or portfolio. A portfolio, like a blog, is a collection of your best work samples, and it can help potential clients get a sense of your style, quality, and capabilities.
You can include a link to your portfolio on your website or social media profiles to make it easily accessible to anyone interested in hiring you.
Instead of a resume, when I apply for freelance gigs or message a cold prospect, I include a link to my blog so they can see my writing samples and style.
Create a website
Having a website is an essential tool for any freelancer. It serves as a central hub for your business, and it helps potential clients and other people easily find you online. You can use your website to showcase your work with links or images, list your services and rates, and provide information about your background and experience. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to people!
You may also choose to have your blog on your site, a contact form, and even a media page if you’ve been featured on other sites.
Leverage social media
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for freelancers. You can use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to showcase your work, connect with and message potential clients, and build your professional network.
And by sharing updates about your projects and engaging with others in your industry, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field, thus building more authority and credibility and attracting new clients (or email subscribers!).
While a traditional resume can be useful for freelancers, it is not always necessary. Freelancers can also market themselves effectively by building a portfolio or blog of work samples, having a website to showcase their work, or using social media to market themselves.
Do you use a resume as a freelancer? Why or why not?