Freelance Writer Resume Sample

"Curriculum vitae" typed on typewriter
••• malerapaso / E+ / Getty Images

The freelance writer resume probably gets more use than all other career resumes combined. That's because freelance writers must constantly be looking for new work. While many writers have contacts they can draw upon, for those new to the profession, a good way to find projects is to join a writer's association which post jobs on their website and in their email blasts.

Before that, you need to know about writing resume so you can beat out the competition.

Writers Do More Than Just Write

The following sample resume (often referred to as a CV or Curriculum Vitae) is broken down into several smaller resumes including a writing resume, editing resume, and niche area resume. That's because some writers are straight out writers and some writers are writers as well as editors. Additionally, many writers are generalists and cover everything from applesauce to abacists, while some focus in a niche area, whether it be the culinary arts or the aerospace industry. Whatever your expertise, always start your CV with an objectives paragraph and then use the sample below to pick up the skill set that applies to you.

Getting Started

The first part of the resume is usually the objective or the summary. This talks less about what the writer want, and more about what they have to offer. This is what sets you apart from the competition and the importance of this one paragraph cannot be understated. Note that the writer's summary below talks about their most impressive accomplishments (i.e., their book and radio show) in the lead sentence. In fact, most of this first paragraph is indeed a sort of name dropping in order to capture the reader's attention.

This is not a place where you want to be shy. You'll also notice that the less important items, such as education, are presented later in the paragraph. This section must be kept short. It will only be skimmed over unless the words Magna Cum Laude and Harvard pop out.

Summary

Award-winning writer and managing editor featured in "Example Book" and on the "Example Radio Network." Offering over XX years of practice, including XX years of writing for a large online educational network. Additional clients include the Big Name Company, Big Name Company, and Big Name Company. Bachelor's degree awarded in English and Master's degree in the process. Niche specializations in Latino issues, education, non-profit, and health/fitness.

Education

  • XYZ State University: MA in XX
  • XYZ State University: BA in XX
  • Additional education, including seminars and conferences
  • Applicable internships

Magazines 

Note that when listing published work in magazines (or other periodicals), you list the names of the biggest publications first, followed by on-going contributor work, followed by one-off articles. Be sure to mention anything noticeable, such as a cover story.

  • Most recognizable titles
  • A regular contributor to XX periodical
  • Title of the article published in XX magazine followed by the date 

Copywriting

Because most copywriting gigs are done for ongoing clients, this resume lists copywriting efforts by client name. However, if it's a one-off, you have the option to list work by the title of the project, such as "Sales Brochure." You don't have to be a cover story feature writer to be of value. Include all work you are proud of including essays, reviews, blogging and social media, travel writing, grant writing, or film reviews.

  • XYZ Client (contract writer for over XX years)
  • Project, Client, Distribution, Reach 

Proofreading and Editing

Note what format they've edited/proofread in because sometimes publishers ask for specific experience in one type of editing/proofreading such as Google spreadsheets.​

  • Book title, author, publisher, date (beginning with the most recognizable)
  • Book title, author, publisher, date
  • Book title, author, publisher, date

Subject Matter Expertise

Listing targeted niche areas makes it easy for potential clients to pinpoint exactly why the writer/editor is a good fit. In fact, you should consider moving this area higher up in the resume when submitting to the niche area

  • Publication in XX magazine (beginning with the most prestigious)
  • Long-term communications employment in XX industry

References

  • Name, title, company, all pertinent contact information

This is completely a subjective decision and is not required unless specified by the client. If you do list your references, make sure you've checked and double-checked that they will give you a good review and that they will be accessible by phone or email.