When you’re a freelancer trying to attract clients, constructing a creative and compelling resume or portfolio should be top-of-list. Employers want to get to know you and your stellar work (and guess what, they care way more about that than about your previous experience). At Lightpost, we’re helping new freelancers launch their careers with expert advice on everything from networking to time management. Here are some creative ways to stand out in the pack of pitches:
Highlight your knockout project.
Think about your elevator pitch project, the one that you’re most proud of and would immediately share with anyone who asked about your career. That’s what you should put up front and center in your freelance resume. The work you display should be quality over quantity. There is no use in highlighting a project you are only meh about.
Quantify your work if possible.
Did an ad you design get 500,000 impressions? Were you featured on a website with 3,000 page views? Try to put some numbers to your best work. While employers are looking for awesome work, they’re also looking for effective work. They can guess whether your work has been effective — or you can put some metrics out there and tell them.
Choose the medium that really suits you.
Are you going to be out and about networking? Print gorgeous business cards that make the old-school tactic memorable and new again (we love the cards at Moo). Are you touting your marketing or social media skills? Create a video (Wideo is a really easy service for this). Are you a web developer? Build a flippin’ amazing website. The way you show your work can be an amazing opportunity to again show why you’d be the best for the projects you want to work on.
Make it clear that you’re a person first, business second.
As a freelancer, you’re selling yourself as a personal brand. Your work is a major part of it, but so is your personality and backstory. That can be reflected in your portfolio in many ways — with a video explaining who you are, a design that highlights something special like your relationship with your hometown, or more.
Again, here it’s all about quality over quantity. Don’t hesitate to have a former client toot your horn for you if you don’t want to do it yourself. Being a freelancer is about the work, yes, but clients will also have to work closely with you. A good reference about your work style can act as reassurance.
At USA TODAY’s Lightpost, we’re helping new freelancers launch their careers with expert advice on everything from networking to time management.
Copyright 2017 WFMY