How To Write A Self
To create a resume that highlights your self-employment history effectively, use the following formatting guidelines:
Start with contact information
Include an objective or a summary
Discuss your work experience
Highlight your key accomplishments and responsibilities
Mention your academic achievements
State the certifications you hold
List your technical and soft skills
Include client references
Choose The Right Job Title
You have a number of options for your job title when youre self-employed. If you own a business, indicating on the resume youre the President or CEO of your company might create the impression to the recruiter that youre overqualified even if its the truth.
A better way to identify your position would be to base it on your primary function.
For example, if you were in charge of web design and development, you could choose the job title of Lead Web Designer. If youre the person whos responsible for writing content, you could identify yourself as the Content Creator.
What about the business or enterprise name?
If you own a registered business, feel free to use the approved trade name. As a freelancer, you can simply say Freelancer or Contractor.
Putting it all together, this is how your job title would appear in the resume:
As a Header:
In Your Work Experience Section:
Lead Web Designer, Cyber-tech Solutions2019 to Present El Paso, Texas
Identify The Best Way To Structure Your Self
The layout of your CV is critical. If your employment history isn’t documented in a clear and consistent format, the HR manager may end up confused and shift their focus to the next candidate.
If you’ve swapped your nine-to-five for a full-time freelancing gig, it might be best to weave your self-employment into your Employment History section, like a freelance CV. Essentially, you would be presenting your self-employment as another role that sits neatly in your timeline of past positions.
Alternatively, if your freelance work is a side gig, you might like to introduce a new section outside of your career highlights that summarises the nature of your work and the projects you’ve undertaken.
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How To Present Your Self
People become self-employed for a variety of reasons.
You could have grown tired of the 9-to-5 office lifestyle and decided to put up your own business or become a freelancer.
You might not have been happy with your salary and decided to take on side gigs to augment your monthly income.
The job market might have been tight and you had a hard time finding work. Starting a business was the right idea at the time.
Whatever the reason, youll have to include the period you were self-employed. And yes, if your freelance practice or business is still ongoing, your experiences will have to show up on your resume.
Your purpose is to present the period of self-employment in a positive light. It must impress the recruiter and give your chances of getting hired a big boost.
Its not a tall order. You can make your self-employed history shine in your resume if you follow our 5 tips below.
What To Include On Your Self
There tends to be a lot of confusion regarding what you should and shouldnt include on a resume from a self-employed or freelance perspective. If youre in the process of building your resume from scratch as you gear up to apply for new positions, heres what to include:
- List clients as you would list any other employer
- Highlight brand names, organizations and individuals if possible
- Add the location if its relevant
- Showcase the work youve completed
- Describe the projects and your involvement clearly
- Highlight the skills you used and the results you achieved
- Client references
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List Technical Skills And Tailor It To The Job You Apply To
Depending on the position youre applying for, a skills section is often a must. Any hard skills youve picked up while self-employed belong in this section, including things like programming languages, software programs, and technical competencies. Avoid listing soft skills like communication or flexibility if you really want to highlight these, you can do that through your bullet point accomplishments.
Here are some more examples of how to format your resume skills section.
B Create Your Company Name
Just like above you need a company name in every job position. This maintains the resumes consistency. Again, consider the nature of your work. If youre having difficulty, use any freelance business name generator. This will give you a bunch of available options.
If you are a freelancer, opt to list your clients business names. Before you do this, make sure the company acknowledges you. Write the point of contact whom youve worked with. Theres a chance their human resources cant verify your involvement.
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Putting It All Together
Now, lets see what an effective self-employed resume looks like! Please take note that we edited out duplicate content. Specifically, we removed the section on the type of certifications in the Objective Statement because this was already discussed in the Career Summary section.
Redmond G. AndersonEl Paso, Texas
Provide An Overview Of Your Self
Summarize all relevant self-employment history in a single entry within the job experience section. Create two or more entries in this area if you have performed freelance or contract work in more than one field. Include your company’s name, your role, and your dates of employment in the same format as the work experience section. If you don’t have an official business name, try describing your position and state whether you operate as a freelancer or contractor.
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List Self Employment In Your Resume Summary
A resume title is an easy way to tailor your resume and bypass ATS by including relevant keywords. Including a short summary directly below that allows you to quickly explain or contextualize information that might not be immediately obvious perfect for people transitioning out of self-employment. This should provide a quick overview of your experience and 1-2 of your most impressive accomplishments, for example:
Writer with 8+ years experience seeking to write high-ranking, high-traffic articles for . Current clients include . Regular contributor to list . Have written over 1000 published, high-ranking articles since 2012. Increased traffic for by 500,000 in 18 months and reduced bounce rate by 50%.
Here are more resume summary examples you can draw from.
The Cover Letter: Your Secret Weapon
Reports of the demise of the cover letter have been greatly exaggerated. For years, many people have dismissed the effectiveness of the cover letter. They say its outdated and no one has the time to read them.
Thats not true.
According to the results of a survey conducted by HR professionals, recruiters and hiring managers think otherwise:
- 83% of hiring managers would still interview an applicant who submitted an unimpressive resume if his cover letter was compelling and interesting enough.
- 77% of recruitment decision-makers would read the cover letter even if it wasnt stated as a requirement.
- 74% of recruiters prefer to have cover letters attached to the candidates resumes.
While your competitors might choose to ignore the value of the cover letter, prepare one and attach it to your resume. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
For example, you can state in the cover letter that although youre running an enterprise or a side hustle business, it wont detract from your commitment to give 100% to the company.
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How To Write A Cv When Moving From Self
If youre making the transition from being your own boss to working for someone else, you need to make sure your CV is selling all your transferable skills. Writing a CV for a new position when you have previously been self-employed isnt always easy.
On the surface, being self-employed shows youre entrepreneurial and confident in your abilities. However, a prospective employer might read into it that you cant be managed or that youre leaving your own business because it failed. Neither of which might be true.
Give As Much Details As Possible
When youre self-employed, chances are that the duties and responsibilities youre handling are more than just work-related. Technically, as self-employed, youre running a business where youre offering products or services.
Thus, youre also tasked with managing the day-to-day and backend functions of the business.
Mention these activities in your work experience section because it shows that youre more than just someone with the skills needed to assume the position.
Lets stick to our example of the self-employed job applicant who started Cyber-tech Solutions and now wants to work for a new company. As an entrepreneur, he can mention activities that he handled for the other key areas of operation:
- Sales Pursue generated leads that have grown warmer as the prospects continue to show greater interest in hiring our services.
- Accounting Review the companys projected income statement for the month and devise strategies and policies to meet and/or exceed revenue targets.
- Human Resources Coordinate and collaborate with my HR Officer when recruiting, selecting, and hiring new personnel for the company.
- I.T Manage the company website ensure that all plugins are updated and that site backups are done on a daily basis.
You dont have to go overboard on the non-essential tasks. But as you have read, by mentioning only 1 job description per area of responsibility, you already move the needle as far as getting the recruiter impressed.
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Client List And Accolades
If you can gain permission from some or all of the clients that you worked for, do so-as it shows an employer that you are legitimate and professional. Moreover, if you choose to list clients by name and need, include this information on a separate document. If you are sending in a resume, it is advised to offer the employer this information at their request, and do this in your cover letter so as not to give too much information for an employer to sift through too early. Secondly, if you can get a comment or two from previous clients about their experience with your work and service to your credit, to list in your resume and/or cover letter-this could also be more than helpful in showing how credible your self employment was.
Skills To Showcase From A Self
Where freelancers and self-employed differ as a concept is that freelancers dont have long-term commitments with anyone. However, there are specific skills an interviewer will look out for, especially if your work history doesnt involve full-time employment and the new position will be your first venture into this type of work.
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Highlight Your Academic Accomplishments
Following your job experience, briefly describe your academic achievements, beginning with your highest educational level attained. If you have not completed post-secondary education, include information on your high school diploma or equivalent. Following each diploma or degree, provide the institution’s name, graduation date, major, GPA, and any awards you earned.
Include A Company Name If Appropriate
If you are a full-time freelancer, make sure you may have set up a limited company. If this is the case, document this on your CV. However, if the company is just your name, you may want to expand on it with some descriptive language so the potential employers get a feel for the industry you work in and even your work experience.
Keep your formatting consistent with the other work listed on your CV so that it looks purposeful, seamless and polished.
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Take Care With Title Selection
When it comes to catching a hiring managers eye, selecting the right title for your self-employment position can make all the difference. Instead of listing your job title as freelancer, create a label that explains your role more clearly.
For example, you could call yourself a writer, graphic designer, website developer, or consultant. Its beneficial to let managers know that you ran your own company. By labeling your employment status as Company Owner instead of Self-Employed, you show potential employers that you possess leadership and management skills that other candidates lack. The ability to manage other employees or build relationships with clients and vendors can go a long way toward landing you that full-time position.
What Is A Self
A self-employed resume includes work experience gained while running a small business, freelancing or contracting for clients. It highlights the candidate’s role as a self-employed professional and features some of their most important contributions and achievements. A resume that includes self-employment can also feature experience gained from working for employers, especially if it is designed to incorporate all relevant qualifications that a candidate possesses.
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Sample Job Description For Freelance And Self
I’ve listed below a sample freelance work description. Please note that, in this example, the client names were purposely excluded. However, you may want to name-drop the brands you’ve worked with, especially if they are relevant to your goals and well-known in your industry.
Communications & PR Consultant , San Diego, CA | 2016 Present
Offer communications and public relations support for clients in the pharmaceutical sector. Address clients’ needs, from message development and media outreach to materials creation and planning. Handle media relations, medical meeting support, competitive intelligence, and materials development for OTC health and pharmaceutical clients. Key projects include:
Increased consumer awareness for cervical cancer by developing campaign materials, including banner ads, print collateral, and copy for the microsite.
Doubled coverage and blog backlinks for a client with an OTC treatment for acid reflux by developing a new blogger sweepstake.
Researched, hired, and media trained new spokesperson to represent biotechnology company’s new treatment for exercise-induced asthma.
For more information on how to list self-employment, such as freelance assignments, independent contract, or other consulting work, check out the article, Resume Tips for Freelancers.
Read Amanda Augustine‘s answer to “Should I add my self-employment to a resume?” on Quora.
Need a gut check on your updated freelance resume? Request a free, objective resume review.
How To List Self Employment On Your Resume
A detailed guide from a senior recruiter on how to list self-employment on your resume with specific examples.
5 months ago 8 min read
But self-employment isnt a real job
Okay, so times are changing, and nobody really believes this anymore ! But there are still employers out there who dont fully get self-employment. Was it a hidden employment gap? A glorified hobby? How much work did you really do, and for who? The best way to assuage those doubts isnt to give in to them its to counter them with a resume that explicitly answers all those questions.
The first rule of self-employment is that it 100% belongs on your resume. The second rule is to treat it like you would any other kind of employment.
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It Shows Your Experience With Project Management
Including self-employment on your resume allows you to demonstrate that you can complete projects effectively. Whether you work alone or on a team, you can describe how you find and apply the most efficient strategies to complete projects. This also demonstrates that you are skilled at solving problems and critical thinking.
Self Employment Experience Section In A Resume
Work History Professional Experience, 2007 presentAchievements
- Planned and directed all functions of the company Enforced strong leadership skills to ensure efficient/effective utilization of corporate resources
- Established and integrated the functional strategies of the company utilizing business expertise to reach financial/operational goals and objectives.
- Deployed resources to achieve financial forecast and business objectives
- Record of success in guiding and directing an ABC enterprise through substantial change management, balancing engagement with strong and effective strategic leadership.
- Developed sales and marketing plans and programs for company sales personnel.
- Analyzed market trends and statistics to determine potential of growth monitored sales performance regularly
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Assign Yourself A Job Title That’s Related To Your Work
It’s perfectly fine if you want to give yourself the title of ‘Self-Employed’ or ‘Freelancer’. However, I’d advise using your creative job title more to your advantage you have the power to craft a title that is descriptive and immediately tells a prospective employer exactly what you do.
Ensure that your job title reflects the nature of your work. Try combining any of the terms ‘freelancer’, ‘consultant’ or ‘contractor’ with an adjective that summarises your industry, role or niche. For example: ‘Freelance Writer and Editor’ or ‘SEO Consultant’.
What Is So Special About A Self Employed Resume
Firstly, lets get acquainted with Self Employment. What is exactly Self Employment?
Anybody that is self-employed doesnt work for any other specific employer. Such people earn their income by contracting with a trade of business directly, cutting out the middle man.
Ok, that is that much clear butis there any benefit of self employment resumes?
Such resumes show great ability in a couple of important competencies.
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Take Pride In Your Experience As A Freelancer
Its only natural to experience disappoint when a self-employment opportunity doesnt work out the way you intended. Almost everyone experiences employment setbacks during the course of a career, and you should always take pride in your time spent as a freelancer. Use your resumes objective statement to highlight your passion and ambition, and explain how these traits translate to your new role with the prospective employers company. The fact that you ran a business makes you a more desirable candidate not less in the eyes of many hiring managers.
Because most employers want to know why youre making the switch from freelance to in-house, its a good idea to address this question head-on in your resume or cover letter. Instead of saying you started your own company to escape a bad work situation or for the opportunity of being your own boss, stress the fact that you wanted to seek new challenges and improve client services. Since supervisors may worry about you striking out on your own again, strive to reassure them that youre ready to build a long and lasting career with their company. Employers want to feel confident that theyre your first choice, so let them know youre ready to leave freelancing behind and join the corporate world once again.