The freelance market has grown considerably in recent years. Here are ten top tips on writing an effective freelance CV and how to maximise your chances during an interview.
  1. Include a personal profile at the start of the CV. This should explain what you are, a brief description of your key skills and an indication of the kind of role you are looking for. The profile is your 5 seconds to grab the reader's attention.
  2. Focus on achievements. Employers want evidence that you are good at your job, for example, you could write: 'Responsible for selling products to corporate clients'. An alternative and more powerful way of writing this would be: 'Responsible for business development resulting in a 20 per cent increase in corporate sales exceeding annual sales targets by over £15,000.'
  3. Don't get hung up on sticking to a certain number of pages. Up to three pages is fine for a more senior level person.
  4. Use powerful words and statements rather than passive terminology. For example: 'Through effective issues management, reduced a critical issues backlog from 289 queries to minimal levels within only two months'. How much more powerful is that opposed to: 'Responsible for reducing an issues back-log'.
  5. Avoid using 'I'. This will prevent you from sounding boastful. By writing a CV in the third person you can be more robust in expressing achievements and skills.
  6. Don't be modest. A CV is a sales document and should be written in such a way.
  7. Stick to quality plain white paper and don't be too fancy with fonts or layout.

Once the interview has been secured:

  1. Approach an interview as a sales call. Rather than discussing your strengths and weaknesses, sell your features and benefits.
  2. At interview, use specific examples of assignments you have carried out for similar clients in the past that match what is being asked of you for this specific role.
  3. Close the sale. This may sound strange but an interview is a sales call. Ask the interviewer if they have any reservations about your suitability for the role. It gives the interviewer a chance to raise a concern that can be easily cleared up there and then.

Matt Craven runs the CV & Interview Advisors company a partner of the PCG