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How to Build a Non-Employee Freelance Resume That Wins Clients
As a freelancer or self-employed individual, there may be times when prospective clients ask to see your resume.
Yes, your resume.
As much as you may think you’ve left behind some of the marketing tools you used as an employee, your resume is still a handy marketing tool for you to use to promote your services and position yourself in your market. This is where the branded functional resume comes in handy.
It’s not enough to list your skills and experiences when your competitors can come alongside with comparable skills and experiences. You can move beyond having a matching skill set by getting good at the one thing that matters: Selling them you. And believe it or not, a branded functional resume can sell your business.
Let’s Talk about the Parts of a Branded Functional Resume
Header – Includes contact information and your social media handles
Brand Statement – This can be your company’s tagline or motto IF (and only if) they succinctly summarize your actual deliverables and value. Nothing cutesy. No riddles.
Profile – Replaces the Objective / Focus and takes you from saying “I want” to effectively declaring “I deliver.”
Areas of Expertise – As Seth Godin says, “Everybody’s an expert at something.” List your areas of expertise and be honest. Whether you have one area or ten. That’s fine. Just be honest about it.
Experience – Experience is where we chronicle how you have delivered for your clients in the past. Most people develop core competencies that extend beyond the duties listed on their last job description. Focus more on competencies than industry and try to find the common threads that go through your entire work experience. Whenever possible, begin each description with strong action words like organized, increased, developed, implemented, and performed.
Key Achievements – Highlight your achievements. If you can quantify what you’ve done (like “Increased in-store sales by 25% within the first 75 days), that will help your client get a better sense of your market value. Super important.
Education – Include any college, certifications, and training.
Equipment & Competencies – Include an inventory of your software and hardware training, languages you speak, licenses and training (CPR, or Weapons training or Lean Six) in this section; as well, include the equipment you use when relevant.
Supplemental Sections of the Freelance Resume
I have a few other sections I like to use when crafting resumes.
Professional Affiliations – For professional organizations like Better Business Bureau, SAG, Atlanta Business Professionals
Interests – For INTERESTING hobbies (think Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and leisure activities, not walks on the beach and old people stuff
Intellectual Property – Include anything for which you have copyright, trademark or patent protection.
Media Credits – List published academic articles, interviews, media profiles and news stories about your business.
Client Testimonials – Social proof is extremely important in any business. Personal and professional references
Honors & Awards – Any recognition your company has received
At the end of the day, when it comes to building a non-employee freelance resume, entrepreneurs and contractors are best-served focusing on deliverables. The world is looking for problem solvers and contributors. The right resume will position you as one who can solve problems and boost profits.