Top Tips for Writing a Self-employed Resume This Year

Writing a resume if you’re self-employed doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Use these tips to prove how your experiences and skills match what the employer needs.

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By Maria Correa 4 minute read

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Self-Employed Resume Example

Self Employed Resume Example RH 1 min

Self-Employed Resume

Even if you have self-employment experience, you may decide that you want to move back into a more traditional job field. This means going through the job search process and writing a resume and cover letter. Here’s what you need to know about adding self-employment experience to a resume.

When To Use a Self-employed Resume

A self-employed resume is any resume that a self-employed person writes. Whether you need to list self-employment for every job you’ve had or you ran your own business for a period of a few years, a self-employed resume indicates that you have self-employment history of some kind. This may mean that you need to write new job descriptions, change up your skills section, or learn how best to list your work experience.

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Writing Your Self-employed Resume, Top to Bottom

Contact information

At the very top of the resume, is the resume header with your contact information. This lists your full name, phone number, and often professional portfolio links, such as your LinkedIn profile. This information makes it easier for a recruiter to contact you.

Resume summary

The first part of your resume will always be your resume summary or resume objective. This section goes at the very top of your resume and includes 2-3 sentences that spell out your best skills and accomplishments.


Self-employed skills are very frequently soft skills, although depending on your specialty, you’ll have hard skills to pull from as well. A freelance web designer, for example, probably knows SEO and project management. Additionally, freelance work frequently teaches you skills like budgeting and managing extended programs.

Work experience

As a self-employed individual, you have an employment history. It doesn’t matter if you worked full-time or part-time, whether you were a business owner or you worked in someone else’s small business. Either way, you can put any self-employed work in your work experience section. Your work history should include any jobs that you’ve held, regardless of whether or not you worked for someone else.


List any education that you have in your resume. This can include both formal education, like a college degree, and other types of education, such as certifications. Self-employed individuals can have a variety of education backgrounds, often connected to their employment. For example, freelance writers may have certifications in different writing styles, carpenters may have state licensing, and self-employed entrepreneurs may have an MBA.

Major projects, publications or credits

This is an optional section that you can include if your self-employed work was mostly freelance or you completed a lot of projects that might not show up as effectively in a work experience section. Writing “freelance writer” looks less impressive than “Wrote regular press releases for Microsoft.”

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Tips for a Self-employed Resume

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when writing your self-employed resume:

  • Never just put “self-employed.” Even if you didn’t have a formal job title, you should come up with a job title and use it for your resume.
  • Showcase the projects you worked on, not just your job title. It’s common for self-employed individuals to have a greater variety of projects than job duties.
  • Indicate how you spent your time to build your skills. A potential employer wants to see that your time in self-employment helped you become a better worker overall.
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FAQ: Self-employed Resume

Have questions? We’re here to help.

This term doesn’t have a single definition. Generally, it just means you set your own hours, don’t receive benefits from a company, and usually get paid by the hour or using another method of determining payment, such as by the word for freelance writers. Remember that as a self-employed person, you still have a job title. Because “self-employed” covers such a wide array of jobs, one top career advice is to use a job title that best explains the work you specialize in.

It can be, but it also doesn’t have to be. Self-employed work experience can be extremely unique, or it can be almost identical to work experience as someone who isn’t self-employed. Your best bet will always be to use a resume template to show off the achievements you earned while working for yourself. Talk about the skills you developed and the job requirements you had.

“Entrepreneur” is the most common term that you’ll see people use. Include the business name as well. A potential employer will likely look up your business to see what happened with it, and they will almost always ask why you left. When you use the ResumeHelp resume builder to create your self-employed resume, you can also input different job titles related to your field so that you can start creating your resume.

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Maria Correa Profile
WRITTEN BY Maria Correa

Maria Correa is a Puerto Rico-based Content Writer with ample background in digital marketing and copywriting. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a B.A. in English and enjoys making information accessible to others.

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