Saturday, June 11, 2011

Resume for freelancers

Resumes are essential for every job seeker but if you are a freelancer, your need is more urgent. More than your work and your projects, your resume has to establish how you can be of value to the company and work in discipline.

Your work and word-of-mouth positioning aren’t good enough to sell you. So, handy comes a resume, which helps you to get gigs and also allows your profile to be assessed by clients. Having an updated resume is effective for you and gives insights into what you can offer, adding a professional tone to the brand YOU.

At times, you do not understand what you should do to add weight to your resume. So, how do you present your expertise and get the much needed freelancing or contracting projects? Here are some tricks. 

  • Focus on your best attributes: To make a statement, you need relevant material. Instead of a drab, “…a strong worker who enjoys challenges” dig out your strengths and focus on them. Figure out whether you’re a glib talker or not, if yes, present yourself as a “Dynamic presenter” to add value. If you’re analytical, write critical thinker as the attribute. Make your profile statement effective, highlighting your characteristics and strengths. As a freelancer, try to embellish your strengths for that impact.
  • Forget the objective: Never focus on a standard job listing requirement as it seems vague and limits your abilities. Instead, focus on a project, company initiative, or maybe on an expertise you possess. Also, do not to write an objective, rather go for a profile as that helps you to squeeze in a lot of thoughts and your abilities. Instead of a generic statement on what you wish to do, get real with a profile. From, “…To do something that allows my creative instincts in writing…” create a profile which focuses on who you’re as a professional. This works as it harps on the strengths like creativity, communication skills, etc.
  • Include keywords: These days, most employers search for keywords. So, liberally sprinkle them to make the resume more effective. This goes for all resumes but it's more effective for a freelancer. Whatever is your profile; pick the words that sum up your qualities best so that your resume is a gateway to your expertise, meshing all your skills. You can mention some technologies and applications you use, but don’t make it laundry list.
  • Cover letter: A cover letter is very important and more so for freelancers. Make sure you understand the clauses of the contract and the project in which you work. Draw parallels if you’ve worked in similar capacity. Be clear of the emoluments.
  • Stick to the basics: Use only third person narrative and never use “I”. It’s a strict no-no. Write your resume focussing on your skills, work and successes, in a clear tone. State your education and a small section with keywords. Harp on your skills and the projects you’ve undertaken. Also mention the name of clients you’ve worked for to get more mileage. If you’ve had gaps, don’t bother much as that’s not a constraint for freelancers.

Freelancing gives you the flexibility but there’s no certainty of steady income. But as a freelancer, you don't get bored as there are no fixed schedules and you can work as per your convenience. So, with the above tips, make your resume effective and  get those options which help you to enjoy the flexibility.

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