Most employers, no matter what field they are involved in or who they’re hiring, want to see a resume. Often, when employers advertise over the Internet, they ask for a cover letter and resume to be sent. This means that self employed professionals, those applying to jobs of the freelance or independent contractor variety, must have resumes, too. Even though you work from home, you’re still not off the hook when it comes to resume writing.
Believe it or not, most employers look at both the cover letters (known in some circles as the “query letter”) and the resumes of people who apply to advertised jobs. If the cover letter doesn’t grab them or interest them in any way, there’s little chance they will spend much time going over the resume that comes with it. This means that having a great resume and a great cover letter are equally important.
It’s best to keep cover letters as short and sweet as possible. An introduction should start the letter (this is who I am, and this is why I’m writing to you), then briefly touch on skills that apply directly to the job at hand. Some further explanation of skills and experience may follow, but this should be a broad sketch instead of a detailed account. Close the query letter with a respectful thank you, and relevant contact information. Dazzle them with the resume, and just paint a broad picture with the cover letter. Employers don’t have the time to read lengthy letters, anyway, and may not even finish cover letters that seem overly written.
A self employment resume is really no different from any other resume. Self employed professionals still want to highlight their education, experience, and skills to best showcase their work and achievements. In fact, approaching a self employed resume like a traditional resume is a great place to start.
Resumes should always be extremely professional. Check closely for spelling and grammatical errors. Include brief job descriptions to better highlight skills and experience, and mention any special projects worked on or interesting skills learned. Keep the resume evenly spaced and clean-looking, not cramped. A resume should always consist of one page. A good guideline to follow when writing a self employed resume is to start with education first, then move to experience. Highlight special skills in a concise list at the bottom of the resume. Contact information should appear boldly at the top, easy to read and see on the page.
List self employed projects the way more conventional jobs might be listed on a resume. Include contact information or web addresses for these projects, once again to show off professionalism. Dates of employ should be included. The more projects you do for one client, the better – be sure to include the dates of repeat customers as well. This shows other potential clients or employers that you’re good at what you do. It’s a good rule of thumb to have a web site or online portfolio where applicable, something online that employers and clients can easily access that will show off some of your work.
Being a self employed professional isn’t much different from being a boardroom professional…only your boardroom is a little closer to the bedroom than theirs. Resume writing for self employment is, happily, very similar to resume writing for any other career path. Remember to keep it professional, keep it brief, and keep it looking clean. You can’t go wrong.