How to List Your Freelance Work on a Resume: Tips and Examples

How to List Your Freelance Work on a Resume: Tips and Examples

Are you underselling yourself by not listing your freelance experience on your resume? While your work may be outstanding, credentials solid, and past work history relevant, you might be struggling to showcase your freelance expertise to potential clients.

As a freelancer, you’ve built an impressive set of skills that companies seek. But, like many other freelancers, you fail to represent past projects on your resume effectively. To earn a new project in the competitive global marketplace, getting your resume to stand out among the competition can be challenging.

So, how do you add freelance work to your resume in a way that positions you as a solution to a company’s problems?

Thankfully, adding your freelance experience to a resume isn’t complicated. In this article, we look at a few easy ways to add freelance projects to your resumes in a way that can help you land more jobs.

Table of Contents:

·   How to list freelance work on your resume

·   Examples of freelance work on resume

·   Why you should always list freelance jobs and projects on your resume

·   Best practices for listing freelance jobs on your resume  

How to list freelance work on your resume

When listing past freelance jobs on your resume, there are a few things to consider. Freelancers should always list their positions and who they’ve worked with on their resumes in reverse-chronological order. This section of your resume should include things like start and end dates, a summary of your project responsibilities, and any achievements or positive outcomes for the project.

1. List your position/role in the freelance opportunity

Your job proposal is much more likely to be accepted when you can prove that their job requirements are something you’ve successfully done before. While it may seem like an obvious addition to any resume, it’s important to let potential clients know what kinds of projects you’ve completed in the past. Whether the project was big or small, freelancers need to give prospective clients a look into their successful work history.  

As freelancing carries the weight of independent business ownership, you can demonstrate to clients how you’ve handled these various responsibilities. For example, if you’re applying to an ad-writing job post, you should include your related writing experiences in your resume (and it may be practical to link to an example when writing your cover letter as well).

2. Add the start date and end date of the freelance opportunity

Listing start and end dates from your previous freelancing opportunities can help potential clients, recruiters, and hiring managers understand the scope and level of experience in a given industry. In addition, these dates display how recently you worked in the field, employment gaps, or how long you’ve stayed with opportunities. This portion of your resume can strengthen your work experience and showcase long-term or repeat clients.  

For example, if a potential client wants to know how recent your last app programming project was, they should be able to find it easily on your resume. Completing a similar project recently versus several years ago can make a difference in landing a job, especially for technology-related projects.

3. Add the company that requested the services

Adding the name of companies you’ve completed freelance work for in the past will help give your project experience more credibility in the eyes of potential clients. In addition, listing these past clients serves as an industry reference for your work. When potential clients see that you’ve done work for companies similar to them, you’ll be more likely to stand out during the hiring process.  

For example, if you worked as a virtual assistant and researcher for a marketing agency in the same niche as the next freelance job you’re applying for—make sure it is fully represented on your resume! However, irrelevant freelance experience, such as a food service job, can be removed from your resume because you should focus on using the limited space to make the strongest case for that specific freelancing gig.

4. Provide a detailed summary of what was done within the duration of the job/project

Suppose a potential client is unable to understand the role and responsibilities within a project. In that case, it may lead to you getting passed over for applicants that explain their work experience more effectively. Therefore, it’s crucial to add snippets of information on what you’ve done for other clients and jobs. Taking this one step further, potential clients love to see measurable contributions. So, try to quantify your experience within the project summary section.

Example: Freelance SEO Specialist, ABC Marketing (April 2020 – April 2021)

·      Wrote website content for three search engine optimization clients across health, technology, and fashion niches, leading to a year-over-year increase in organic web traffic of 120%-250%.

Check out our article on the Best Skills to Include in Your Resume for a more thorough deep-dive into the best things to highlight within your resume.

5. Note the achievements and outcomes of the project

It’s a good idea to include any achievements, recognitions, awards, or positive results from your prior freelancing experiences. This quick snippet of a real-world outcome when it comes to your work can be a boost to your resume in the eyes of potential employers. For example, if you received a positive review on your Upwork profile for a specific project, consider adding a  quote from the review if you’ve got the space or linking to your profile so that the prospective client can view the feedback.

Examples of freelance work on resume

Below are two examples that show how to include a freelance project on your resume effectively.

Example #1: Freelance Writer, XYZ Agency/Self-Employed (August 2019 – March 2021)

·      Consistently delivered up to 10 writing projects per week, including online ad copy, website blog content, and email newsletters. With regularly published blog content and weekly email newsletters, the website saw an increase of 10,000 visitors/month and an increase of 20+ qualified leads each month.

Example #2: Freelance Graphic Design and Logo Creation, ABC Company (January 2021 – June 2021)

·      Developed 50 graphic design pieces per month for the client’s website and social media pages, which received a total of 1.2 million impressions during the 6-month campaign. The client was extremely pleased with the graphic design quality and the record-breaking campaign results; view their full 5-star review on my Upwork Profile (Link).

Why you should always list freelance jobs and projects on your resume

When presenting your skill set and work history, it’s essential to know what to include or exclude. As we’ve mentioned, you want to tailor your resume to the project or job you’re applying for rather than using a generic resume.  

For example, suppose you’re crafting a resume for a programming job. In that case, you might showcase recent programming projects and your experience with relevant programming languages, rather than taking up limited space on the page to discuss your restaurant job from ten years ago.

Highlight your versatility across multiple industries or niches

Strong resumes highlight that the applicant has had experience in several different industries. Demonstrating your ability to work in various industries helps clients see your ability to put your knowledge to work in their specific niche. For example, suppose you’re applying to a content writing project for a fashion brand and only list your experience writing for roofing companies. In that case, the prospective client might question whether you can write about their niche. In contrast, it is more effective to showcase your versatility by listing your freelance jobs so that the person reviewing your application can see that you can adjust to various industries and niches.

Demonstrate your ability to succeed outside of traditional employment

While the skill sets for freelancers and full-time jobs may overlap, some clients prefer to work with freelancers that have proven experience working on freelance projects. As a result, listing out your past freelance projects is essential. It allows you to demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate with the client and meet all of the expectations for freelancers. In addition, by including multiple freelance projects, it illustrates your skill set and experience and demonstrates that you’ve been successfully meeting the needs of freelance clients.

Best practices for listing freelance jobs on your resume

When it comes to putting together your resume, there are various resume formats and stylistic guidelines. But, to make it easier for you, we’ve pulled the most important things for you to consider when writing your resume. These best practices will help your freelancing resume stick out from the crowd and help you get more interviews.

Use clear language and be concise

Use clear and precise language to make your points throughout your resume. Your resume must be written in a professional tone and without spelling or grammar mistakes. With that said, it’s also important not to overdo any language or stuff your resume with industry jargon. Using unnecessarily large words may feel out of place and will likely turn off for the resume reader. It’s critical to strike that balance between professional and knowledgeable, but not over-the-top.  

While you want to convey your previous experiences, a prospective client will not want to read through a five-page resume. Therefore, try to keep your resume as concise as possible, preferably limiting it to a single page.

Be accurate with your job title and responsibilities

You may feel pressured to beef up your titles or responsibilities on your resume when applying to specific opportunities that feel out of reach. But, it is crucial only to include accurate titles and the experience or responsibilities that you can prove to a prospective client. Overselling your skillset can turn a freelancing contract upside down in a hurry, especially if you can’t deliver on something you promised within your resume.

Always add positive achievements and end results

As we’ve covered above, list out any achievements or positive results from your previous work. Potential clients need to see what you can do, and awards are a great way to showcase your successes! Things like increased sales, conversions, team awards, or possible industry recognitions can all be great things to include in your resume.

Consider adding clients as references

When listing your past clients, consider adding the company name and point of contact (client’s name) as a reference. A potential client must know that you can get the job done as promised, and a past client referral can give them that confidence that you’re the right person for the job. Naturally, this requires asking for the client’s permission first, but past client recommendations and references can be a huge indicator of future success in the freelancing world.  

If you want more help landing your dream job or want to improve your resume to get more freelance jobs, check out these additional resume writing tips.

Update your resume to showcase your skill set

By listing your past freelance projects in your resume and following the best practices in this article, you can create a resume that’s as strong as your skillset. Many factors can make it easier to land your next freelancing job. But, the best place to start is by creating a strong introduction with an effective resume that showcases your freelancing ability. If you’re looking for more ways to get more freelance projects, check out our guide to growing your freelance career.

Projects related to this article:
No items found.

Author Spotlight

How to List Your Freelance Work on a Resume: Tips and Examples
Sean Cope
SEO Writer

Formerly a full-time in-house marketing director, Sean Cope began building an SEO and content creation company by freelancing on Upwork. He has enjoyed working with clients in various industries, leading them to achieve their business goals and higher Google search rankings. Sean is passionate about helping new clients in growing their businesses through search engine optimization, content writing, and digital marketing.

Get This Article as a PDF

For easy printing, reading, and sharing.

Download PDF

Latest articles

X Icon