A great CV can increase your chances of securing lucrative freelance gigs and make it easier than ever to build up a client list. However, creating a curriculum vitae as a gig worker can be tricky, particularly if you’re new to the industry or you’re used to preparing resumes for standard full-time roles. Fortunately, you can find out everything you need to know about creating an excellent CV as a gig worker right here.
Read on to learn how to formulate, draft, refine, and distribute your CV to boost your freelance career.
Break It Down
Traditionally, CVs or resumes listed a person’s career history in date order, starting with their most recent position first. However, the way we work has changed and this should be reflected in the format of your CV. Now, it’s common practice to use different sections to highlight your attributes and provide potential commercial partners or employers with the critical information they need.
You might choose to begin with a brief personal profile, for example, followed by a skills section, a list of notable achievements, and then a sample of your work history. As well as providing the reader with vital information, this also gives you the chance to showcase your core competencies and advanced skills.
Once you’ve decided what format to use and have broken your CV down into sections, you’ll find it much easier to decide what to include and where to mention it.
Keep It Short
The best CVs are short yet contain a considerable amount of useful information, so bear this in mind when you’re drafting your resume. Sometimes, trying to fit a lot of information into a short piece of work is trickier than creating a lengthy document, so don’t feel disheartened if you want to include far more than you have room for. With some clever wording and simple structuring, you’ll be surprised at just how much information you can convey in a short CV.
Ideally, your CV should be no more than two A4 pages in length (and don’t be tempted to reduce the font size to 6 to cram more information onto the page!). Hiring managers view hundreds of CVs on a regular basis and they don’t have time to scrutinize each one in detail. To overcome this obstacle, you need to ensure that your CV stands out from the crowd, and keeping it short, simple, and direct will help you to achieve this.
Write Your Personal Profile
Many people assume that writing a personal profile is the easiest part of compiling a freelance CV, but this isn’t always the case. In this section, you might choose to include your contact details as well, so you won’t have too much room to write about yourself. Alternatively, add your contact details to the end of the document if you want to maximize space. You’ll need to pick the most relevant, interesting, and unique points if you want to catch the reader’s attention and make them take a more in-depth look at your resume.
Remember – your personal profile should tell the reader why you’d be a great person for them to work with. If you’re submitting your CV for a specific role, be sure to update your personal profile so that it’s tailored to the requirements. Alternatively, if you’re preparing a more general freelance CV, use your personal profile to give people an insight into your work ethic and personality.
Create a Skills Section
Start by creating a long list of your skills, so that you can decide which ones are most impressive to potential hirers. You’re likely to include just 5-10 skills on your CV, but don’t limit yourself when writing your draft list. This encourages you to think outside the box and consider every skill you have, which will make it easier to create a unique and impressive skills section.
Once you’ve got your draft skills list, work through it, and cross off anything that isn’t relevant. If you’re an excellent juggler but you are looking for freelance driving jobs, for example, you probably don’t need to add it to your skills section!
Additionally, take the time to cross off any skills that are commonplace within your sector. Most office workers can use Word or Excel competently, for example, so you probably don’t need to add this to your CV unless you have advanced knowledge and it’s relevant to the type of roles you’re applying for.
Include a List of Achievements
Not everyone includes a list of their professional achievements on their CV but it’s well worth doing if you want to impress the reader. A list of achievements allows you to highlight your professional success succinctly and tells future clients what you can do for them.
When you’re writing your list of achievements, try to include the value the business obtained from your work. If you’ve worked as a freelance delivery driver and consistently overperformed, for example, you could include the details here, such as:
‘Improved delivery time estimates by an average of 20% while retaining a 5* customer rating’
This type of information tells the reader so much in just a simple sentence. Not only does it highlight your efficiency, but it also tells the reader that you’re conscientious, polite, and have a good work ethic, as well as an understanding of the importance of great customer service.
Add a Brief Work History
You don’t necessarily need to include the details of every gig or job you’ve ever had on your current CV, so choose the roles that are most relevant to the type of gigs you’re applying for. Your skills list and list of professional achievements have already impressed the reader, so a work history will simply add more detail and give an example of the types of clients or employers you’ve worked with.
Gig workers may have worked with hundreds of clients or hirers and attempting to include all (or most) of them would be foolhardy. Similarly, you don’t necessarily need to only focus on your most recent gigs. If roles from six or 12 months ago are most relevant than gigs from last month, include the ones that are going to deliver the most valuable information to the reader.
Proofread Your CV
Before you submit your CV to anyone, be sure to proofread it. Then proofread it again! Spell-check might catch some errors but don’t rely on it too much. Instead, read through the document carefully and refine it where possible. In addition to this, ask a trusted family member or friend to proofread your CV too and then use their feedback to make positive changes.
As well as looking for grammatical mistakes or missing words, be sure to double and triple-check your contact details. After all, a potential employer can only hire you if they’re able to get in touch with you!
Creating an Impressive Freelance CV
A CV isn’t a document that should remain unchanged for months at a time, so get into the habit of continually updating your resume with relevant information. Equally, if you’re applying for a particular role or gig, make sure you tailor your CV to the opportunity to give you the best chance of success.
With an increasing number of people joining the gig economy, landing the best roles requires a great reputation and a stand-out CV. By putting the effort in now and creating a freelance CV that showcases your experience and skills, you can significantly increase your chances of getting a new job and broaden your horizons.