What To Include In A Freelance Resume + Freelance Skills

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Table Of Contents

Learn about the important requirements, skills, and keywords that should be included in a freelance resume.

If you’re new to freelancing, it might seem odd that you even need a freelance resume. Isn’t the point of working for yourself not to have to jump through hoops for hiring managers?

But in a way, becoming a successful freelancer is about jumping through those hoops all the time, instead of just every few years, as W-2 employees do when looking for new full-time work. Even if you have a solid stable of anchor clients, you’ll want to be able to apply to new opportunities whenever they arise.

Writing a solid freelance resume–and adapting it for each new potential gig–is essential to your financial health and professional happiness as a contractor. Here’s what you need to know.

Need help getting started? We’ve reviewed the best resume-writing services online. When your resume is ready, you can start searching for freelance work on ZipRecruiter!

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Freelance Resume Example

Mary Lee

Content Writer


Email: Mary.Lee@mywebsite.com

Phone: (718)555-3245

City: Brooklyn, NY


Experienced, reliable freelance content writer with a robust portfolio of client work in the B2B SaaS space. I help startups and SMBs tell their stories and convert pageviews to client contracts. See my portfolio at www.mysite.com.

Work Experience

Content Writer

One Small Startup LLC, Brooklyn, NY


Contribute case studies, articles, blog posts, and web copy with account signup conversion rate of 10% or more.

Blog Manager

XYZ Technologies, Queens, NY


Created and built industry-award-winning B2B blog, managing 10+ freelancers and building content strategy. Implemented project management and workflow system leading to increased efficiencies and a 25% reduction in missed deadlines.


Bachelor of Arts, English Literature

State University, Center City, NY


Editorial Group Copyediting Certificate, 2018


  • Attention to detail
  • Content marketing
  • Content strategy
  • Content writing
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Flexibility
  • Project management
  • Proofreading
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Teamwork

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What Is Unique About A Freelance Resume?

Freelance resumes are less about your work history and more about how you can use your skills in the future. Think of them like a targeted sales pitch. The goal is to show potential clients that you can solve their problems effectively, cost-efficiently, and on a reasonable schedule.

For these reasons, it’s essential to edit your resume ruthlessly when you use it to apply for contract work. If a skill, credential, qualification, or work experience doesn’t fit into the narrative you’re trying to tell about your abilities, cut it.

Did you know that there are many high-paying freelance jobs? For more information, check out our guide to the highest paying freelance jobs.

What Should Be Included On A Freelance Resume?

A good freelance resume highlights your most relevant skills and work experience in a way that’s easy for clients to understand. You’ll land gigs based on what you can do, so make sure your resume makes that pitch quickly.

These tips can help:

Choose The Right Resume Format

Ditch the chronological resume and choose a functional or combination resume format that emphasizes your skills and abilities over your work history. You’ll still be able to provide information on related projects but you’ll ensure that the client sees your most important qualifications first.

Include A Summary Or Resume Profile

This brief paragraph at the top of your resume is a great place to share your elevator pitch with potential clients. What do you do best and how do you do it? Include keywords from the job description or request for proposals and be sure to include results wherever possible. If you can demonstrate that your work made previous clients money, you’ll land at the top of their list of potential hires.

Nothing is more persuasive than work samples. Make sure that the hiring team can see examples of your work for other customers. It’s especially helpful if you have samples from a project you did with another organization in their industry.

Taking a course is always a great way to level up on any skill. Freelancing can be especially complex since there are often legal aspects to learn that you may not have thought of. Check out our guide to the best freelancing courses.

What Should Be Left Off A Freelance Resume?

Any resume is a living document. You should update your resume any time you gain new skills, experience, or qualifications, and target your resume to each job. For freelancers, this customization is even more important. Be ruthless in cutting out unrelated skills, jobs, and qualifications that won’t enhance your chances of landing a gig.

Are you looking to become a freelancer? Check out our guide to learn how to become a freelancer.

Important Job Skills For Freelancers

Freelancers often have much more diverse skill sets than you’d gather looking at a simple resume. That’s because smart freelancers know that their resumes must be targeted for the specific role. It’s best to customize your application and include only the most relevant resume skills for each opportunity.

Remember to include both hard and soft skills in your resume, using these keywords throughout your summary, job descriptions, and skills section. The hiring manager will want to know that you have the technical abilities required to perform the job, but they’ll also be looking for evidence that you can deliver against goals, work as a member of a team, and reliably meet your deadlines with little or no supervision.

Here are a few job skills you can include in your resume:

Hard Skills

  • Accounting/bookkeeping
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT, Bard)
  • CMS development
  • Coding languages (e.g., JavaScript, Python, C++
  • Content marketing
  • Content strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Database management
  • Data analysis
  • eCommerce
  • Editing
  • Email marketing
  • Excel
  • Full stack development
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Math skills
  • Mobile app development
  • Newsletters
  • Powerpoint
  • Project management
  • Proofreading
  • Search engine optimation (SEO)
  • Social media management
  • Social media marketing
  • Software testing
  • UX/UI design
  • UX/UI writing
  • Video production
  • Web design
  • Web development
  • Writing

Soft Skills

  • Adaptability/flexibility
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creativity
  • Customer service
  • Decision-making
  • Emotional intelligence/empathy
  • Negotiation
  • Proactive/self-starter
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re a freelance writer, a contract software engineer, or an independent tutor, building an effective freelance resume will help you land clients, expand your business, and create a career that brings you joy and security. Just remember to customize your new resume template for each opportunity.

Did you know that you can find freelance gigs as well as full-time jobs on ZipRecruiter? It’s true! Just use the filters to specify which type of work you’re seeking. If you are looking for additional places to find work, check out our guide to the best free job posting sites.

And if you need a hand polishing your resume, try one of these best resume-writing services. Many offer free resume reviews, so you can find out if you’re on track before you invest your hard-earned cash in a resume overhaul.