The Ultimate Guide on How to List Freelance Work on a Resume

how to list freelance work on a resume
how to list freelance work on a resume

Table of Contents

Learning how to list freelance work on a resume can significantly boost your chances of getting noticed by a hiring manager. As freelance roles become more common in today’s job market, it’s crucial to know how to effectively showcase your freelance experience on your resume.

This guide offers strategies to highlight your freelance projects, emphasizing your versatility, skills, and the depth of your work history.

Whether you’re a freelance designer, developer, or any professional working independently, these insights will help you present your freelance career as a valuable asset, readying you for your next full-time job or freelance opportunity.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding freelance work can elevate your resume’s impact.
  • Include freelance roles to demonstrate a wide range of skills and adaptability.
  • Detailing independent projects can effectively bridge employment gaps.
  • Use bullet points to quantify achievements in freelance roles.
  • Presenting a freelance business as part of your career path showcases initiative.

Best Practices for Adding Freelance Work on Resumes

Including freelance work on your resume showcases your versatility and initiative. This section offers practical tips for effectively presenting your freelance experience, highlighting how it complements your career narrative and enhances your job prospects.

When and why to include freelance work on your resume

Freelance jobs highlight your ability to work independently and manage clients, which is highly valued in any industry.

Scenarios where adding freelance gigs to your resume is beneficial include filling employment gaps, demonstrating expertise in specific fields like relevant programming languages, and showing versatility.

Listing your freelance work helps employers see the full spectrum of your experience, beyond traditional roles.

Show your adaptability in various areas or markets.

To demonstrate versatility through your freelance work, start by selecting projects that showcase a variety of skills relevant to the job you’re applying for.

If you’ve done freelance work in different industries, consider creating a “Projects” section on your resume to describe the work and the skills you utilized or developed.

Tailor your freelance experience to match the job description of the position you’re seeking, making sure to highlight the skills that are most relevant to the job.

Prove your success beyond regular jobs.

Success as a freelancer often requires a high level of independence, initiative, and the ability to navigate various freelance platforms and client relationships.

On your resume, showcase this success by including bullet points that quantify your achievements in freelance roles.

Highlighting these achievements shows employers that you’re not just self-employed but also capable of producing tangible results that could translate well into their company’s objectives.

How to prove you freelance work on your resume

How do you prove employment as a freelancer?

Proving your employment as a freelancer is about establishing credibility through tangible evidence of your work.

A solid approach includes showcasing contracts, work samples, and testimonials from clients. These elements serve as proof of your engagements and the quality of work you’ve delivered.

Contracts and Agreements

Keep a record of contracts or agreements you’ve had with clients. These documents validate the professional relationships and the scope of work you were responsible for.

Including a brief description of these contracts in the work experience section of your resume or a projects section can highlight your organizational and professional dealings.

Work Samples

Maintaining a portfolio of your work is crucial. Work samples demonstrate the type of work you’ve done and the quality you bring to your projects.

When relevant, link to these samples from your resume or mention them in your resume’s projects section to give potential employers a direct insight into your capabilities.


Client testimonials offer a powerful testament to your skills and work ethic. Whether it’s through LinkedIn recommendations or quotes from clients, include these testimonials to bolster your reputation.

If possible, list the company name and the project alongside these testimonials in your resume to provide context and further credibility.

Validating your work is a great way to showcase your industry experience and expertise to future employers, helping you stand out in the job market.

Remember, clear and precise language that concisely describes your freelance engagements can significantly enhance your resume’s impact.

Looking to gain more work experience or hone your skills with a mentor? Check out our free mentor talks, where you can book 1-on-1 sessions with industry professionals.

How to list freelance work experience on your resume

When adding freelance work on your resume, it’s crucial to structure the information in a way that’s both clear and impactful.

Here’s how to break down your experience effectively:

List your position/role in the freelance opportunity

Begin by defining your role or title for each freelance job. Be specific yet concise. For example, “Freelance Graphic Designer” or “Independent Content Writer.”

This clarifies your function and expertise area. If you juggled multiple roles, choose titles that reflect the breadth of your work without overcomplicating. This clarity helps employers quickly understand your capabilities.

Include the start date and end date of the freelance opportunity

Next, include the duration of each freelance project or role. If you’re currently working on a project, use ‘Present’ as the end date.

This timeframe gives hiring managers insight into your work history’s depth and your commitment to each project. It’s also a straightforward way to account for any gaps in your employment history.

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Name the company that requested the services (If possible)

Identifying the company or client for whom you worked provides context for your freelance assignments. If you worked for well-known brands, mentioning their names can add prestige to your resume.

For smaller clients or confidential projects, you can generalize the industry or type of client (e.g., “major tech startups,” “non-profit organizations”).

Summarize project progress in detail.

In this section, briefly describe your responsibilities and the scope of each project. Use clear and precise language to outline the tasks you handled, emphasizing any specific challenges you overcame or initiatives you led.

This is where you translate your work into relatable job experience, showing employers the value you brought to each project.

List achievements and outcomes of the project

Lastly, highlight your accomplishments and the tangible outcomes of your work. Whenever possible, quantify these achievements (e.g., “increased website traffic by 30%” or “designed a successful marketing campaign that boosted sales by 20%”).

This not only showcases your contribution but also provides evidence of your impact, making your freelance work more compelling to those reading your resume.

Integrating freelance jobs on your resume in this structured way allows you to present a comprehensive picture of your professional experience.

It showcases not just the work you’ve done but also the value you’ve delivered, helping you stand out to hiring managers and land your next opportunity.

Formatted resume

Choosing the right resume format

Choosing the right resume format is essential for freelancers to effectively showcase their skills and experiences. The three main types of resume formats are chronological, functional, and combination.

Chronological Resume

This format lists your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. It’s ideal for those with a strong work history in a specific field. However, for freelancers with diverse projects, this may not highlight the breadth of their experience.

Functional Resume

Functional resumes focus on skills and experience, rather than chronological work history. This format is beneficial for freelancers, as it allows them to highlight specific skills and achievements across various projects, making it easier to demonstrate their capabilities to employers.

Combination Resume

A combination resume blends the chronological and functional formats, showcasing both your skills and work history.

This is often the best choice for freelancers, as it enables them to highlight their most relevant freelance projects and skills at the beginning, followed by a reverse-chronological work history. T

his format effectively showcases a freelancer’s versatility and depth of experience.

When you put freelance work on your resume, consider adding a “Projects” or “Freelance Work” section where you can list significant projects alongside your roles and achievements.

Tailor this section to align with the job you’re applying for, emphasizing the skills and experiences that are most relevant. This strategic organization can help your resume stand out and provide a clear picture of your career to potential employers.


In this guide, we’ve outlined how to effectively use freelance work on your resume, showcasing the value of your independent projects to potential employers. Here’s a succinct wrap-up:

  • Diverse Skills: Your freelance work demonstrates a broad skill set, making you a versatile candidate.
  • Employment Gaps: Freelance projects can explain periods of traditional employment gaps.
  • Quantifiable Achievements: Highlighting specific successes proves your impact.
  • Adaptability: The variety of projects illustrates your ability to adapt, a sought-after quality.

Choosing between a functional, chronological, or combination resume format helps present your freelance experience clearly. A “Projects” section can spotlight major accomplishments, tailored to the job you’re applying for.

Utilizing resume builders or consulting with professional resume writers can further polish your presentation. Remember, a well-crafted resume transcends a mere job list; it narrates your professional journey, emphasizing your unique contributions and readiness for new challenges.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can transform your freelance experience into a compelling component of your resume, enhancing your appeal to hiring managers and paving the way for future opportunities.

Keep refining and updating your resume, aligning it with industry best practices and the specific requirements of your desired role.

Nelson Ingle | Founder of Simply Agile

Coach Nelson has 10+ years of experience leading software development teams. As a lifelong learner, he’s passionate about helping community members discover and pursue their ikigai every day.

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