How To Make A Freelancer Resume
Written by James Bunes, Author • Last updated on May 6, 2024

How To Make a Freelancer Resume

The modern era has more freelancers than ever, with an estimated 70 million freelancers in America. This work style offers high autonomy and differs from traditional roles in many ways, but you still need a solid resume. How do you build a freelancer resume? How do you add your experience and skills? This blog post discusses the importance of a freelancer resume, what to include, and how to write a resume as a freelancer.

Freelancing resumes for applications and marketing

Learning how to write a resume as a freelancer is vital for a handful of reasons. Let’s quickly explore them.

For applications

A well-written freelancer resume is crucial to applying for work – they’re just as important to freelancers as they are to traditional employees.

Although many freelancers get work through sending cold emails, pitching clients directly, and organic traffic, there are just as many who get work through usual job ads. These job posts, even when specifically seeking freelancers, still ask for a cover letter and resume.

For marketing

Freelancer resumes aren’t just for applying for jobs, unlike traditional full-time employees.

Resumes are more than just an application for freelancers, they’re a way to grow your personal brand – almost like a billboard or a banner ad on a website. An advertisement not only draws in more customers, it also builds a brand image and authority. This spreads your name to other companies, especially if the recruiter hires for multiple organizations.

This brand awareness is an important way of “marketing” yourself and getting more gigs.

If a recruiter likes your resume and hears good things from your new employer, they may send your resume to other clients of theirs in relevant industries, which is something they can’t do with full-time employees.

Let your skills and experience shine

You may not have a traditional work history to list on your freelancer resume, but you have a wealth of skills, projects, and experience to highlight.

Include your most impactful projects and list them like work experience. Provide a bullet list of quantified achievements and positive outcomes, showing the effect you’ve had on successful companies.

Freelancers benefit greatly from displaying transferable skills. Identify your core competencies and areas of specialization and showcase them prominently in your resume. This helps employers connect their needs to your skills easily, even if you don’t have specific, traditional experience.

For example, an influencer who has personally built their brand would have the right skills to perform in a marketing role. You can display this by highlighting:

  • How many visits your site gets per month
  • How many followers you’ve accumulated in the past year
  • How you measure the performance and metrics of your social media
  • The strategies you’ve implemented to increase views, shares, and subscribers

Don’t get discouraged if your freelancer resume doesn’t look exactly like a traditional resume. You know you have what it takes to impress the employer, you just need to speak the right language so they understand your expertise.

For more expert tips on building the perfect resume, browse our collection of resume articles.

Expert tip

Do you have a collection of projects that don’t fit a certain theme or industry? Try using a functional resume, which lists your skills first. This type of resume focuses on your capabilities and how you use them, rather than specific industry achievements.

Showcase your portfolio and body of work

Most freelancers show their professional skills through proof, such as writing portfolios or client testimonials. This is an excellent way to show new clients that your skills are reliable and supported by others.

This information can be woven directly into your freelancer resume – let’s find out how.

Include your portfolio

Provide a link to your portfolio in your contact details to give employers quick, easy access to examples of your work. This is in your resume header, at the top of the document. Here’s what to include:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn URL
  • Portfolio link

Here’s a quick freelancer resume example of contact details:

Maria Sunderland
Graphic Designer

This gives hiring managers direct, immediate access to your work samples. If they’re recruiting for a freelance role, they may even be used to scanning resumes for a portfolio link. This ensures yours is prominent and easy to find.

Include your website

Some freelancers may not have a creative portfolio, but instead have a personal website showing their services and testimonials.

For example, a freelance consultant may have a website detailing their services, previous clients, and testimonials. It might also have an about page so clients can learn more before hiring them.

Provide this link the same way as a portfolio link – right in your contact details.

Do you want to give recruiters a quick path to your published work without going through another website? Build an additional section in your freelancer resume just for links.

Create a header in your resume, just like you were about to list volunteer work or hobbies, and include a bullet list of links beneath it. This is a fast, actionable way to direct hiring managers straight to published articles, website copy, or company logos you’ve designed.

Try modifying one of our resume templates by adding a “Portfolio” section to quickly build a freelancer resume.

“You may not have a traditional work history to list on your freelancer resume, but you have a wealth of skills, projects, and experience to highlight.”

Center on adaptability and flexibility

Freelancers all have these traits in common and they’re in high demand in the modern working world: adaptability, flexibility, and autonomy. 

Here are the top three freelancer soft skills to focus on and why they’re important.


Adaptability, also known as agility, is the ability to switch to new demands and adjust to new projects.

Freelancers can work independently, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and adapt to changing client needs or project requirements. This shows employers that you’re able to handle challenges without breaking a sweat, which is a valuable trait for most industries.


Flexibility usually refers to an openness to adapt your schedule, but it can also refer to a willingness to get along with others and see different perspectives.

Freelancers have both types of flexibility. They usually have nontraditional work and set their own schedules. They also work with diverse teams, sometimes across different time zones and countries.


Freelancers manage their own schedules, capacities, and clients, meaning they have skills in autonomy. Independence and the ability to work on your own show employers that you’re reliable and you don’t need a lot of hand-holding and micromanaging.

Incorporate Your Personal branding

Branding and marketing are an important part of freelancing and you can incorporate them into your freelancer resume. We recommend:

  • Using a creative resume
  • Using references and past clients
  • Updating your resume regularly

Let’s look at these in-depth.

Use a creative resume

A creative resume uses unique formatting, colors, and visuals to showcase your professional achievements. Examples include video resumes, resumes with infographics, and even resumes printed on different materials, such as a seamstress embroidering a resume on cloth.

Creative resumes can reflect your unique personality, style, and brand while maintaining a professional tone and format. This is a powerful way to enhance and spread your personal brand.

Want to learn more? Read our guide on how to build a creative resume.

Utilize references and past clients

Every professional uses references, but they’re essential for freelancers. Recruiters are more accustomed to seeing traditional work history, so they might not know whether to trust a freelancer resume. 

However, they can feel assured by speaking with professionals who have worked with you. This can be in the form of testimonials or reference phone numbers and email addresses.

You can also list the names of companies you’ve worked for in your resume objective or summary. For example, a freelance writer might add: “Wrote high-ranking content for Forbes, Salesforce, and Hubspot.

Keep your resume updated

Freelancers change often and rapidly complete projects, so ensure you keep your resume regularly updated. Traditional employees may only need to occasionally tweak achievements or employment dates, but freelancers must update their summary, projects, contact information, and portfolio to make a positive, relevant impression on potential clients or employers.

Highlight Your Unique Skills on a Freelancer Resume

It might be intimidating at first, but learning how to write a resume as a freelancer isn’t difficult. It requires many of the same elements as a traditional resume but with consideration for your personal branding and different skill sets.

Remember our top freelancer resume tips:

  • Use your resume to build your personal brand
  • Focus on your transferable skills
  • Emphasize your adaptability and flexibility
  • Leverage a creative resume
  • Use references and testimonials

Motivated? Eager to get started? Build a freelancer resume in minutes using CVwizard’s Resume Builder.

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James Bunes
James Bunes
James Bunes, copywriter, editor, and strategist, combines job search and HR writing experience to produce actionable content on resumes, career advice, and job search tactics.

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