So you have decided to leave the office politics of traditional employment behind and embark on a new career as a freelancer. Many freelancers find that once they have established themselves landing new work gets easier. However, to land your first role as a freelancer you will need to create a great CV, to sell your skills and get you noticed. Follow these top tips to make sure that your freelance CV stands out from the crowd.
Start with your key skills
It’s been reported that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reading a CV, so opening with a list of your key skills (essentially your USPs) will hopefully entice the recruiter to read it in full. This section should be tailored to the position you are applying for and be in bullet point format making it easy to scan. Your key skills could include software systems that you are trained on or have experience with, technical know-how, design skills and anything else that is relevant to the role in question.
Emphasize your achievements
When writing your CV be aware of falling into the trap of just re-writing job descriptions. Instead think about your achievements, perhaps you have implemented some software changes that reduced company costs. Accomplishments like this will be music to a potential client’s ears.
Use a CV template
If you are applying for a freelance position in a creative industry such as marketing, graphic design, copywriting or SEO the design of your CV is an opportunity to show off your artistic flare. If you don’t have the time to create the template yourself, Graphicriver has a range of templates that can be purchased for a small amount and then downloaded.
Link to your website
A website can act as an online portfolio and if you would like to work as a freelancer in a creative industry then potential clients are going to want to see examples of your work. Including a link to your website on your CV is an easy way to show off the work you are most proud of.
Leave education to the end
As a freelancer, potential clients are going to be most interested in your work experience, projects you have completed and your achievements in the workplace, so these should be mentioned first. Unless you are a recent graduate your education is no longer your biggest selling point so by all means keep it in, but leave it till the end.
Remember the CV basics
We know you have heard it all before, but failing to check your CV for spelling and grammatical errors is a sure way for it to end up in the bin. It is also advisable to keep fonts neutral such as Times New Roman, Calibri and Verdana, and keep the presentation neat and to the point so the page is easy to scan. One more thing to mention is recruiters do not want your life story so keep your CV concise and a maximum of two pages in length.
LinkedIn has vastly increased in popularity in recent years and is basically an online networking site where your profile contains an online version of your CV and you can network with past and future colleagues and clients. LinkedIn is becoming increasingly more popular with recruiters because they can search for potential candidates easily, so it is worth replicating the hardcopy of your CV online.