Adding Freelance Work to Your Resume

Transitioning from a freelance gig to a full-time job can be tough for the average job seeker. Here’s how to successfully list freelance work on your next resume.

  • Resume example using the Angora template
  • Resume example using Angora template with blue heading.
  • Resume example using Blueprint template.
  • Resume example using Hollywood template.
  • Resume example using Greetings template with blue stamp.


Blueprint resume template with blue ribbon
Resume example using Providence template with blue heading
Resume example using the Splendid template

Freelance Work on Resume

Freelance work is becoming more and more common in the U.S. and beyond. Although it might not always be as stable as working for a traditional company, it does provide more flexibility in when you work and what you do. However, if you then decide to transition into a full-time job, you might not know how to feature this work to the best advantage in your job application. Here’s how to list freelance work on your resume.


What Is Freelance Work?

Freelance work is generally defined as any work that you do for yourself, rather than as an employee with a company. It’s very much the same as self-employed work. However, in freelance work, you’ll typically be working for another company or individual as an independent contractor, while self-employed work is a much wider umbrella that includes many other types of work, such as owning a small business.

How to List Freelance Projects on Your Resume

There are many different ways to list freelancing projects on your resume. The main consideration to remember is that you’ll want to focus on specific projects, rather than the traditional resume format of focusing on specific jobs. You’ll likely be hopping between different freelance clients as a freelancer, but listing each new client as a new job isn’t very space-friendly or effective at showcasing your skills and experience.
Potential employers are looking to see that you have the know-how to do a specific job. With this in mind, here’s how you can adjust your resume for each job you apply for, tackling the three most important elements of a resume:
Resume summary or objective
The resume summary or resume objective is a 2-3 sentence paragraph at the top of your resume. In a resume summary, you highlight your most significant achievements and skills. In contrast, a resume objective focuses on your career goals. Since as a freelancer you probably have extensive experience, you’ill probably want to stick with the resume summary.
To make the most of this section in a freelance resume, consider including either the biggest project you’ve ever worked on or the number of projects you’ve worked on overall at the very beginning of this section. “Worked with over 75 clients in three years” and “Managed a graphic design project for a $15 million advertising project” are both eye-catching and interesting.
Skills section
Your skills section is where you’ll typically include several bullet points describing your best skills. This takes the form of a list where you name as many as around a dozen skills, especially if you’re using a functional resume format.
Resume writing regarding a freelance business typically requires that you include specific skills you’ve learned through the years of working for yourself. There are many common skills you’ll develop, like time management, screening potential clients, project and budget management, social media proficiency, and anything else a freelance job might help you learn.
Work history section
Your work history section is where you include up to 10 years of your past work experience, both full-time and part-time. Whether as a freelance writer, a freelance web developer, or any other type of freelance contributor, this is where you list past gigs.
Again, the best way to create a professional resume is not to worry so much about listing every project you’ve had and instead focus on specific experiences that speak best to the job you’re applying for. You can include a client name or company name to show the types of people you’ve worked for before as long as you never signed any NDAs or other agreements not to disclose that you worked for a company.

FAQs: Freelance Work on Resume

Q: Which freelance gigs do I include in my resume?

You should only include the most relevant jobs in your resume. This is true whether you’re writing a freelance resume or another type of resume. Generally, that means up to 10 years of work experience as well as the most important responsibilities and achievements you’ve had, as long as your resume isn’t more than two pages at most.

Q: Do I need to list my freelance work in chronological order?

Instead of listing your freelance work in chronological order, list it in reverse-chronological order. This puts your most recent work first in the work history section. That means your hiring manager is going to see the most recent projects you did more at the top, which will give them a better idea of your current abilities.

Q: Do I need to write a cover letter if I have freelance experience?

Yes. A cover letter is an important part of writing any job application, and this is also true for a freelance application. The cover letter gives you the ability to talk directly to the hiring manager and to ask for the job interview directly. If you’re still confused about how to write a cover letter, there’s an easy shortcut. Use the ResumeHelp cover letter builder to craft the perfect cover letter, even if you’ve never written one before.

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