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Do You Need a CV as a Freelancer?

by
Alan Writer

The short answer is that you will always need some type of work overview of your career and efforts. That typically comes in a CV format, and freelancers may think their work history speaks for itself. Yet even these days, with the rise of sites that help connect freelancers to contract work, a CV is still necessary. 

That's because even with that freelancer mentality where we think it's only a few weeks or a few months per project, many freelancers tend to become longer-term contractors for businesses. So it's always a good idea to track that and keep it formalised and memorialised via a CV. It ends up being a quick reference sheet that will help prospective employers to see if there's a relevant match and will only help you maintain a path as a freelancer. 

How should it be built? 

You can keep your CV as a freelancer built the same way as a standard CV. First, you place your demographic information, education, and relevant skill sets as you would a regular CV. Then when it comes to your work history, you simply put whatever your small business is called (even if it's just under your name as a freelancer) and list the work out that you've been doing. Why it's important is because it starts to increase and compile the actual amount of work that you've been doing. 

Let's say you're a graphic design artist doing freelance work for banner ads and social media channels. Maybe you get a few a week from some online freelancing site, yet when you compile everything, you'll have heavy metrics showing a few dozen or a few hundred completed within a set time period. So it becomes your recordkeeper for all that work you've been doing as a freelancer, which adds to the desired experience when looking for new work. 

It also shows how much you've done and how long you've done it for. The longer you find work as a freelancer, the more that becomes your career, and you can grow it as you wish or keep it the same size. Either way, it builds you out as a subject matter expert, which can help improve pay increases on certain jobs, especially when prospective clients see how much you've accomplished. 

Keep a detailed accounting

Another piece you want to keep with being a freelancer is not only showing all the work you're doing but in a focused format. You want to show that you've still been able to progress. Let's use the same example of the graphic design project, maybe it expanded into graphical art for eBooks that you helped support publishing, or you've built out digital designs for sales on third-party marketplaces such as Etsy or Amazon. 

All of this shows that you have exponentially grown even as a freelancer, which people commonly assume is only one task. All that starts by showcasing it via a CV so it's definitely the best course of action.

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