How to List Freelance Work on Your Resume [With Examples]

7 min read

Your resume should reflect your valuable work history amassed over the years — even if you’re self-employed.

Is freelance work considered experience? Yes, freelance contract work is considered experience. Self-employed work can be just as valuable to a recruiter as full-time employment — as long as you document it well.

Here is a simple guide on how to list freelance work on your resume to impress hiring managers. 

Should I put freelancing work on my resume?

Yes, you should list freelance work on your resume. Recruiters like to know what work you’ve performed in your field, whether you’re applying for freelance jobs or traditional employment. 

But here’s the problem: The traditional resume format isn’t inherently self-employed friendly. So how do you list freelance work on your resume? 

Freelance and Contract Work on Your Resume

What is the difference between freelance and contract work? Generally, independent contractors are hired by one client at a time to complete a single major project, such as construction or app development. Freelancers, on the other hand, perform small tasks for multiple clients concurrently. 

Unfortunately, not all companies view self-employment as equal in value to full-timework experience. There are ways to craft your resume to show your experience, highlight your expertise, and format independent contract jobs on your resume in a compelling manner.

Here’s how:

1. Give your freelance work a company name

Create a name for your business on your resume so your freelance work looks consistent with traditional employment. Depending on your goals, you may even consider making your business name official. Establishing an official business name and integrating it with your personal branding is beneficial when you’re a full-time freelancer who works contract to contract. 

Create a unique business name inspired by your personal name, interests, location, or specialty. For example, a freelance graphic designer could use the moniker Feisty Cat Designs or J.H. Graphic Studio. Creative company names work better for SEO performance than common personal names.

Consider creating a company name if you perform independent services for individual clients and small businesses. Or, use a business moniker to organize your freelance ventures. Don’t list all of your freelance gigs under a nondescript section labeled “Self-employment” or “Freelance work.”

A business name also helps you classify your freelance work on your LinkedIn profile.

2. Choose a job title.

Some freelance gigs won’t have an official job title like a hired position would. Select a title that fits your professional identity and is relevant to the role you’re applying for. For example, you could say you’re a web developer, social media marketer, or educational content editor. 

Add the term “freelance” or “independent” to the role to designate your self-employment. 

A title like “freelance writer” may be too vague. Consider elaborating on what type of writing you specialize in — marketing, technical, creative, journalism, or copywriting. Anyone giving a quick glance at your resume should understand what work you do based on your job title. 

Choose a designation that reflects the tasks you complete and your role working for companies. For example: “Independent app designer” would communicate your specialty to potential employers.

3. Summarize your services.

Describe the work that you typically perform for clients. Why? You want to show recruiters that you’ve already successfully performed the type of work they need. 

Add bullet points describing the services you can provide when contracted. Web designers might say: “Develop and maintain websites using HTML, CSS, Java, or JavaScript.”

This is also a good section in the resume to mention your technical skill set. Graphic designers may mention experience with typography, 3D modeling, logo design, and illustration. You can also list soft skills if you’re applying for a leadership role, like a project manager. 

The services section will vary based on the industry, your history, and the job. Ensure your services align with the tasks listed in the company’s job description. And they should match what you agree to deliver in your freelance contract.

4. Cover clients, projects, and outcomes in your bullet points.

Now you should mention your specific accomplishments. List the clients you’ve served, the projects you’ve completed for them, and the outcomes of these endeavors. This will provide clear insight into the scope of your work and the value you bring. 

There are multiple ways you can organize this information, such as:

  • Listing client names in chronological order in your freelance business section

  • Including major accomplishments in a “key projects” section

  • Grouping clients and projects into distinct categories by industry or skills

Your accomplishments should be specific and quantifiable. Use clear metrics the business would care about, such as revenue earned, new users gained, click-throughs generated, or awards you’ve earned. A vague experience section is a waste of space on a self-employed resume.

Do some of your former clients rave about your work? Include them as references! 

5. Tailor your resume to the specific job. 

What freelance work should you list on your resume? The freelance work you should list on your resume are the clients and projects that matter to that specific job application.

Your resume shouldn’t contain every single task you’ve ever completed or every skill you have. Pare down your resume to mention only the freelance experience that matters to this potential employer. Also, read the job description carefully and pull keywords from it to sprinkle throughout your resume. 

Do you dabble in a wide range of copywriting? Only include the writing projects and skills that pertain to your prospective client, such as digital marketing copywriting.

Self-Employed Work Examples for Your Resume

Not sure how to include freelancer experience for a specific profession? Search for freelancer resume examples and templates online related to your field. These can guide you on how to list self-employment work on your resume. 

Do you only have a single section of your resume dedicated to freelance experience alongside traditional employment work? Here is an example:

COPYCAT MEDIA SERVICES (June 2019 – Present)

Freelance audio and video media editing services

  • Skilled in assembling raw footage and editing a final, professional-quality product exceeding client expectations 

  • Experienced with corporate promotional media, live events, radio commercials, and educational videos

  • Familiar with Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple iMovie, Adobe Audition, Logic Pro, and Audacity.

  • Key accomplishments:

    • Editing 3-5 social media videos per week for Squeeze Juice Co.

    • Produced independent segment for WHOC-TV Channel 8 morning news

    • Assembled The Handy Business’ 25-year anniversary video from 50+ hours of raw footage spanning two decades

    • Earned “Best Digital Commercial” at 2021 Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Awards

You can expand this approach to populate an entire resume of freelance history. Start with a dedicated professional summary, then list your technical skills and competencies. Identify each major client individually, along with their projects and service timeframe. Include a link to your portfolio in your contact information. 

Want just a short snippet on your resume to cover your freelance work? Here’s a simple method: 

Freelance App Designer – Key Projects:

  • Updated mobile app for Smith & Sons Real Estate (2019)

  • Designed and launched child-friendly media app for Centerville Public Library (2020-2021)

  • Served as lead developer on a student-teacher app for Fairview School System (2022-present)

A Community for Freelancers

Another way you can get support in your job search is by joining a freelance community. You can receive career advice from fellow ICs, such as generating your resume and finding potential clients. 

Tired of wasting time on a job search when you could be doing paid work for a client? MVP Match can ease your application stress by helping you find companies that fit your skills. Take your freelance career seriously by applying to join MVP Match’s catalog of I.T. professionals. 

Read next: Bid Proposals: How to Write, Types, and Template | MVP Match Blog 

Writing a Job Proposal for a New Position | MVP Match Blog  

About the Author

Kate manages content marketing for talent acquisition at MVP Match. Her job? Attracting the best and brightest tech talent into our community where they are matched with rewarding roles they deserve. She's a copywriter at heart, and has spent over 10 years in marketing for tech, healthcare, and consulting firms. An avid traveler and workation pro, Kate both embraces and advocates for a future where everyone is empowered to define work on their terms.