“A freelance writer resumé? HA!” I scoffed like a French chef refusing a stick of margarine.
I’ll admit it – I’m a freelancing snob at this point, utterly unemployable in the outside world. On the RARE occasion that a client has requested my resumé, I’ve hurried up to whip something up… all the while muttering about barbarians.
There’s a book ghostwriting avenue I’m going after where opportunities pop up about every week or two, and the proposal process requires a resumé. It’s like AGONY pulling it together (it’s got to be tweaked each time). I know, whiny.
It happened again a couple of weeks ago, right in the middle of talks with a client who’s looking at bringing me on in an official capacity to create courses and other products for what might be one of the coolest companies out there (that’s all I’ll say for now). Right before I left for the airport (yeah, it’s serious enough that an in-person interview happened), they asked for a resumé. Hmm… knew I had one somewhere. Thank goodness it was updated-ish. Creating one from scratch would have taken a while – another good reason to keep one in your hard drive, just in case.
I’m with Jessica of Flash Fit Trainer, who nailed it when it comes to what we freelancers do when someone asks for a resumé. She says, “You’ve got two options: 1.) Put together a freelance writer resume right then and there. Or 2.) Skip applying for the gig because you shouldn’t have to send a resume for a freelance writing gig.” Jessica offers a freelance resumé sample doc here.
Now, I’m certainly not a freelance writer resumé specialist…
But I’ve learned some things along the way. Maybe some of these tips will help you, too.
For a freelance writer resumé, PDF is the way to go.
Sending a Word document just looks wonky. Anyone can change it or copy it, too, so that’s certainly less than ideal. Throw in the fact that not everyone can open a Word doc, and that’s the final nail in that coffin. If you’re in Word and need to create a PDF, it’s easy. Just “save as” or “print as” a PDF and you’re good to go.
For the freelance writer resumé objective part, here’s what I recommend.
This is one of those times when it’s a huge perk to have a way with words. You should change your objective to make it customized to the opportunity before you. Non-writer folks might be tempted to use the same objective for every occasion, but with your skills, you can tweak yours pretty easily. Not that you’re changing it in a way that’s not genuine – it’s more about connecting the dots between what your potential employer or client wants and needs and how you can help.
If you need a creative writer resumé…
First of all, I want to know what kind of job you’re going after because that sounds cool! Hiring: Novel Author… must like scotch. OK, so while I’ve never gotten paid for what I’d call creative writing, so many writers I know write for commercial clients so they can earn enough to support their fiction writing dreams. Throw in the fact that hiring managers don’t always know the nuances of our lingo, and it’s entirely possible that someone looking to hire a creative writer is actually looking for YOU. They might also be using the term ‘creative’ in kind of an advertising sense… the words you write might go with an image, video, or graphics – all of that together might be referred to as “the creative” as a deliverable. You’ll want to use that term in your Objective.
The content writer resumé…
OK, that’s more my style. Probably a good opportunity to point out another little subtlety your prospective clients may not know. In freelance writing, there are really just two categories you might fall into as a writer (or both, maybe). There’s copywriting, which is aimed at selling a product or service. Then, there’s content writing, which is primarily aimed at education and trust-building. Ultimately, content should lead to sales. But content is not the fastest path there. Keep that in mind if someone asks for a content writer resumé – they may use that term intentionally and your Objective should reflect that you understand what they really want.
Plus now, there’s a good reason to get a REALLY GOOD freelance writer resumé written up.
Even if you’re not actively interviewing, you’ll be glad you’ve got yours handy. Plus, if you’re looking for writing clients, you’ll love this.
LinkedIn has this ProFinder service, which may just whip the pants off of job boards… and they’re not even charging for it. Basically, it seems there will be a matchmaking dealio happening where people who need writing done can post projects, and writers will get the opportunity to send proposals.
You can find out how to get listed as a Pro here. BEFORE you do this, though, you’re going to want to get your LI profile in tip-top shape. Here’s what LI says:
What should I do after I sign up with ProFinder?
Start with your profile. It’s the first thing potential clients will see. They’ll use it to gauge your expertise and compatibility. Make the right first impression with a clear profile photo that is warm and memorable. Remember to match your profile headline to the services you originally selected on ProFinder. Your summary is a great place to share more about your accomplishments and passions in your own words. Don’t leave this valuable section empty.
= = =
Oh. The LinkedIn profile. Yeahhhhhh. A resumé, but worse.
WHY is it so darned hard for us… WRITERS (!!!!!!) to write about ourselves? I feel like my mind goes blank when I have to toot my own horn. Whatever I come up with sounds so lame that it’s embarrassing. Doing this for someone else… piece of cake! I can see what’s amazing about a business and help others see it, too.
But my own? Blech.
===> So, here’s who I’m going to use to fix that problem.
(Bonus HINT: If you’re interested in writing resumés for clients, you might find this site helpful!)
More Freelance Writer Resumé Resources
Bet you can’t say THAT five times fast, huh?
- Freelance Writer Resume Sample
- Resume Tips for Freelance Writers
- 7 Tips for Crafting a Freelance Writer Resume
Alright, back to work, folks!