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.
- 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.
- 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.'
- 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.
- 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'.
- 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.
- Don't be modest. A CV is a sales document and should be written in such a way.
- Stick to quality plain white paper and don't be too fancy with fonts or layout.
Once the interview has been secured:
- Approach an interview as a sales call. Rather than discussing your strengths and weaknesses, sell your features and benefits.
- 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.
- 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.