In this guest post, Job-Applications.com President Doug Crawford opines on how to leverage freelance experience to land full-time employment as a remote worker.
Finding a full-time remote job can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience. One of the ways you can build your resume and have employers notice you is through freelance work. By leveraging freelance experience, you can develop your portfolio and make an impression on potential employers that will help you land your dream job.
Show off Your Varied Skill Set When Creating Your Freelance Resume
One of the best things you can do is highlight the skills you’ve acquired through your freelance jobs. Even if the company is looking for a candidate with a couple of years in the field, you can still make yourself stand out from the crowd. If you focus on what you can do and how those skills translate to being an effective employee, you’re a coveted candidate.
While the list of in-demand freelance skills changes each year, some are more beneficial to landing a full-time position. Take on contract and freelance jobs that build up both your portfolio and working trade knowledge. A few good areas to gain experience include:
- Writing and Editing – Communicating effectively will always be an important part of any business. Demonstrate your ability to write and with a section that includes previous freelance work. Having a large sample shows employers that you’re a strong, hirable candidate.
- Graphic Design – This is another skill that can help you get your foot in the door. Companies like to see creative, independent thinkers. Showcasing your ability to create marketing graphics for websites, apps, and even fliers can catch a hiring manager’s attention.
- Social Media Marketing – Now considered essential to almost every company, having a strong social media presence is key when trying to get a business’ message out to the public. Being able to show an understanding of how social media works, as well as the best way to target customers, is a very desirable trait in a tech-driven economy.
- Digital Software – With many companies using programs such as Adobe Software Suite, it’s good to highlight experience with a variety of tools and programs that may be common for the field in which you are applying.
Leveraging Freelance Experience on Your Resume
The first impression you will make on a hiring manager is with your resume. This is your best opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, and why you would be a good fit for the position. Make sure to mention particular skills proven beneficial to virtual jobs:
- Time Management – Since you’re going to be on your own without any day-to-day supervision like you would have in an office, employers need to know you can manage your own time and get your work done in a timely fashion.
- Independent/Self-Starter – You will also want to mention that you can work without the constant guidance of a superior and you know how to finish projects and complete assigned tasks on your own.
- Adaptability – Employers want to know that you’re able to handle changes to things like deadlines, project schedules, and even take on new roles if needed.
- Tech-Savvy – Working remotely will mean you’ll need to effectively operate a computer, as well as different file sharing systems and video conferencing tools. Making mention of your capabilities in these areas can help give you a leg-up in the hiring process.
Highlighting the experience you’ve gained from your freelance work can go a long way on a resume. Create a few bullet points for every freelance position you’ve held and focus on specific projects and relevant information. Once you’ve created a resume, you’ll want to turn your attention to crafting a portfolio that turns heads.
How To List Freelance Work on LinkedIn
Putting your freelance work on LinkedIn is easy and can go a long way with employers. With just a few simple steps, you can have a professional-looking site that cleanly and succinctly lays out your work experience. With features that let you add links and media to your page, you’re able to have all of your work showcased in one convenient spot.
When adding a new position to your page, you’ll want to follow these steps:
- Click the “+” button in the right-hand corner by “Experience.”
- When the display page pops up, follow the prompt and add your title, employment type, company that you worked for, and dates that you worked.
- Once you’ve done that, you may add a detailed description of what the job entailed.
- Finally, you can put in links to your work so employers have easy access.
How To Create a Portfolio That Impresses Hiring Managers
A portfolio can boost your application for employers because it’s such an easy way for them to view your work. You will want to include samples that are edited, relevant to your career goals, and varied enough to show your versatility. Collect five to ten of your best freelance pieces and put them together in an online portfolio before you interview.
Having an online portfolio or personal website with your work is essential when applying for remote work. In addition to providing hiring managers access to your work, it shows that you’re serious about your career and have a large enough body of work to warrant having one.
If you’re in a less-creative role, you can still make a big impression on an employer with a refined portfolio. Freelance workers can show off brainstorming sessions with clients or other creatives on a project. Highlight work on a brand’s social media page, by sharing a few screenshots and a description of what you did.
With so many websites and portfolios to choose from, it can be overwhelming. Take the time to research site options. Some applications are better for writers, graphic designers, photographers, etc. One option for a clean, professional way to showcase your work is through a LinkedIn page.
Leveraging Freelance Experience in a Cover Letter
A cover letter is a great way to delve into your work history and explain why you are the best candidate for the job. You’ll be able to go into further detail about different jobs and projects you’ve worked on in the past. Whether you’re trying to write a good cover letter for an entry-level job, or are applying for something higher up, there are several steps you can take that can help you make a great first impression.
- Introduce Yourself – Explain who you are, your background, and why you’re a good fit for the position.
- Detail Your Work History – In the next few paragraphs, give a detailed account of your freelance work and how it translates to the desired position. This is a great opportunity to mention specific projects you’ve worked on. Include measurables if you can, such as how your article increased site views or traffic.
- Close Strong – Let the hiring manager know that you’re looking forward to hearing back from them and that you are available for an interview for the remote position.
- Remember Your Contact Info – At the end, include your email and phone number so the company has a way of getting in touch in the event they want to connect.
While there are different ways you can format a cover letter, the relevant information should stay the same. A strong cover letter that details your work history and how it pertains to the job your applying for is a great way to stand out.
What To Remember When Applying for Full-time or Entry-level Remote Jobs
When leveraging freelance experience into a full-time position, always remember to focus on what makes you unique. In addition to concrete, relevant experience, freelance skills are diverse and showcase your abilities. Let employers see this, and you may be well on your way to starting a full-time career.
Doug Crawford, SPHR, SHRM-SCP A long-time resident of Northeast Ohio, Doug Crawford serves as President of Job-Applications.com. Launched in 2010, Job-Applications.com provides jobseekers access to reliable and easy-to-navigate information on entry-level employment opportunities and offers a bi-annual scholarship for working parents in college. Outside of work, Crawford coaches youth soccer and serves on the Plain Township Rotary Board. He is married with three children and resides in Canton, Ohio.
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