When I started writing this post, I tried to come up with a clever way of eulogizing the resume (like The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King). This got me thinking, does it really need to be announced anymore? Let’s dive into why building resumes require more for blog writers.
As a freelance writer, when was the last time your resume landed you a new gig? How often do companies even ask for them? Okay, admittedly, when we post a search for freelance writers, we do still ask for a resume. It’s usually the last thing we end up looking at, though – if we look at it at all.
In the digital age, the resume is becoming less important as most job posters use Google to research candidates. In fact, the average time spent by recruiters looking at a resume is down to only 5 to 7 seconds.
No matter your industry, the resume is becoming less important, but for blog writers, the resume has been downplayed for much longer. Prospective clients don’t care about what you’ve done, they need to know what you can do and what you can do for them.
In addition to the traditional CV, here are some other must-haves for building your freelance writing resume:
While your resume can list some of the experience, skills, and knowledge you have, the portfolio is where you demonstrate it. Use your portfolio to clearly present the finished products your clients can expect to receive and to demonstrate a deep understanding of your chosen industries and an ability to write about those subjects creatively.
While many people may see this as the same as a portfolio, I wanted to distinguish the two. Your website is an opportunity to show more than just your work but your overall professionalism and your investment in your business. Your website should include your portfolio, testimonials from existing clients, and information about the different services you can provide. A blog with articles relevant to your industry can also show a passion for your subject matter that goes beyond paid assignments.
Again, there is a difference between a portfolio and writing samples. While your portfolio shows a large body of your work, writing samples should be handpicked for each potential job. Find past work that is most closely related to the job postings. Then, attach those articles as Word documents and link to where they can be found online (or follow whatever specific instructions the job posting mentions).
89% of recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn. Having a complete LinkedIn profile has become a necessity for most job searches. For searches through LinkedIn, this will be the first thing the company sees. Also, depending on the preferences of the recruiter or job poster, they may search out your LinkedIn before looking at anything else. Make sure it is complete, you are connected to the right people and groups, and your most recent work is clearly displayed.
Cover Letter and Pitch
We’re lumping these together because of how important they are to customize. Unlike the rest of this list which you may be able to have mostly premade, you need to write these from scratch for every new job posting. The pitch, in particular, is the most important thing you will send to prospective clients. This demonstrates a clear understanding of their industry and ability to be creative and gives them an idea they can immediately say yes or no to.
Unfortunately, you can no longer narrow your experience and capabilities to a single 8 ½ by 11-inch piece of paper. When your prospective clients open your email or Google your name, what do you want them to see? Putting together a complete freelance writing profile is key to showing them your best side.
What else do you include as part of your freelance writing applications? Let us know in the comments below!