As a freelancer, you will be more than familiar with the many benefits that contracting brings, from the ability to gain a wide variety of experience and expand your network, to improved work/life balance. And because of these benefits, contract roles are always highly sought after. All the more important to have a clear CV.
Create a freelance CV
- Making clear your availability for work
- Make a summary of skills and technological capabilities
- Clearly state the right skills for the role
- Mention your soft skills
As a freelancer, one of the most important pieces of information a hiring manager will need to know about you is your availability. After all, organisations will often be looking to get started on a certain project right away – all they need now is the right contractor with the right skills at the right time.
With that in mind, don’t make the mistake of not making it clear on your CV that you’ve left an organisation already, or when you are available to start work – after all, this is a selling point.
Clearly state your availability just underneath your name and contact details. Don’t forget to list the expected completion date of your current assignment in your career history too, otherwise an employer could assume you will not be available in time for their role.
Under your personal statement, don’t forget to include a skills and technology matrix.
A lot of CVs for freelance roles fail to do this, but it gives recruiters and hiring managers a solid summary of your relevant expertise. After all, employers don’t have time to train up a contractor.
You need to be able to add value from day one, so use this section of your CV to highlight exactly what systems and technology skills you possess and the tickets you hold.
As you know, contractors are usually hired to facilitate a specific need, and quickly. Therefore your ability to meet the hiring manager’s criteria must be obvious when reviewing the career history and skills section of your freelance CV.
Hiring managers spend much less time reviewing CVs for contract roles than for permanent positions, which increases the importance of ensuring you clearly and concisely list your most relevant experience and highlight achievements specific to the assignment you’re applying for.
For this reason, don’t take up space detailing experience that isn’t applicable to the types of contract you are looking for. Instead, only list the roles, both permanent and contract, which are relevant to your search.
As you talk about each role, quantify the responsibilities, skills gained and results delivered. It’s important to detail the volume of work completed in previous roles as employers look for contractors with experience working at the same capacity as their current assignment requires.
Also use keywords listed on job descriptions for your ideal jobs. This will ensure that your CV makes it past any screening algorithms and grabs the recruiter’s attention when it lands in their inbox.
Here are some of the most commonly sought-after soft skills for contractors:
e.g. the ability to communicate with other departments in a language they’ll understand rather than specialist jargon
e.g. the ability to adjust quickly to new environments and integrate with a new team and culture
e.g. the ability to grasp new product knowledge quickly and hit the ground running
Contracting is becoming a more viable option for many skilled professionals such as yourself, and if you want to stand out against your competition when searching for your next freelance role, you need to be able to show that you are a cut above the rest. This starts with optimising your freelance CV for the contracting world, and showing off everything you can bring to your next assignment.
Learn how your CV makes it past any screening algorithms or have a look at some job interview tips.