Answering – How to add freelancing work experience? What should be the job title of a freelancer? How to provide references of clients? What are some of the common interview questions? What shouldn’t freelancers add to the resume?
Don’t be surprised if you are being offered a full-time job by clients.
One of my clients wanted to hire me full-time. I wasn’t interested in doing a job because I have many other commitments like blogs and forums.
So I didn’t take up the job offer but I worked for him 30 to 40 hours per week for a long period of time as a freelancer. It was a good deal for the client because he was under no obligation for a long-term commitment and I was free to take up other work apart from the weekly committed time for his work.
A win-win scenario for both.
So it is not completely unlikely for a freelancer to get job offers.
In the worst case scenario, chances are that freelancing doesn’t work at all and you want to get back into a job.
So having a resume is always handy.
And no one likes to make the freelancing time look like you weren’t working.
So here is how to add freelancing work from clients on a resume.
List “Freelancer” Under Work Experience
List Freelancing as work experience. You weren’t doing a regular job but were freelancing. There is nothing wrong with it.
You can share like any other job on the resume.
- When did you start as a freelancer?
- What technology did you work at that time?
- How your freelancing experience can help your employer now?
- What expertise in freelancing is relevant to the current job?
- What other freelancing experience (Marketing, managing a team …) you have as a freelancer?
Some freelancing clients or jobs may be interesting but if they aren’t relevant to the job, skip them.
As an example, if you are applying for a C++ developer, the experience in SEO and marketing may not help and so it is better to skip such projects or clients.
Remember the reason for adding freelancing work experience to the resume is to boost the resume and make it stand out.
The Job Title
Freelancers use CEO (or CTO if they are technical) as their title because they think it may sound cool.
If you put CEO or CTO as job title for an individual freelancing business, it won’t look good when applying for a team member or team leader position.
Understand what each of the job title means and try to use one that best suits what you were doing as a freelancer.
If nothing works out, having a no job title isn’t bad either.
However, if you want to have a title, use “Freelancer” or “Individual Freelancer”.
Do not try to over exaggerate the job title.
The reference of clients may be needed for verification purpose by your employer but one can skip adding contact details of clients on resume and use “References available on request”.
- If you have a blog, use the blog posts as a reference.
- If you have done any contribution to an open source project or has a plugin or theme available for download, use it’s details for reference.
- A printout of Upwork profile page or PayPal account or any other payment statements can also be used for as a reference to freelancing experience.
You never know what will be accepted. So whatever you can have as a proof of working as a freelancer should be kept handy.
What shouldn’t be on the Resume?
There are certain things that you shouldn’t add to a resume
- Work done for your uncle isn’t freelancing. Avoid adding any work for any family member as freelancing experience.
- If you aren’t proud of any project you worked on, it is better not include it at all because questions related to it can make you uncomfortable and you may sound negative.
- Anything irrelevant – A good event management performance for your locality isn’t going to add much value to the resume.
The job profile should decide what you should put in your resume. Still, if you have worked on an interesting project but it isn’t too relevant but enhances your resume, feel free to add it.
Common Interview Questions
If you are going for an interview, expect questions related to freelancing. Prepare before hand the answers to them. Here are some common questions a freelancer should expect in a job interview.
- Why do you want a job now? Why you want to quit freelancing?
- Why freelancing didn’t work for you?
- What would you do differently if you were to be a freelancer again?
- What were some of the best / worst projects you have worked as a freelancer?
- What were some of the worst client experience?
The answer to the above questions will vary from individual to individual and how he or she took up freelancing as an individual or partnering with a friend.
Further Reading …