How to write a winning freelance CV.
Everyone needs a good CV. Even the most senior of people, who would like to think their experience speaks for itself, need one.
It is a summary of who you are, where you’ve worked, and it needs to convince the reader very quickly that you are worth investing more of their time in. For freelancers, the objective is often not to gain an interview, but to get you work, so it needs to work very hard.
A good freelance CV
- Is shorter than a permanent CV and no more than 2 pages
- Is kept up to date regularly, to include the new brands and types of work you have undertaken on a freelance basis
- Clearly states that you are a freelancer and your core discipline (i.e. a freelance designer)
- Organises the information into manageable chunks
- Provides details of all relevant qualifications
- Will not just speak of skill set and experience but will include key characteristics of yourself as a freelancer (i.e. adaptable, flexible , confident)
- Will include references gained from working in a freelance capacity
Common mistakes on a freelance CV
- A CV that is not kept current
- A CV that is more aligned to permanent and heavy on detail, including responsibilities and achievements
- An inappropriate format – for example a Microsoft Word CV from a creative or studio freelancer
- A CV that does not include key characteristics and benefits that you, as a freelancer, can bring to the client
Tips to create a good CV
- Include a summary profile at the beginning of the CV that includes what you do, your core discipline, any specialist areas of interest, the amount of time you have been freelancing for and why you should be used. For example:
Andrew Smith is a freelance middle-weight designer with significant experience in the retail sector. He has worked very successfully with many leading retail brands over the past 20 years to create exciting design concepts and well crafted visuals. This, coupled with 10 working in a freelance capacity offers clients an experienced and confident freelance solution.
- Clients will want to know what sectors you have worked in, which brands you have worked with, what employers you have worked for, what software skills you have, and to what standard. Make sure your CV clearly and succinctly communicates these areas
- Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and re-read your CV…….would you like to meet or book this person?
- Unlike a permanent CV, a freelance CV should not leave the recipient wanting more information. They need to be armed with all the facts in order to make a decision and consider you for freelance work
- Don’t big yourself up. Let your experience and your skills do the talking
- You may be gorgeous but please leave the photo out!
- Only include brief details and dates of School/College/University, but highlight relevant qualifications, i.e. A Graphic Design or Marketing degree, and training in relevant software